Episode 119: What clients really buy from MSPs

Episode 119: What clients really buy from MSPs

Paul Green Leave a Comment

Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 119: What clients really buy from MSPs
/

In this week’s episode

  • What do clients actually buy from you? Because it’s not “technology” or “solutions”. This week Paul explains that figuring out what business owners are actually buying, and understanding their true motivations, will make your sales so much easier
  • Also on the show this week, if you haven’t yet got a one-page marketing plan, Paul is going to help you create one over the next few weeks, starting with today’s episode
  • Plus listen for a lead generation expert’s advice on how to best combine LinkedIn and phone calls. And there’s a great book recommendation for the hungry entrepreneur

Featured guest

John Montgomery is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to John Montgomery from Hot Prospects, talking about how to generate more leads for your MSP.

John is the Founder of Hot Prospects, an MSP lead generation specialist based in the City of London. John has worked for several leading MSPs and launched Hot Prospects to help MSPs grow. Calling on over 20 years new business experience in the MSP world, John works exclusively with MSPs, and provides quality, qualified new business appointments with right fit companies at the right time.

Connect with John on LinkedIn.

Show notes

  • Out every Tuesday on your favourite podcast platform
  • Presented by Paul Green, an MSP marketing expert
  • Register for a free copy of Paul’s book
  • Thank you to Stephen Rosenthal from Managed Services Platform for recommending the book BE 2.0 by Jim Collins
  • In next week’s episode on March 1st, Paul will be joined by Miles Walker from Graphus, talking about how to sell more phishing protection to your clients
  • Got a question from the show? Email Paul directly: hello@paulgreensmspmarketing.com

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world, this is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.

Paul Green:
Hey, you know what day it is today? It’s Twos-day. I don’t mean Tuesday, I don’t it’s Twos-day, it’s 22/2/22. Yeah, that impressed me more than it impressed anyone I think. Here’s what we’ve got coming up on this week’s podcast.

John Montgomery:
I use LinkedIn to great effect actually, by call activity, that data’s cleansed, you end up with a really keen list of target customers.

Paul Green:
That’s John Montgomery. He’s an MSP lead generation expert, and I caught up with him at a CompTIA event back in autumn of last year. Later on in the show he’s going to tell you how you can get more leads for your MSP. We’re also going to be talking today about a one page marketing plan. In fact I’m going to kick off a short series that’s going to run for the next couple of episodes of the podcast. We’re going to talk about all the different elements that you need in your plan, and I’m going to help you to pull it together, a simple one page document so you know exactly what you need to do.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.

Paul Green:
Have you ever sat down and thought what it is that clients actually buy from you? And I know that might come across as a bit of a stupid question because obviously they buy technology, they buy managed services. Except they don’t. I really don’t think they do. When you’re selling to ordinary business owners and managers the thing they might actually purchase from you might be technology and you doing much of the work for then, but what I think they’re actually buying is something else. In the same way that when you buy insurance you’re not really buying insurance, you’re buying peace of mind. I mean there are insurances that you have to buy, for example here in the UK, and it may be the same where you live, if you want to drive a car on a road you have to have insurance. It’s a legal requirement.

Paul Green:
But for example if you have a house and let’s say … well it’s optional, it’s optional for you to have contents insurance. So, you need to have building’s insurance if you have a mortgage on it, otherwise if the building burns down you’re going to have a very expensive smoking hulk of bricks. But contents insurance is optional, you don’t have to buy contents insurance. And yet most people do. Why do we buy it? Well we never think we’re going to actually claim on it, we certainly hope that we never have to claim on it. What we’re buying is peace of mind. We can sleep well at night knowing if there is something horrible that happens to our house, don’t worry, we’re insured. It might be traumatic, but at least we won’t lose out. We buy peace of mind.

Paul Green:
So, what do people buy when they’re buying from you? Do they buy peace of mind? Are they buying something else? What exactly are they buying? I think there are probably a number of different areas that you can look at. I mean you could assume for example, going along the lines of insurance, that when someone buys MSP services from you they’re looking to reduce risk in some way. Maybe they’ve finally heard about cybersecurity risks. Maybe they’re finally aware of ransomware, or a friend of a friend’s email system got hacked and they now realize it’s time to do something about it. Maybe with what’s happened over the last couple of years in terms of working remotely, maybe they actually now realise that people working from home are a bit of a security threat, so maybe what they’re actually buying is reducing risk. Maybe they’re buying cost reduction from you.

Paul Green:
Maybe they’re hoping in that you updating their technology, and sure there’s a short-term pain to that, a short-term financial pain, but in the long-term maybe they’re hoping to reduce their costs, to even increase productivity. Maybe that’s something else that they’re looking to do because they want to get more for their buck, a bigger bung for their buck, and they’re willing to invest to do that. Or maybe it is of course that they just want their technology to help them to grow.

Paul Green:
The outcome that business owners and managers want when they buy from you is probably nine times out of ten that they just want things to work. They don’t want technology to be standing in the way of what it is they’re doing, they just want it to work and they want you to get on with it and just deliver a great technology for them so they can grow their business. Most businesses have a growth plan, there’s something they’re working towards. And you and I know that technology sits at the very heart of that, it’s the backbone. It’s infrastructure to everything they’re doing.

Paul Green:
You’ve got to ask yourself going into every single sales meeting, what is it they’re buying here? Are they buying peace of mind? Are they buying sleeping well at night? Are they buying tick, tick, tick of the box? We’ve ticked that box, we’ve ticked that box, now we can just get on with growing the business and we don’t need to worry about it so much.

Paul Green:
If you can get a handle on every single prospect at every single meeting on what it is they’re really buying, then you can sell them what it is that they really want. It’s not technology, it’s not someone else doing it for them. Those are just the means by which you deliver the outcome. What is it this person wants? Figure that out, and your sales are going to get a hell of a lot easier, and you’ll win a lot more clients as well.

Voiceover:
Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green:
We’re going to attempt something new in the next few episodes of the podcast. I’m going to see if I can help you put together a one page marketing plan. Now, I’m not really a big fan of marketing plans. I think it’s good to think about these things, it’s good to have a strategy, and certainly if you go back over previous episodes of this podcast we’ve talked a lot about my favourite three step marketing strategy for MSPs, which is to build multiple audiences, build a relationship with those people, and then commercialise that relationship. So no, I’m not a big fan of marketing plans, but I say that as a marketing person. And of course for me, marketing is literally my seven day a week obsession. I’m constantly reading marketing things, listening to things, absorbing ideas, trying new things out. So for me, I don’t really need plans, it’s kind of in my head.

Paul Green:
But you and I are probably quite opposite. In fact my relationship with marketing is probably your relationship with technology. You don’t need technology plans for your own business, because you’re absorbed in technology seven days a week, where I would, if I needed technology in my business, some proper infrastructure, I would need a technology plan.

Paul Green:
So, let’s you and I over the next three, four, maybe even five weeks of the podcast, let’s put together a one page marketing plan. And literally when I say one page, I don’t mean filling both sides of a sheet of paper with as many words as you can cram in, I’m actually looking for the smallest number of words on a piece of paper. I want to make it very easy for you to communicate with your team and to implement the marketing that’s going to make the biggest difference to your MSP.

Paul Green:
This week I want to try and help you to understand the marketplace that you’re in, and also who you’re up against. Because far too many MSP owners start doing marketing without really thinking about who are we trying to sell to here? What I just said in the last bit when I was talking about ordinary business owners and managers and what it is that they actually want, that’s a key understanding to get your head around before you actually start to do any marketing at all. And you’ve got to look at your marketplace, whether that is a vertical or whether that’s just your general geographic area, and ask yourself questions such as who is serving this market right now? Who are the other MSPs out there? What makes them desirable, attractive to the people that are buying from them? Is it because they’re big? Is it because they’re small? Are they fast? Are they slow? Are they expensive? Are they cheap? What is it about these people?

Paul Green:
Are there any segments of the marketplace that are being underserved? If you’re in a marketplace with lots of big MSPs, who’s looking after the little guys? Who’s looking after the two, three, four man band businesses. Now, you might not want those, but it’s at the very least worth asking yourself from a marketing point of view who are the competitors targeting?

Paul Green:
Look at their websites, look at their marketing, try and understand their message. Who are they targeting for? Which segments of the market are being underserved? Are there segments of the market that you could reposition your offering and make actually a pretty good profit out of? You might not want two, three, four man bands, but what if they committed to a minimum spend per user so that actually they were very profitable for you? I know there is a burden for each client, every single time you have a client there’s a certain amount of work that needs to be done, but if they’re paying two or three times the odds that’s the normal revenue per user, is that a good thing for your business? Is that something you want if actually no one else is serving that segment of the market?

Paul Green:
How much share of your market do you need to capture? You don’t really need a huge amount, do you? I mean are you in this to be a multi-multi-millionaire? Are you in this to utterly dominate your area? Or are you in this just to have a great lifestyle, to make more money so you can take it home to your family but also have plenty of time to spend with your family? How much competition in your area is really competition of yours? Sometimes it can feel like everyone in the area is in competition with you, but realistically they’re not. In fact if you’ve got MSP competitors who aren’t doing much marketing at all, they’re not really that competitive, they’re just people out there offering a service. And they’ll win some clients and they’ll lose some clients just as everyone will, but how aggressive are they? How aggressively competitive are they with their marketing?

Paul Green:
What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What does the market want from these people? These are all the kind of questions that you can ask yourself. You could even do a SWOT analysis. You know that one, the SWOT for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats? You can do that. You draw yourself a little grid and you could ask about your marketplace. What are the strengths? Well, you could do it on your business, you could do it on your closest competitors, and you can even do it on the marketplace to workout what the marketplace wants, what it’s got, what it hasn’t got, what opportunities there are for you.

Paul Green:
Now, a lot of this isn’t really a paper exercise. You can kind of do it in your mind. If you’ve got a business partner or a right-hand person, which is highly recommended to always have a right-hand person, this could just be a discussion. You could go for a walk and talk, and you could just throw this around. You could do a bit of googling in advance. It could be a strategy meeting. It could just be something you do on a Saturday afternoon in Starbucks while the kids are out having fun with their mates or something like that. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of time on this, but the very first step for your one day marketing plan is to understand your marketplace. Not just based on your gut feel, on your judgment of what’s happening out there, but on facts as well. What you see on websites, what marketing you see, what people are saying to you.

Paul Green:
If you can develop an understanding of your marketplace you can then start to offer something that is really, really desired by that marketplace. How do you turn this into the start of your one step plan? It’s very simple, you have a header at the top of your one page marketing plan which says, “About my marketplace,” and you list two or three bullet points about the marketplace. Perhaps two or three bullet points about your competitors as well. And literally word economy is the biggest thing here, we do not want long, fully formed sentences. We want findings. What’s the most important findings from this exercise? What’s your summary of the marketplace?

Paul Green:
Small businesses are underserved would be a great bullet point. There are lots of big competitors and lots of bedroom warriors, but not many medium sized MSPs, would be another great bullet point. This can then help to guide you to create the rest of your one page marketing plan, and we’re going to look at the second part of that in next week’s show.

Voiceover:
Paul’s Blatant Plug.

Paul Green:
I have a book on MSP marketing, it’s kind of like a summary, a brief introduction to the things you need to do. It’s called Updating Servers Doesn’t Grow Your Business. In fact it’s about marketing and growing your MSP. And you can get a free copy shipped to you completely free when you go onto my website.

Paul Green:
Now, I’m just going to read you something here from page 43, it’s kind of the final chapter of the book. And I remember writing this one and thinking, “Is this too far?” This is what I wrote. I wrote, “Do you know what the life expectancy is of the average person? It’s 953 months, which is 79 years. Let me put that into perspective, if you’re aged 30, you only have an average of 593 months left to live. Blimey. So that means if you’re 40, you’ve only got 473 months left, if you’re 50 you’ve only got 353 months left, and if you’re 60 you’ve only got 233 months left.”

Paul Green:
And then I continue writing, “That’s a shock, isn’t it?” Because as I said at the beginning of the book, when you reach the end of your life, you’re not going to look back and wish you’d spent more precious hours waiting for Windows to update. In fact that’s why I called the book Updating Servers Doesn’t Grow Your Business.

Paul Green:
Now, I’m 47, give me a second I just need to work out how many months I’ve got left. Hang on a second. Right, so 47 times 12, then 953 take 571 … 382. Oh my goodness. I have 382 months left on this planet, on average. That’s if things work out well.

Paul Green:
Now, I’m not trying to depress you, because you may have done that yourself. You may have done the sums yourself, or you may have paused the podcast and done it. I’m genuinely not trying to depress you, I’m just trying to kind of show you how the things we do every day matters. Already we’re at the end of February. Already. Didn’t it just go like that? It went so quick. And is there risk that this year is going to be another year where you’re just kind of bumbling along and suddenly it gets to the summer and then it gets to the winter again and another year has gone by and you haven’t achieved the things that you really want to achieve with your business? Well, that’s partly why I wrote that book.

Paul Green:
The other reason I wrote it is because it’s a way for you and me to start a relationship. It’s great that you listen to this podcast, but I’d love to know who you are, and enter into a marketing relationship with you. So, when you get the free copy of my book, I will add you to my email list. Don’t worry, you can unsubscribe if you want to. 98%, 99% of people who join our list don’t unsubscribe and they enjoy marketing and business growth emails which are designed exactly for MSPs just like you.

Paul Green:
So, to get that book shipped to you completely free, we send it out free in the UK and in the US because that’s where we have physical copies stored. Everywhere else in the world it’s a PDF that we’ll send you. You can get that for free at my website, paulgreensmspmarketing.com. Go on there and search for the free book. Paulgreensmspmarketing.com.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

John Montgomery:
Hi, my name’s John Montgomery, my company is called Hot Prospects Limited. Essentially we help MSPs grow, and we do that by providing quality, qualified new business appointments with the right clients, the right fits at the right time. The kind of client the MSP wants to meet.

Paul Green:
Sounds perfect. You can probably hear from the background buzz that I’m at a live event. I’m at CompTIA in London. I’m recording this back in October last year. And I’ve just been having an epic chat here with John about how MSPs can generate more leads using LinkedIn and their phones. Now, this is a recurring theme for me, it’s something that I’m always pushing my MSP Marketing Edge clients to do. And in fact here on the podcast always talking about get on LinkedIn, do more LinkedIn stuff, and pick up the phone more. And essentially this is what you do for MSPs, isn’t it?

John Montgomery:
Absolutely right. So I use LinkedIn to great effect actually. It’s well worth investing in Sales Navigator, and what it gives you is a fantastic search facility to find exactly the kind of people you want to talk to. So for my clients I look to understand exactly who they want to talk to, I can then use their LinkedIn search facility to build a list of the right people. Now, it’s not always up to date, but naturally by call activity, that data’s cleansed and you end up with a really clean list of target customers.

Paul Green:
So, a few MSPs have asked me over the years is it really as simple, Paul, as finding people that you want to do business with on LinkedIn, engaging with them on LinkedIn and then just picking up the phone and calling them?

John Montgomery:
Well you need to have a process actually. I think a lot of people approach telemarketing in the wrong way. They’ll get a list, they’ll start at the top and they’ll try to get to the bottom as quickly as possible, probably hoping the person doesn’t answer. What I do is I put a process in place, so it’s really about before you pick up the phone look at LinkedIn, look at the person you’re going to call. It’s well worth doing a bit of research to know who the person is, what their background is, and most importantly what the client does, what the company does.

John Montgomery:
The reason that’s important is you can then link your expertise, your experience, your success stories to match that client so you’ve got a good story to tell.

Paul Green:
Now, obviously you’re a pro, you pick up the phone how many hundred times a day?

John Montgomery:
Over a hundred.

Paul Green:
Over a hundred, so that’s a fairly intensive thing to do. Most MSPs, in my experience, are scared of the phone. They don’t like picking it up, they don’t like dialling it. What advice would you give to make it easier for someone to feel more comfortable picking up the phone and calling someone who ultimately hasn’t asked to be called, but might enjoy having that conversation?

John Montgomery:
First of all people don’t mind having a conversation. I think people think because I’m interrupting a person’s day, they’re going to be upset. I’ve called them, or just hang up on you, or whatever. Actually people are quite happy to talk to you if you approach the call in the right way. And that goes back to my earlier point about being prepared. That’s the number one tip, be prepared, know who you’re going to talk to, know about the company, and sound professional. And don’t worry about it. I mean what’s the worst that’s going to happen? Rationalise it. They might say, “I don’t want to talk to you,” they might hang up. That’s the worst that’s going to happen. But if you prepare the call, approach it in the right way, you’re probably going to be successful. And above all, be polite.

John Montgomery:
People talk about all sorts of trickery and ways of getting around the gatekeeper, this kind of thing, also that content on YouTube about these kind of tricks, I don’t buy into any of that. For me it’s about being professional, being polite. And actually don’t try and get around the gatekeeper, try and make her want to help you. If you’re polite, he or she I should say will want to help you.

John Montgomery:
So, yeah, no trickery, keep it simple and be prepared.

Paul Green:
But I guess it is also a numbers game as well, you’ve got to put in the dials.

John Montgomery:
Of course you’ve got to do the dials, you’ve got to put the time in. But you could up that number by putting that preparation in, by being prepared and by approaching the call in the right way.

Paul Green:
Tell us a little bit more about your business, John, and how can we get in touch with you?

John Montgomery:
My business, Hot Prospects, you can look at my website, hot-prospects.co.uk, or just put into Google MSP lead generation, you’ll find me quite easily. Get in touch, I’d love to have a chat with you.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast. This week’s recommended book.

Steven Rosenthal:
Hi, this is Steven Rosenthal from Managed Services Platform, and the book that I would recommend to Paul’s wonderful audience is BE 2.0 by Jim Collins. Jim Collins is a phenomenal business writer, and if you’re looking to scale your business to the next level, he has a beautiful template and roadmap to do that in his book BE 2.0.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Miles Walker:
Miles Walker here, the channel development manager for Graphus. Next week you can join myself and Paul Green as we talk about all things Phishing. From new trends in the industry, as well as local businesses that have unluckily been breached over this past year. I’ll tell you how to sell more phishing protection to your clients, and we look forward to talking to you next week.

Paul Green:
We’re also going to be talking next week about one of the marketing basics to get right. I can’t believe in 119 episodes of the podcast we haven’t actually discussed it yet. It’s called the marketing triangle. It’s something which determines why marketing doesn’t work. In fact if anyone ever says to me, “Hey, I tried that and it didn’t work,” the first thing I do is run it through the marketing triangle. Three essential elements that have to be there for a piece of marketing to work.

Paul Green:
So we’ll run through that next week and we’ll also do part two of your one page marketing plan. I’m going to continue to help build you that one page marketing plan so you’ll know exactly what you need to do to get more new clients for your MSP. Please do subscribe to the podcast on whichever platform you prefer listening on, it really helps us if we have lots of subscribers across lots of different platforms. Join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP.

Voiceover:
Made in the UK for MSPs around the world, Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.

Get your FREE MSP Marketing magazine mailed to you today
(no cost to you, not even shipping)


MSP Marketing magazine mailed to you today | Paul Green's MSP Marketing

In this free magazine, you'll discover how to generate more leads and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Inside you'll find:

  • An insight into how ordinary business owners and managers buy IT support (and how to influence them)
  • The world's most powerful MSP marketing strategy
  • A case study of how an MSP owner fixed his marketing

Leave a Reply