MSPs: Overcome common sales objections

Episode 133: MSPs: Overcome common sales objections

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Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 133: MSPs: Overcome common sales objections
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Episode 133 includes:

  • How to combat most of the reasons prospects give for not buying
  • The importance of understanding your prospect’s emotional motivation
  • Plus on the show this week, the MSP sales expert who thinks you can actually enjoy cold calling

Featured guest

Brian Gillette is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to RevOps specialist (and the creator of the Feel-Good MSP) Brian Gillette, for joining Paul to talk about how you can actually feel-good about cold calling and selling.

“I work with clients ranging from solopreneurs to multi-million dollar companies, and I love my job. As a former actor, I’ve had tons of different jobs—I’ve sold TVs, burritos, houses, business loans, managed services, and plenty more.
I live in Pasadena, CA with my wife Sam. When I’m not working as a consultant, I am a freelance voice actor for audiobooks, corporate training, and commercials.”

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-gillette-27884b128

Show notes

Episode transcription

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green :
It is a delight to be back on the podcast again. Welcome to the latest episode. This is what we’ve got coming up for you this week.

Brian Gillette:
We did not have money for marketing, and my job was to find money without spending any. And we took a company from 700,000 to over $2 million in annual in just 3 Years.

Paul Green :
We’re focusing completely on sales in this week’s episode of the show. That’s Brian Gillette. He’s the best a man can get.

Singer:
“Gillette, the best a man can get”

Paul Green :
And he’s going to be joining me later on to talk about improving your sales. We’re also going to be talking about how to understand prospects’ pain points. If you can identify their pain and understand what it really means to them, then of course you could influence them at a deeply emotional level. And that’s ultimately what good sales is really all about.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green :
Most MSP owners do their own sales. And when you sit down to talk about sales with them, they’ll very quickly say, “Oh well, I’ve had no training at all. I’ve just kind of picked this up along the way.” Now I personally think that’s one of the best ways to learn sales. There’s no better way to learn many things than just by jumping in there and doing it yourself. Perhaps medical science is one of those things you wouldn’t want to learn just by doing it. “Yes Mrs. Jones. I will be doing your brain surgery today. I haven’t actually done this before, but I did watch a YouTube video on it.” That’s not going to work. For sales though, it’s absolutely fine, because what’s the worst that could happen? If you muck up a sales call, you don’t win the work. And actually what you tend to find is that most MSP owners are so passionate about what they do, that when they throw themselves into a sales meeting, even if their technique and structure is all over the place, they still win the sale because people buy from passionate people.

Paul Green :
As you do this over a number of years, you become more sophisticated, you perhaps go on a course or you listen to guests like Brian Gillette that’s going to be on later on the podcast. People that can teach you actual structure and teach you about the things that matter. And over a period of time, you start to notice trends. You notice common themes, things that people tend to do, questions they tend to ask, ways they tend to act in sales meetings. I used to do my own sales a very long time ago. I haven’t done my own sales for, it must be getting on for 8, 9, maybe 10 years or so. I don’t enjoy it. I’m good at it. Of course, I am because I’m a business owner, but I don’t enjoy it. So in any new business, any new venture, it’s the first thing I look at is who can do the sales for me so that I can focus on the marketing? I much prefer marketing to sales.

Paul Green :
And the difference between those two things by the way, is that marketing delivers you a sales meeting. Sales is where you actually close the sales. So most of what we talk about on this podcast is marketing. It’s actually getting you that meeting in the first place. But I think we do have to touch on sales now and again, hence a special episode like today. Let’s look at the common objections that tend to come up in sales meetings. Now I’m not going to go into specific objections. I’m going to look at trends of objections. For example, one of the trends is that the prospect that you are talking to doesn’t actually trust you as their supplier, as their provider.

Paul Green :
Now, this is normally an issue where perhaps they’ve gone through your marketing funnel, they’ve gone through your sales process too quickly, or you haven’t done a good enough job of showing them your expertise and stamping your expertise and your authority on them. Maybe you haven’t shown them enough social proof to show that lots of other business owners trust you and therefore they should trust you as well. The way to spot that they don’t trust you is through just general scepticism. You know that they want a solution. You know that they’re going to switch to someone, but they just don’t seem particularly engaged with you. And normally that does come down to the fact that they just don’t really trust you.

Paul Green :
Another common objection that comes up is that the prospect doesn’t really trust the package that you’ve put together, the solution that you have chosen for them. Now, maybe this has happened because you have baffled them with brands that they’ve never heard of or technical solutions that they just don’t really understand. If you’ve identified, they’ve, let’s say got a cyber security problem and you’ve said to them, “Oh yeah, we’ve got an amazing stack for this. We buy X, Y, Z from this vendor, we buy this from this vendor.” Blah, blah, blah, blah. And you talk about vendors and software and tools and stacks. And as you are talking, you notice their eyes start to blank over and they are literally slipping into a coma in front of you. And what happens is they are disengaging.

Paul Green :
This is different to them disengaging with you as a provider. They can be very into you and like you as a person, but they can completely disengage with what it is that you are offering to them. And they don’t trust the solution because they don’t understand it, because you’ve made it too difficult, too techy, and they literally don’t understand. And they are not going to take on the mental burden of understanding. They’re going to push that back on you. Because actually as the salesperson, that is your problem.

Paul Green :
Another common objection is when the prospect doesn’t think that they can afford what it is that you are offering. Now, my experience of most sales is that price is a factor, but it is rarely the factor. It’s just one of the things that needs to be taken into consideration. There are two possible reasons for someone thinking they can’t afford it. The most likely problem is that you haven’t demonstrated enough value. So you’ve hit them with, “Hey, we’re going to do this and this and this for you. And this is the price.” And they don’t understand the true value to them.

Paul Green :
Remember, people don’t buy services, they don’t buy solutions, they buy outcomes. And that’s what you’ve got to sell to them. You’ve got to sell to them the outcome. Do you know what? What you sell is actually kind of easy to sell, if you take away the complexities of the technical stuff, what you’re selling to them is peace of mind. You’re selling to them productivity. You’re selling to them enhanced collaboration. You’re selling to them everything just being easy. You’re selling to them that they are protected, that you’ve got their back. This is what people buy. And it’s when you really sell them that stuff and not the technical stuff. That’s when they really start to see the value in what it is that you are selling.

Paul Green :
The other reason that they might throw up affordability as an objection just simply comes down to cash flow. Not all businesses have great cash flows, not all businesses have monthly recurring revenue like MSPs do. So it’s sometimes easy to forget that some businesses might have a kind of a boom and bust cash flow. They might have tons of cash coming in at certain times of the year and no cash at other times of the year. Well, you can work with that, can’t you? Couldn’t you put together some kind of deal where perhaps they pay for half of their services in a lump sum once a year to reduce down the burden of their monthly recurring revenue? Now I know that’s not necessarily the best thing for you, although it’s not a bad thing to get a lump sum of cash coming in now and again, is it?

Paul Green :
I think this is about understanding and this is where the true partnership starts with your potential clients. It’s about understanding how things work for them and showing that you genuinely care. You care enough to actually get down to the nuts and bolts of how much cash have they got coming in on a monthly basis. And can they afford to do this on a regular basis? Or can we do some kind of deal to make it prepaid for them?

Paul Green :
I think final common objection that you hear is, and this one is a killer, is when someone says, “Do you know, this is really good? I think we should do this, but not now.” And I think what drives the not now objection or we don’t feel this is the right time. I think what drives that, well, it’s either them not really understanding the urgency, especially with cybersecurity. And we do not want to scare people, but we do want to educate them. And remember, ordinary business owners and managers don’t understand how utterly devastating cybersecurity breaches can be. And if you know that they’ve got a setup which isn’t quite right, that they are leaving themselves open to some kind of breach, then I think you almost owe it to them to help them to understand that. And that’s not just about telling them. You can’t tell someone something like that. You’ve got to help them to understand.

Paul Green :
That might involve showing them what ransomware looks like on a laptop. I think that’s a great sales tool. Keep an old laptop that’s got ransomware, rip out the wifi card so it can never spread and show them what ransomware looks like. Explain how it got into that client’s machine. How many days they were down, how much data they lost, what their regulator said, all of those kind of things. These things can help to reposition cybersecurity to the people you are talking to.

Paul Green :
The other reason that they might say not now is because they like you, but they’re just not quite ready to make the change. Essentially, they are trapped in something called inertia loyalty. Inertia loyalty is where it feels easier to stay with their existing supplier, even if that existing supplier is someone they’re not happy with. Put another way, better the devil you know. And you will have seen this before. If you haven’t yet you will, where someone seems to dislike their current supplier, they seem ready, willing, and able to move. They seem to get on well with you. The proposal’s right. The price is right. The package is right. And then you get a phone call from them and they say, “Yeah, we’ve decided to stay with our existing supplier for another year.” It’s very frustrating.

Paul Green :
And actually what’s happened is that you haven’t overcome that inertia loyalty. I think this is where you have to put in the work. Things like taking them out for dinner, socialising with them. Taking them out for dinner isn’t really socialising with them because it’s a business thing, but building the bond with them and demonstrating to them that you are not just there as a supplier, you want a partnership and you’re willing to work at the partnership. That’s why you do strategic reviews or quarterly business reviews. That’s why you invest a huge amount of time putting in place a technology roadmap for them. You do not want to be a supplier. You want a 5 to 10 year partnership, but you’re not going to ask them to make a 5 to 10 year commitment. You’ll just ask them for a year or a two year commitment or whatever it is that you ask for now.

Paul Green :
But demonstrating that you are not just another supplier. You are a whole head and shoulders above their current people, being a little bit more expensive so you can offer more quality. Literally showing them, communicating to them at an emotional level about how terrifying cybersecurity is and why they must take urgent action. And then doing something like just taking them to lunch and saying, “Look, we’re going to lunch. We’re not going to talk about my business. We’re going to talk about your business. I want to learn more about you and your plans and where you are going and your frustrations. And we are not going to talk about technology or my business at all. I’m picking up the bill to take you out to lunch at a medium size local restaurant that’s going to be fun and nice. And it’s going to be us talking about your favourite subject, which is your business.”

Paul Green :
This is how you bond with people. And it’s how you actually overcome seemingly unovercomeable. That’s not a word and I’ve just made it up and I like it. Unovercomeable objections such as this is not the right time. Now you’re never going to overcome all objections. You’re never going to convert all sales. It simply doesn’t work like that. Selling just like marketing is a numbers game, but do you know what? I bet that you don’t get that many sales opportunities. Most MSPs I know only get one, maybe two sales opportunities coming in the door every month or so. So when you do get them in, you owe it to yourself and your team to really throw yourself into every single opportunity that comes along.

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

Paul Green :
Something else that’ll have another benefit on your sales is to really truly understand what worries your prospects at a very deep emotional level. If you can understand the pain that your prospects have or the things that they’re concerned about, you will all always be able to connect to them at an emotional level. Selling is not about tech. It’s not about talking to their brain. Their brain does not make the buying decision. It’s their heart, their limbic system, their emotions that makes the buying decision. They don’t understand technology. They don’t want to understand technology. All they want to do is get those outcomes that we were talking about. And so therefore they are not picking an MSP with their brain. They’re picking an MSP based on how much they like or dislike the person who is selling to them. You’ve got to form an emotional bond and an emotional bond can be formed easily by understanding what their concerns are. How do you do this?

Paul Green :
Well, it’s about absorbing yourself in their world. This is very easy if you operate in a vertical. You just read their trade mags, you read their trade blogs, you go to their trade shows, you talk to them. And within a vertical, you can understand common worries and common themes. You do tend to find that 80% of people within a certain group will feel and act the same way. It’s the 80-20 rule. And it happens in all sorts of groups, certainly within a vertical. And I’ve been in several verticals. I’m in one now. It’s a vertical called MSPs and 80% of the MSPs I speak to with businesses of a certain size, have the same worries, they feel the same way about things and they act the same way. And that’s great because it means I can truly absorb myself in the pain points of the MSPs that I want to reach. That’s what this podcast is all about. It’s me reflecting back a lot of the things and conversations I’ve had with MSPs and research I’ve done.

Paul Green :
So it’s very easy for you to do this in a vertical, kind of harder when you’re talking to prospects on a geographic basis, but the 80-20 rule applies here as well. And general business owners have the same worries. You can absorb yourself in what business owners are worried about. How do you do this? You go online, you look in blogs, you look on Reddit, Ugh, it’s the Wild West, Reddit, but you can find some value there if you find … There’s bound to be a business owner subreddit. You can go onto blogs. You can go onto forums. You can read magazines. What magazines are targeted at the business owners and managers that you most want to reach?

Paul Green :
Here in the UK, there’s a business organisation called the FSB, means something else in other parts of the world that does, certainly in Russia. But the FSB is the Federation of Small Businesses here in the UK and they produce a magazine. It’s got something like first voice. I’m a subscriber. I haven’t read it for a long time, but it turns up every month or quarter or something like that. And do you know what? When you flick through, you see letters from business owners, you see articles. That magazine is written to talk to business owners and managers. So of course it has some value, it’s great research. There’s loads of different places that you can go for research.

Paul Green :
The other thing that you could do is talk to your existing clients. And I think this is where quarterly business reviews or strategic reviews as I prefer to call them comes in handy again. We talked about it in the last bit, but sitting down with your clients and having a formal review where you ask them open questions about their business, this is not just good for strengthening your bond with your client and upselling them more stuff. It’s a research exercise as well. And that research exercise can help you uncover what they’re scared of, what their true pain points are.

Paul Green :
The other thing that you can do is analyse your tickets. And last week in the podcast, we talked about doing a ticket frenzy to close a load of tickets and try to spot trends in tickets. It’s exactly the same thing here. If you look back over the last 1,000 tickets or so, maybe that’s too much, 500 or so, what are the trends that you see? What are the common problems that you see? What are the things that are annoying the users and the decision makers that you support? All of this is useful information. How do you log this? How do you use this to influence your sales? I don’t think you need to log this at all. I think you just need to absorb yourself in it. Because you’re a smart person, you’ve got a good brain. And if you let your brain sit and swim in this and be completely absorbed in this, then your brain is just going to be influenced by it.

Paul Green :
The next time you’re in a sales meeting and someone’s talking and your brain makes a connection between something they’ve just said and something a client of your said a few months ago, bingo. That’s exactly what we want. Then you can ask them another question, which is designed to take them off, to talk about something that you know is a real worry of most business owners, and gets them opening up about that subject. Because of course, your service can solve that subject. The more you absorb yourself in the world of your prospects, the more you’ll understand their pain points and the easier it’ll be to influence them at an emotional level.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green :
There’s a free book on MSP Marketing, which thousands of MSPs all across the world have a copy of. And you can get a copy too. It’s called Updating Servers Doesn’t Grow Your Business. It’s my book actually. I wrote it to be the quick guide to marketing your MSP. And if I just flick through here on page 13, I’ve got a little box that says, “Understand this. The MSP that can spend the most amount of money to acquire a new client is dramatically more likely to dominate the market.” We’ve literally packed tons and tons of useful information into something that you could read with one good evening or across a couple of evenings very, very easily. To get your free copy posted out to you, we’ll ship it to you completely free, you don’t even have to pay for postage costs, just go to paulgreensmspmarketing.com.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Brian Gillette:
Hi, I’m Brian Gillette. I’m the founder of the Feel-Good MSP.

Paul Green :
The Feel-Good MSP. What a great promise is there right there in that title. So Brian, you were very heavily recommended to me by our joint friend, Kevin Clune of MSP spark. He’s a great guy. And he dropped me an email a few weeks ago and said, “You’ve got to get Brian on the podcast to talk about MSP sales.” So that’s exactly what we’re going to do today. Let’s build up some credibility for you first then Brian. So you’re quite a young guy, but I know you’ve been in sales for some time and you have actually done sales yourself for an MSP haven’t you? You’ve been there with your boots on the ground doing MSP sales.

Brian Gillette:
I am a young guy. I have been in sales for over 10 years because I’ve been doing sales since I was allowed to work. And I was a VP of sales for an MSP for about three years. During that time, I came into an MSP who had a very, very full schedule and a very low checking balance. We did not have money for marketing and my job was to find money without spending any. So that’s exactly what we did. And we took a company from doing under 700,000 in revenue, most of that from 1 customer. I then dropped that customer and took us to over $2 million in annual in just 3 years.

Paul Green :
I can imagine it was a bit of a … What we in the UK would call a squeaky bum moment, when you drop the whale clients that’s contributing huge amount of revenue, but we’ll come back to that either later on in this interview or in our extended interview on YouTube. So let’s talk first of all, about what you did back in the day for that MSP and then we’ll talk a little bit more about what you now teach MSPs about sales. So I mean, it sounds like the dream, it’s the dream hire for an MSP owner is to hire someone. And what was the phrase you said? It was not spend any money and contribute.

Brian Gillette:
Yeah. Find money without spending any. Yeah,

Paul Green :
That’s it. So I think every MSP on the planet would love to say to a young, enthusiastic salesperson find money without spending money. What did you do back in the day?

Brian Gillette:
I had an interesting situation. In some ways, kind of a lightning strike moment where we had a tier two engineer who was just awesome. His last name was Brainard and he talked like his last name was Brainard. And he looked like his last name was Brainard, but he had some health problems at a very young age that made it very difficult for him to continue managing a network. He had a 60 or 70 user network, he managed at a big nonprofit and he couldn’t do the job anymore. But here we have this IT guru who is looking for something he can do. So I said, “Hey, I’ll take him.” And I hired him as a sales guy and I trained him on how to cold call. I trained him exactly what to do. I’d never worked in IT before, but we went through about one week of training and then he started making 100 dials a day. And these are ice cold. I mean, essentially a phone book we were calling.

Brian Gillette:
We didn’t have verticals that we specialised in. Essentially if they had computers or a server, we wanted to support them. So he started pounding the phones, 100 dials a day. He would book meetings. I would go on site because he was vision impaired and he couldn’t go on site to these places. So I would take the consultations and then I would close the business.

Paul Green :
So literally you’d got a guy who is just working the phones day in, day out, calling and calling and calling, having all the people slamming phones down on him, being rude to him, just not getting past gatekeepers. And he was doing all that difficult, dirty work to set meetings for you. And then you went and did the heavy lifting work when you were sat there.

Brian Gillette:
And I did a fair amount of prospecting as well. Mine was a little bit more targeted. The first thing I did was I was in a small town with a pretty tight knit business community. And I thought if a new business starts, they might want to join the chamber. And they might ask the chamber for recommendations for vendors. So I gave the chamber a VoIP system and I said, “Hey, I’ll give you a VoIP system for free. I’ll give you the IP phones. You just have to tell everybody who gave it to you.” Being new to VoIP, I didn’t know anything about IT, but I learned, wow. People are still using pots lines and paying more for an inferior product. How is everybody not selling this like crazy? So VoIP was really my first thing that I sold.

Paul Green :
And were you using VoIP as the in, to then have a conversation about managed services?

Brian Gillette:
That was how I started. Eventually I reversed it because I found that 80% of our MSP clients we could sell our VoIP product to, but the conversion rate was much less effective the other way around. So of course, if you can get a managed service contract in, you can and stick and spread, as we say in sales, and you can get in with the flagship product and then eventually sell them everything else.

Paul Green :
So if we fast forward now to what you do, and obviously we’ll give you a bit of a plug at the end of the interview, and I know you teach MSPs how to do sales. What’s kind of the structure now? Do you want to start at the beginning now? Because obviously that was you earning how to sell technical stuff, technology sales back in the day. What’s the structure that you recommend MSPs use now?

Brian Gillette:
Great question. For starters, the number one thing I hear from MSPs is they say, “I just need more leads. I get into these rooms and I close 80, 90% of them. I just need more leads.” And that to me is a huge red flag when an owner says that, because the reason that they’re usually closing 80 to 90% is not because they’re God’s gift to sales. It’s because the only meetings they’re getting are super warm referrals and they’re getting one a year. So they think they can go buy pay per click ads or something and that quality of inbound traffic is going to be the same caliber and that their sort of owner, IT engineer turned salesperson skills are going to be able to compete on that same level. And frankly, I’ve just never seen that to be the case. So the strategy is you need a controllable, manageable and forecastable lead generation process. Not waiting for the phone to ring. That isn’t a business strategy. You have to start there.

Brian Gillette:
But then of course the top funnel fallacy says, if I get more leads, I will get more sales. And wouldn’t that be great if it were true, but it isn’t necessarily true because what happens when you get on site at the office? What are you going to do with them then? Just mass volume of opportunities doesn’t usually turn into a more effective kind of … Or decrease cost for acquisition for customers. So you really have to attack, how am I getting leads and be able to do so consistently and controllably? But then what am I doing once I get them? Have a process, have a very, very specific due diligence process. Just as specific as you would be if you were addressing down a network for cyber vulnerabilities, you need to be that specific for how you approach sales opportunities.

Paul Green :
I literally love everything that you’ve said so far on this interview. I agree with all of it apart from the cold calling, but it sounds like you’ve moved some way away from that. That thing of, I just need more leads. I can close the vast majority of leads when I get in front of them. I think every MSP I’ve ever spoken to has said that to me. And I completely agree with your assessment, that just means that they’re getting people ringing them who are ready to buy. And the real opportunities to generate more leads, as you say, a controllable supply. And then actually to only have a close rate of 50, 60%, which is a much more realistic close rate and actually shows that you are really starting to max that out now. So what do you recommend people do these days? Are you recommending having like a cold caller bashing the phones, or are you recommending something a bit more sophisticated?

Brian Gillette:
It’s a very interesting choice of words, because I would say this. I think that the best strategy for generating new opportunities for MSP is I want to be the MSP that’s using the channel that all the other MSPs are not. I don’t want to be another MSP in white noise. I don’t want to be in the SEO race to 0 because to spend 10, $20,000 a year to be on page 4 of Google is not going to grow your business, nor should you be doing that. So I think that there’s two real things, if I were an MSP today, this is what I would be doing.

Brian Gillette:
The first thing is I would be figuring out how to run webinars. Now you did an episode on this Paul, and you are the first person I’ve heard talk about this, that how important it is I think for MSPs to be there because MSPs aren’t doing that. Webinars work. And if I’m an MSP today, I’m thinking about how can I improve the user experience of my customers, creating content that the receptionists, the office managers, the points of contact in my customer’s environments are going to like me more because they watch this video.

Brian Gillette:
I’m going to run a how to maximise your work from home experience using Windows 10. Nobody knows you can make duplicate desktops where you can have, what if you had a home desktop and a work desktop, and you had the keyboard shortcuts. Or I would make auto [inaudible 00:26:51] scripts to teach people how to automate some simple things that they hate doing. And I would make those things available. How to use Excel, like a wizard and make a 45 minute … Things like that, about creating an improved IT experience where then people associate you with their technology. I would be starting there.

Paul Green :
Thank you for your praise about the episode on webinars. That was episode 118 if you want to go back and listen to that one. Why would you recommend Brian that someone starts with webinars? I mean, surely videos would have the same effect of stamping authority and creating your expertise with technology. What’s the advantage of doing that as a webinar?

Brian Gillette:
You should make something that you can get two or three different variations of. You should make something that you can then upcycle to get more things out of. And what’s to stop you from turning a webinar into a YouTube mini series, into an audio book, into audiograms, into text pull quotes for your Instagram. Something that’s the flagship concept where you introduce the piece of value, and then you can then get more value out of it later, because if you have it, you can evergreen it, or you can teach it live. I’m not a big fan of shotgunning content. Random acts of content, you may have heard it said before where we just put things on the internet and hope that that means people will buy things from us. So I think that is probably one of my main incentives for using webinars. And just getting people in front of you, knowing that you’re going to eventually have qualified people watching your video rather than a YouTube series that you hope eventually somebody’s going to look at later.

Paul Green :
And then once someone’s watched your webinar and they’re in your system, they’re in your audience, you’re aware of who they are, and you’ve hopefully got some kind of contact details. What would you do then? Would you just email them? Would you connect to them on LinkedIn? What I’m looking for, I guess, is Brian, what’s your secret sauce from taking someone who has watched a webinar or connected to you on linked, or is in some way in your sphere of interest, your sphere of knowledge, how do you then go through that process of then qualifying them and getting them on a video call, or whatever you would consider the next appropriate step to be?

Brian Gillette:
Exactly what I would do is get in contact with them not asynchronously. An email is fine, but the whole point of an email is to get them on a call. Get them on a teleconference call or in person if you can, get them to look at your face. The reason being that, what my secret sauce is, is really the productisation of my sales philosophy. I call the Feel Good Close, and it’s the premise that people are motivated by experience. And that if you can bring human intelligence into the way that you sell and interact with your prospects, you will always separate and differentiate from your competitors. Most IT people actually put up systems to defend themselves from prospects, usually because they simply don’t have the conversational skills, the confidence, whatever to interact with them.

Brian Gillette:
So I cold call into MSPs. And when they say, “Hey, if you’d like to speak about a new contract, press two.” And then it goes straight to a voicemail. So I would say, get in contact with them and figure out how to bring honesty and empathy into this process. Don’t demonstrate expertise. They don’t actually care what you know about IT. They just want to check the box that says, this is the IT guy. They don’t care about your credentials. They don’t care about your certifications. They don’t care about any of that. They care about if you can solve their problem. And if you can just simply say, I’m the IT guy. Now, thank you so much for calling. What’s bothering you?

Paul Green :
Yeah, but they do also care about that there’s a connection, that there’s a trust there. And I think the words you used were, was it emotional intelligence, trying to bring some emotional intelligence into it? And that’s what I think it is. And we’ve talked about this on the podcast a lot that people buy from people. So yeah. There’s timing things. People only buy when they’re ready to buy, but essentially people buy from people. They’re uneducated buyers. They don’t know about technology. They don’t know how to tell one MSP from another. So ultimately it boils down to do they like you, do they think they can trust you? Is that your experience? That that’s what it comes down to that?

Brian Gillette:
Yeah. I think you’re exactly right on Paul. And in fact, I’m going to circle back. You said, what would I do if I were an MSP right now? There’s two ways I would get leads. The webinars is what I would start doing, because I think it would be cool. No one’s doing it. And you can then always turn that content into more marketing collateral later. So if the webinar flops, you’ve got 45 minutes about you talking about something great, you can get an e-book out of it. You can get a social media campaign out of it. I cold call. I love cold calling MSP sales because most MSPs suck at talking to people. And in fact, most of the MSPs I take from other MSPs are not because of that MSP’s technical competence, but because of the customer’s experience.

Brian Gillette:
MSPs aren’t losing customers because of their cybersecurity preparedness. They’re losing customers because of the customer’s perception of their value, which all comes down to their interactions. So if I can cold call someone and have an intelligent, emotionally connected conversation about IT, I am already to driving a wedge between their current incumbent provider who’s not fitting the bill and the services I can provide become very viable. So you meant, you used the term pounding the phone, getting rejection, not getting past gatekeepers. That is the traditional cold calling experience. But would you believe me if I said I have a philosophy about the way I cold call, where I actually leave feeling more energised after two hours of cold calling than when I started?

Paul Green :
That’s incredible. Go on. Can you share with us, what do you do that allows you to walk away from what, let’s be honest, what most people find a very draining experience? What do you do differently?

Brian Gillette:
The honest answer is that I’ve done 50,000 cold calls is a big piece of it, where some of the rejection and my history as an actor and a presenter and public speaker have made sort of fear of rejection no longer the daunting foe that it once was. I have this philosophy that people actually desperately need what I am selling. Most people are their own biggest problem. The reason that they’ve been frustrated with their IT guy for 12 months, and now they’re up to here is because they didn’t have the skills to fire their IT guy when they should have 12 months ago. So they’re not really mad at their IT guy. They’re mad at them. And what they need is they need a shepherd to come along and actually guide them through the process of fixing their frustration.

Brian Gillette:
And so if I think of myself, not as the hero of this story with my prospect being the foe, but I am the guide of the story and they are the hero, then I’m offering them an opportunity to transcend their current situation and get to a better situation, get to a better tomorrow. And that takes all this pressure off of me to be competent, to be the best, to be the cheapest. I don’t need to be any of that. If I’m the guide, the humble Sherpa, and they are the main character, then this is all about them and their inability to see the value in that, it’s got nothing to do with how good of a guide I am. It just means they’re not ready to be a hero.

Paul Green :
That makes perfect sense. Brian, I think you are one of the most quotable guests that we’ve ever had on this podcast. Just to pick up a couple of quotes, couple of choice ones you’ve thrown out there already. Most MSPs put up systems to defend themselves from prospects. I love that. And another one, this is you personally talking, I love cold calling MSP sales, because most MSPs suck at sales. That’s just brilliant. Tell us a little bit more about what you do with MSPs and how do we get in touch with you?

Brian Gillette:
So now I have a company where I train MSPs how to make growing their company and running their company a more feel good and cathartic experience. Because ultimately your company is going to grow if you like growing your company. But if it’s draining and challenging, you’re never going to have consistent success in growing the company if you have to get out of yourself to do so. So that’s why my brand is called the Feel-Good MSP. I run workshops and programs where I help create standardisation of sales systems. I call it sales infrastructure consulting, where we go bottom up. We teach you how to double your closing rate, which would double your return on ad spend at the bottom of the funnel, not the top of the funnel. And then I eventually teach people how to get controllable prospecting through content creation and cold calling.

Paul Green :
And what’s your website address?

Brian Gillette:
Yeah, feelgoodmsp.com always has the information for my upcoming event. This year, I’m running one workshop a month and that might increase later. There’ll be more webinars and things. But I run a three day workshop every single month where you can learn more about what I’m doing.

Paul Green :
That’s brilliant. Thank you so much, Brian. So you and I are now going to continue this interview on YouTube. It’s our extended interview that we do every single week. And there are so many things that we could talk about. I think we’ll go a little bit more into how to qualify prospects because we’ve talked a lot about qualification.

Brian Gillette:
Sure.

Paul Green :
It’d be interesting to know what you look at. I’d like to touch on conversion rates as well. So here’s someone who’s made 50,000 cold calls. I think by now you have a fair idea of how many times you have to pick up for the phone and dial the numbers to actually get a client, a paying monthly recurring revenue client at the of that process. I also want to just explore from a personal point of view what it’s like to drop a $700,000 a year recurring revenue client. And I’m guessing they were the wrong kind of client, but let’s explore the psychology of that because that would be cool. And also a little bit about your background being an actor and a presenter, that would be fun to explore. And I think we’ll finish off on our extended interview with three top secret sales nuggets from you. So from the 10 years you’ve been doing this, the 3 things that make the biggest difference for non sales people, which is the vast majority of people listening to this podcast. So thank you very much, Brian. We will continue this interview right now at youtube.com/mspmarketing.

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

Jennifer Bleam:
Hi there. This is Jennifer Bleam, author of Simplified Cybersecurity Sales For MSPs. I would highly recommend that you read the book, Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg. I recommend this book a lot because most of what we know about establishing habits in our lives are completely wrong and it will help you become a better business person to learn the right way to create habits in your life.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Len Herstein:
Hey, I’m Len Herstein, I’m the author of Be Vigilant! I’m going to be on the show next week, talking about what complacency is, why it’s so dangerous, what we can do to identify and fight it, and why success is not the end goal. Keeping it is.

Paul Green :
We’re also going to be talking next week about the 2022 marketing power of a 1922 marketing tactic. I’ll explain exactly what it is, why it still has power and why you must use it to warm up your MSPs prospects. That’s coming next week. Plus, we’re going to be talking about creating something called evergreen content. It’s content that goes on your website, which never goes out of date. Well, actually you do update it every year or every couple of years, because that gives you a massive SEO, search engine optimisation, benefit. I’ll explain what this content is, how you create it and what its purpose is on your website next week.

Paul Green :
Now, don’t forget. We’ve got a ton of content for you on YouTube. So the extended interview with Brian Gillette from today, that’s on YouTube right now. And on Thursday, we’ll be loading the latest episode of Another Byte. It’s our show about the show, host, Sophie Law, interviews me and sometimes our guests as well about some of the subjects we’ve been discussing in the podcast. You can see all of our content right now at youtube.com/mspmarketing. While you’re on YouTube, please do subscribe to us there. Oh, and subscribe to this podcast as well on whichever platform you listen on. 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.

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