How passphrases help you sell more password managers

Episode 14: How passphrases help you sell more password managers

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Episode 14: How passphrases help you sell more password managers

 
 
00:00 / 00:27:06
 
1X
 

In this week’s episode

  • Windows Virtual Desktop is gaining some traction with MSPs as a re-sellable product, but a lot of people still have questions around best practice. Special guest Joseph Landes from Nerdio is an ex-Microsoft employee and is back to share some brilliant tips
  • Paul’s also got an idea for you to integrate Have I been Pwned into your website as a data capture tool
  • Plus find out how to sell more password managers; get clients excited about telecoms; and identify (and fire) your Internal Terrorist

Show notes

Episode transcription

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

Paul Green:
Hello and welcome to episode 14. Here’s what’s coming up in today’s show.

Joseph Landes:
A few months ago, Microsoft released Windows Virtual Desktop. Since then we have been fairly overwhelmed with demand.

Paul Green:
That’s Joseph Landes from Nerdio. We’re going to be playing the second part of his interview talking about how to sell more Windows Virtual Desktop. I’ve also got an idea for you to integrate, Have I been Pwned into your website as a data capture tool. And a way to tell clients how to set passwords which seems easier to them. But will actually sell you more password managers.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Once you’ve got about five or six staff, that’s when you start to realise that you’re almost a full time parent-manager. As much as you are the owner of the business. I say parent, not of actual children, but of your employee children. Children … excuse me, freudian slip there. Employees do have a tendency to act a little bit like children. The thing that had always used to frustrate me was when I had 15 staff. I had a very highly systemised business. It was a business where, I didn’t need to turn up every day and the business thrived.

Paul Green:
Yet still the second I walked in on a Thursday morning, some of my staff would ask me stupid questions like, “Paul, we haven’t got any milk. What should we do?” These are the questions which they would answer quite well if I wasn’t there. But the second I’m there, it’s like the switch flipped in their brain and we must go and ask daddy. Because the second you have staff and it’s a number of staff, you do become daddy or mummy to them. It’s kind of depressing.

Paul Green:
As you get more and more and more staff, what happens is your staff actually start to fit into three types of category. Now this came from some research which is actually is done every year by the research company, Gallup. They’ve noticed that once you get past a certain number of staff, and I forget how many. But your engagement of your employees fit into one of only three categories. So the very best kind of employee that you’ll have is your engaged employee. Now this is actually … when you’ve got five or six staff, this should be the majority of your staff. But by the time you start getting up to … certainly when I had 15 I only had really three or four engaged staff.

Paul Green:
Essentially they treat the business like it’s their own, but in a good way. So they’re on your side, they’re the kind of people who use their initiative. Which becomes rarer and rarer the bigger the organisation gets. They’re the kind of people you can trust with the keys, with the alarm code. If they’re on a scheduled holiday day, a day off, and there’s a big problem. They’re the first kind of person who’s likely to come in on that day off, if it’s in any way possible.

Paul Green:
When you’ve got three or four staff, it is possible for them all to be engaged. Once you go pass, I think he’s about seven, eight. You start to lose the ability to have everyone being engaged. Because the reality is, people just aren’t engaged with your business in the way that you are engaged. It’s your business, it’s your baby, we’re doing things your way. Therefore, that gives you a massive level of engagement and that’s quite infectious in your first staff. As you get more and more staff, some of them stay as engaged. But increasingly, you start to hire people who will ultimately are not engaged. They’re not engaged, is the Gallup label for these people. Actually you go into any big organisation and the vast majority of people are not engaged.

Paul Green:
My last job I had before I started my first business in 2005. I worked in the digital department of a major newspaper group in the UK, it’s called Johnston Press. There were about 40 people in my department back in 2004. They were building website platforms for all the newspapers to do their websites. It was a very highly not engaged environment. Just because the entire company was trying to reinvent itself for the digital age. As it turned out, it failed. We’d got a lot of developers, we’ve got a lot of tech people, we’ve got a lot of managers in that business. There was a lot of toing and froing, and direction changing. We had some solid leadership for a while and then the leader retired, moved on to something else. And we had a bad leader. It was surprising how quickly people who were engaged became not engaged.

Paul Green:
Not engaged is the defacto for most employees. The symptoms of not engaged are they turn up and they do a job. Sometimes they do a good job, but then that’s it. The second it hits five, six o’clock, whatever time it is for them to go home, they disconnect. They literally, they switch off. It’s almost like as they walk over the threshold of the door, that internal switch in their head, click. It flicks and they don’t really care. They could have a day off and you could ring them and you could be desperate for help and they’d lie. Even though they’re planning to sit there and play Call of Duty all day. They would lie and say to you, “Oh no, I’ve got a big family thing on today.” These people just are not engaged in what you’re trying to do.

Paul Green:
It is scary that the bigger the organisation, the more of these people are there. In fact, it’s believed that not engaged people make up more than 50% of the workforce. They’re literally turning up for the money. Isn’t that scary? Well it’s scary for us as business owners. It’s also scary that so many people just waste their life away. I mean, I love work. I wouldn’t do this work if I didn’t love it. Would you? I know you wouldn’t. You’d go and do something else because you’ve got the control over what you do.

Paul Green:
We’ve got engaged people, who are the best people. We’ve got not engaged, who are sadly the silent majority. Then we’ve got the very worst people. When you’ve got four, five, six staff, you know when you’ve got one of these. When you’re at 15 it’s very hard to spot them, 15 or more. These people are called actively disengaged staff. I prefer to call them internal terrorists. Because knowingly or unknowingly, they are working against the business. I say knowingly or unknowingly, some of them do it deliberately. I’ve had a couple of internal terrorists who got fired. Ken, you are the worst. I know you won’t be listening to this podcast because you hate me. But you are the worst and it was a pleasure to get rid of you.

Paul Green:
Internal terrorists sometimes don’t realise that they are destroying the business from within. Because what they do is they just basically tell everyone about their unhappiness. They’re unhappy and they wear it on their sleeve. Now, the unhappiness might not just be at work. I’ve had internal terrorists in the past who actually quite enjoy their work. But they’re so unhappy at home, they bring the unhappiness into the workplace. Which is actually quite hard to deal with. Whereas the ones who are unhappy with their work, it’s easier to deal with them because you just performance manage them. I say it’s easy to performance manage them, because people who are actively disengaged, who are internal terrorists. It is physically impossible for them to do a great job at work day after day after day.

Paul Green:
You can give them a telling off. You can start to manage their performance and they will up their game. But it will only be in the short term. Actively disengaged employees are physically impossible of upping their game long term. You’ve got to just have a look at your staff right now. I don’t like appraisals, I see why big businesses do appraisals. Me, I prefer just sitting down with members of the team on a regular basis. However regular that needs to be. It could be weekly, it could be fortnightly, maybe monthly. Just having a little chat, an one to one, a structured chat.

Paul Green:
But as you’re talking to your staff, as you’re looking at them, as you’re thinking about them now. Just have a look and think, who doesn’t show initiative? Who could so easily, when the initiative is there in front of them or the ability to change something. But they’re just not acknowledging it and then they’re just not doing anything. Because that is a sign of disengagement and potentially actively disengagement. Who are taking part in lots of unhealthy activities?

Paul Green:
When I was working for Johnston Press, and I’ll admit this now, 15 years on. I used to sneak off to the toilet and sit in the toilet. Not because I needed the toilet, but because I could go in there with my phone and I would play solitaire. Actually, that was where I started my first business. I started my first business in the toilets of my employers. How amazing is that? I would go for 30-40 minutes and no one noticed I was gone. Which encouraged me to go longer. Isn’t that crazy?

Paul Green:
So who’s doing that in your business? Are the smokers going out more often for cigarettes? Are they spending more time making coffee? Here’s one to watch out for. Who’s the person who is making coffee for everyone all the time? Because it’s a sign of active disengagement. It’s a way for them to get away from their desk for 20 minutes, making coffee for everyone else. Another one to look out for is silence. Maybe you have … well you probably do have lots of introverts. But sometimes a really silent workplace is a sign that people are disengaging. I know lots of people like sitting with their big headphones on and listening to their own music. But it can be a pretty bad thing for a team.

Paul Green:
When your team getting out there and go and put themselves on courses. Are they pushing you to improve their skill set? Or are you having to push them? Because if they’re pushing you, that’s a good sign. That’s an engagement sign. If you’re having to push them and you talk about stuff and they’re very reluctant to do it. That’s not a good sign, it really isn’t.

Paul Green:
Then finally, the final one is to just look out for is, what’s happening in their lives? I think I’m a big fan of people leaving their home life at the door. Unless it’s a major issue that we need to help them with. But at the same time, if they’re having bad weekends and they’re coming in grumpy and hungover and tired on a Monday morning. That can easily overflow into the workplace. Because if they’re exhausted on a Monday morning, what are they going to be like on Friday morning? They’re going to be triple exhausted. I know that some of your techs perhaps have an unhealthy relationship with gaming or with other activities. Sitting on the computer till three in the morning. I appreciate that that’s their idea of fun. But if they’re coming into work every day with six hours sleep. That’s not only not healthy for them, but he’s not healthy for the business either.

Paul Green:
Which of your staff are engaged? Find those people, give them more mummy love or daddy love, and keep them engaged. Which of them are disengaged? What can you do to have a chat with them? To give them some of your time, even if it’s just 20 minutes every month. Who are the actively disengaged people? What can you do to fix them? Because if he can’t fix them, you do know that you’ve got to fire them, don’t you?

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

Paul Green:
Clients hate passwords. We all know that. They hate the fact that they have to be difficult and random. They hate the fact that they can’t just do iterations of them. They hate the fact that they have to have passwords at all. They also hate multifactor authentication. We know this. Because what seems like a great idea when you’re pitching it to them and it’s safe and secure. Is just a real pain for them.

Paul Green:
Now I’ve got something which I’ve tested on a couple of clients, which seems to work quite well. It’s to say to your clients, instead of using passwords and using random password generators, to use a pass phrase. In fact, there is actually a website, useapassphrase.com. Where you can randomly generate a passphrase. I’m on this website now and I’ve just randomly generated a four word passphrase with spaces. It’s come up with yin molehill unfitting syrup. The time it would take to brute force crack that is apparently 3,785,568 centuries. That’s a fairly un-crackable one, yin molehill unfitting syrup. Now, theoretically the human brain should be able to remember yin molehill unfitting syrup, rather than it will DX7!B, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Paul Green:
Here’s the thing, because you say to your clients that they need to use a different password for every single system. They could go onto something like useapassphrase.com and they could come up with lots of different passphrases. We all know that within three or four passphrases, their brain is going to be full of random gobbledy goop. Yes, it’s easier to remember yin molehill unfitting syrup than anything else. But not when you’ve got four or five of those going around in your head. This is when we get the opportunity to talk about a password manager.

Paul Green:
See I think every single one of your clients and every single one of their users should be using a password manager. You should be reselling that as monthly recurring revenue. You probably agree with me. But what is it that stops people from doing it? I’ll tell you what it is, it’s their theory that they don’t need it. Because passwords are easy. Yet we all know that fluffy123 or hang on the iteration, fluffy124 and fluffy125. Are the easiest things in the world to crack. There are various other websites online which will show you how long it takes to crack a password. You can just go in, paste a password in order or put a random password in. It will tell you how many months, or years, or weeks, or whatever it takes.

Paul Green:
This is something that when you’re sitting down with clients and you’re talking about improving their security. Showing them just how important passwords are, proper random passwords. This is the kind of tool that really, really helps you to sell more password managers. Because you only need the person at the top to realise, “My goodness, everyone needs to use random passwords and you know what? Let’s make their life easier. Let’s hire in a password manager. Let’s make it secure. And when they leave our employment, let’s make it easy for us to just switch off all of their passwords so they can never log in to any of our systems again.” It’s a very, very beautiful solution.

Paul Green:
But what makes it easy to sell is to appear to be helping them by suggesting things like passphrases. But actually what you’re doing is you’re setting up their mind for thinking, “This is too difficult. I can’t do this. My staff can’t do this.” They’re much more likely to go onto buy that password manager from you.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
There’s another website which is quite a good security tool and you’ve probably heard of it. It’s called haveibeenpwned.com, P-W-N-E-D dot com. I’ll put that URL in the show notes. Now it’s not as good as something like ID Agent or the other dark web monitoring tools. But it’s something that just about anyone can go and put their email address in and see whether or not it’s been breached. Whether or not it’s been stolen from a website or a database somewhere. We had a cracking idea a couple of weeks ago, which was how Have I been Pwned is actually a good data capture tool. Because anyone putting an email address into it is essentially checking out their email address.

Paul Green:
We have, using the Have I been Pwned API, we’ve put together a WordPress plugin. Which allows you to integrate into your website the ability for someone to check their email address. Now I’ve got to be completely honest. This is something you could do yourself. The API is something ridiculously low like $3 a month. It’s not a great deal of money. It’s a pretty easy API to work with. If you’ve got a developer, it wouldn’t take you long to integrate it into your website. You should do that, you really should.

Paul Green:
If it’s something that you think, “Ah, do you know what? We’ll never get around to it.” We’re now giving away this WordPress plugin completely free to members of my service called the MSP Marketing Edge. This service gives you content every single month that you can use in your area and only you can use it in your area. We only sell it to one MSP per area. It’s a video, there’s an educational guide, there’s educational emails, we’ve got social media content, there’s a press release as a sales letter. There’s a whole load of stuff that you use as your own marketing material.

Paul Green:
It’s fairly cheap, as well. I mean it’s £99 a month in the UK, it’s $129 a month in the US. Which is more or less the same price in the two countries. It’s about 150 MSPs now we’re using this service.

Paul Green:
So this year we’re going to bundle on a whole load of extra freebies with this. This Have I been Pwned plugin is just the first one. It’s yours completely to use while you’re an active member. You pop it on your website on a page and it becomes a data capture. Of course, we give you some best practice of how you should use it. We give you some texts that you can use on your website. We suggest the best way for you to use the email addresses that you get out of the back of it.

Paul Green:
If you want to have a look at that, by the way. And of course check to see if your area is still available or whether or not a rival MSP has beaten you to it. It’s mspmarketingedge.com.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Paul Green:
Joseph, you’re on our show last week talking about how MSPs can make more money selling Microsoft Azure. You had five fantastic tips, strategies that MSPs can use to reduce the cost of Azure and actually put some margin into it. Now we’re going to talk about Windows Virtual Desktops today. Before we do, just to recap. Can you tell us again, just give us the ten second intro to yourself.

Joseph Landes:
Great to be on the show again. My name is Joseph Landes, I’m the Chief Revenue Officer at Nerdio. Where our mission is to empower MSPs around the world to build successful cloud practices in Microsoft Azure.

Paul Green:
Now, I’m not quite sure if this is a UK thing or whether it’s reflected internationally. But many of the MSPs that I meet, they don’t really embrace Windows Virtual Desktop. They know about it, they know it’s an option. But it’s not something that they’re pushing onto many of their clients. Do you see that happening in all marketplaces? Or actually this something that’s being embraced now by MSPs internationally?

Joseph Landes:
A few months ago, Microsoft released Windows Virtual Desktop. Since then, we have been fairly overwhelmed with demand from MSPs who are looking to build a cloud practice, using the new virtual desktop technology from Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop.

Paul Green:
Tell us more about that announcement that they made back at the back end of last year. What’s it changed for MSPs? How does it make it easier for MSPs to roll out virtual desktop?

Joseph Landes:
In the past, if MSPs wanted to move to virtual desktops as a core part of their business. If they wanted to put their customers into virtual desktops is what we call IT as a service. The option they really had was doing that using RDS technology or VDI technology. Now Microsoft has released Windows Virtual Desktop. With Windows Virtual Desktop there’s a new version of Windows 10 that allows multiple users to use the same desktop virtual machine at the same time. This saves MSPs money because it requires less Azure infrastructure and it provides the user with the same desktop experience as they’re used to on their physical devices. Because Windows 10 is now on … I think Microsoft said over 800 million devices. If a MSP can say to their customer, “Look, you’re going to be able to use the same Windows 10 you’re used to. But do that using a virtual desktop.” That’s a win-win for the MSP, but also for the customer.

Paul Green:
I think the key question here then is, how would you market that to the clients? Because obviously the end clients and end users, they’re not aware of what Microsoft is doing. They don’t follow Microsoft’s announcements. To certain extent, they don’t care. They just want their technology to work, they want it to be reliable, et cetera, et cetera. If you were running an MSP, how would you market this to the decision makers?

Joseph Landes:
Well I think the first thing you need to talk about is a little bit less about Windows Virtual Desktop or the benefits of running your infrastructure on virtual desktops. The idea of a virtual desktop is that you can use any device, you could go to any device anywhere in the world and you could log into your own personal desktop. That’s quite revolutionary relative to where we were some years ago. To be able to do that using the same Windows 10 that you, the end customer, are used to doing. And not having to play around with the old RDS or VDI technology. I think that’s a real benefit to customers. Imagine task workers who may show up at very specific times into their companies. Or imagine remote workers who don’t always use the same device but need access to their desktop no matter what device they’re on. This is a great use case, the whole concept of virtual desktop. Once you as an end customer have bought into the concept of virtual desktops. Then embracing Windows Virtual Desktop, which is true Windows 10 Virtual Desktop environment. That’s certainly the way to go.

Paul Green:
Now you’ve be very generous last week and this week telling us how to make more money selling this technology. Tell us a little bit more about your business Nerdio. What does it do? What’s the benefit for an MSP of using your service?

Joseph Landes:
Yeah, so if you’re an MSP and you’re looking to move to Azure. You’ve probably struggled with a number of challenges in your business. You’ve probably said, “Look, I don’t have anyone in my business that knows how to architect and manage an Azure solution. I find Azure to be complicated. Quite frankly, I think it’s risky. Because I don’t know how to make money using Azure relative to my on-premise world that I know so well.” With Nerdio, we have solved all of those challenges for MSPs. We’ve made investments four primary areas.

Joseph Landes:
The first is deployment. With Nerdio for Azure an MSP can deploy a complete IT environment in Azure in just a few hours. With our SAS application, you simply get your Azure and Office 365 subscriptions, you plug them in. Within a few hours everything you need for your customer is stood up in Azure.

Joseph Landes:
The second investment we’ve made is in pricing and packaging. The idea of being able to go into something called our Nerdio cost estimator. Really understand the true costs of purchasing Azure from your distributor or from Microsoft is a huge advancement in the ecosystem.

Joseph Landes:
The third is management. We’ve created a single pane of glass management portal that allows you to manage all of your clients in Azure once you’ve provisioned them. And to do it in every task you want to do in three clicks or less. What we call simplified management.

Joseph Landes:
Then finally, the fourth investment we’ve made is in optimisation. Something we talked about in last week’s show. Built-in auto scaling technology. The ability for you using our tool to scale down your customer’s environment when it’s not being used. To save you and your customer money.

Joseph Landes:
Those are the four investments we’ve made with Nerdio for Azure. If any MSP is looking to build a successful cloud practice in Azure, we certainly recommend that you check us out at getnerdio.com.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. Ask Paul anything.

David:
Hi, my name is David. How do I sell more telephones?

Paul Green:
That is a great question. Anyone that sells phones certainly wants to sell more of them. Because of course, VoIP is such a great monthly recurring revenue generator. Once you’ve done your set up, very little extra work to do. Lots of extra profits to take month in, month out. And not much maintenance, as well. Who doesn’t want to sell more telecoms?

Paul Green:
I think the trick to selling more phones … because you kind of up against everyone and everyone’s pretty much selling the same thing. I’m sure there are differences between 3CX and Horizon and all the other systems. But essentially they are still the same thing to the end user. We’ve got to remember this core thing about the people who buy from us. Our decision makers we want to reach, don’t know what they don’t know. We know that with telecoms that they’re distracted by the shiny handsets more than they are the services themselves. You’re actually selling something that it should and could become a commodity thing. Because when you’re selling very similar things and you’ve got lots and lots of people in the market able to sell those things. Typically that commoditises the market. Hasn’t seemed to have happen within telecoms so far, which is a good thing.

Paul Green:
I think what you need to do to sell more is to focus on the things that people want. Or that they think that they want. Now they need phones, but as we all know needs are brain decisions. The brain makes really bad buying decisions. It’s very logical, it’s very Spock about it, using a Star Trek reference. Whereas the heart, the heart makes great want decisions. So we need to put two things in front of heart. The first thing is nice handsets, shiny handsets. We know that the handsets are only part of the package and that it’s the overall bundle of services. But they don’t. They see the nice handset sat on their desk every day.

Paul Green:
Can you find a way to subsidise the handsets? It’s exactly the same trick that the … I don’t know if this is how it is in the States. But certainly in the UK, for decades and to a certain extent is still now. The telecoms companies, the mobile phone companies, subsidise the cost of the handsets just to get you to sign a three year contract. So you could get a thousand pound phone for virtually nothing. Because it was subsidised by your overall connectivity contracts.

Paul Green:
Could you do the same thing with VoIP? Could you give them the best handset with the colour screen and the pretty buttons and the, “Oh.” The nice stuff. Essentially it costs them very little because you’re bundling the costing, you’re subsidising the cost. That’s one thing.

Paul Green:
The second thing is to focus on those wants. What do they think they want? Now they probably think that they want their calls to be answered more quickly. They probably think that they want the hold message. They think they want the flexibility of diverting calls. They think they want the reporting. Now I say they think they want this because this is what people buy. But I’m sure if you are selling phone systems and you can see who’s actually accessing the reporting. People who say, “Oh yeah, amazing. I want to know how many missed calls and I want to know how long it takes us on average to answer. Bladdy, bladdy, blah.” They buy all of this and then they never look at the reports. Which is fine. Who cares whether they look at the reports or not. If that’s what they want, let’s give it to them. This is the key to great selling. You find out what someone wants and you give it to them. Again and again and again and again.

Paul Green:
I think if you want to sell more telecoms, don’t get too hung up on features. Get hung up on benefits. Don’t sit and think about the cost of a handset per user to an organisation. Look at ways that you can subsidise that handset by tying them in for two to three years. Give them something that they want, that they think that they want. They will buy more telecoms from you.

Voiceover:
How to contribute to the show.

Paul Green:
What do you think of the show? What’s a burning question you’d love me to answer about MSP marketing? Why don’t you drop me an email? It’s hello@paulgreensmspmarketing.com.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Joe Pannone:
It made a dramatic change. And our client’s saw it, by the way. They saw it and they loved it. It really, really helped us and most importantly, our clients.

Paul Green:
That’s Joe Pannone from CWDash. Now if you use ConnectWise, you’ll definitely want to listen to next week’s interview. He’s got a free dashboard which takes your ConnectWise data and extracts useful information for you.

Paul Green:
We’re also going to be talking about how you can choose to be a rapid action taker. And how you can find anyone’s email address and cold email them.

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

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