Episode 190 - This simple trick increases sales for MSPs

Episode 191: This simple trick increases sales for MSPs

Paul Green

Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 191: This simple trick increases sales for MSPs
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Episode 191

Welcome to the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This is THE show if you want to grow your MSP. This week’s show includes:
  • 00:00 Why the right time is always NOW
  • 05:57 ‘Pre-suading’ your leads
  • 14:45 The secret to progressing from coffee date to closing the deal

Featured guest:

Craig Andrews

Thank you to Craig Andrews, Founder and Principal Ally at allies4me, for joining me to talk about how relationship-building and creating mutual trust early in the sales cycle can improve your conversions and increase sales.

Craig is the Principal Ally and founder of marketing agency allies4me. Using a proven method that mimics the stages of courtship, allies4me helps companies find strangers and convert them into high-paying customers. An eight-stage Customer Value Journey is the framework that leads someone from first contact to post purchase.

Add value at each and every stage of the journey. A First-Time Offer (FTO) is like a coffee date. It’s a low-commitment and low-risk way to test the relationship. When you do this well, your prospect starts asking you to “close the deal.” This relational framework builds trust faster. It drives revenue faster. And it strengthens customer loyalty after the purchase. Craig and the allies4me team are consummate students of psychology and use these insights to supercharge sales engines for clients.

Connect with Craig on LinkedIn:

Extra show notes:

Transcription:

Voiceover:

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

Paul Green:

Greetings and salutations. Welcome back to the show. Here’s what’s coming up this week.

Craig Andrews:

Hi, I’m Craig Andrews and we specialize in building rapid trust for high ticket items, especially MSPs. We’re going to be talking about how you can build trust with your prospects to close more business, but more importantly, not just more business, the business you want to work with while avoiding the businesses you don’t want to work with.

Paul Green:

And on top of that interview with Craig, we’re also going to be starting a short series about sales meetings. Later on, we’ll be discussing how you can pre-suade your prospects before you even get into a room with them.

Voiceover:

Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:

Kicking off this week, I’ve got a bit of a bizarre subject that I want to speak about. Quite often, I’ll come up with ideas for this podcast from things that I see or stuff that happens to be in my life, or particularly from books that I read. And I’ve just listened to an audiobook called Die With Zero. Now bear with me, don’t switch off yet.

The whole point of this book is to make you realize just how, if you like, temporary and how short our life is and how running our business for the pursuit of wealth only is not really a great way to live your life. And in fact, the concept of Die With Zero is that you should enjoy your wealth as you’re building it up. And there’s lots of good advice in there about making sure that your children are well looked after, but not making your children wait till you die to get the big chunk of money from you. Not making charities wait till you die to get good contributions from you. It addresses all of those kind of issues.

And one of the concepts in the book which has really stayed in my head is the concept of delayed gratification. What is delayed gratification? It’s where we put off something, things that we really want to do. And in fact, I was having a conversation with an MSP this morning just about this very thing. He really enjoys gardening. He enjoys growing fruits and vegetables and he has an allotment. I don’t know if an allotment is just a UK thing, it’s kind of a separate patch to your garden where you have a piece of land just to grow vegetables. I think that’s just a UK thing. I think it goes back to wartime Britain back in the 1940s, but they’re still around today and lots of people enjoy having allotments just as a place to grow things to eat rather than in their garden, it’s just sort of beautiful flowers and plants and stuff.

And this MSP I was talking to this morning was saying, well, when I asked him what he enjoyed doing in his spare time, not that he has a great deal of it, he kind of came to life as he was talking about, “Oh, I love planting tomatoes and doing this and nurturing this and I want to build a greenhouse and I want to do this and this and this.” And of course, one of his core problems is he doesn’t have enough time to go and do all of these things because he’s working, I don’t know what, 50, 60 hours in his MSP. And to a certain extent, he’s delaying the gratification of the enjoyment, the enjoyment of doing his allotments. I know lots of MSPs who are delaying their gratification. I myself am delaying gratification on travel, on other things that I want to do, and partly that’s to do with school-aged child, partly it’s to do with other issues and just being focused on building the business.

This book has a really good message about the dangers of delayed gratification. Take for example, let’s say you wanted to do a parachute jump. Let’s say that was your thing, to chuck yourself out of a perfectly good plane, strapped to a bit of cotton. I’m not judging those who do that. Jack, you know I’m talking to you, but there’s nothing wrong with that. But let’s say you wanted to do a parachute jump, and I’ve never done a parachute jump, but at the age of 48, as I think about it now, I’m thinking, well, I’ve dislocated my shoulder a couple of times in the past, don’t want that to come out. I’ve currently got a fairly major knee injury, can’t run at the moment, so I’ve sort of got a big tear in my cartilage and there’s all sorts of knee problems going off. And I’m thinking about it and I’m thinking, “Yeah, I just don’t think I’ll bother.”

And that’s at 48. What am I going to be like at 58 or 68 or 78? My mother for her 75th birthday has said she’s going to do a parachute jump. Is she nuts? Why would you do that? Because surely doing something like a parachute jump at 25 or 35 is a much better experience than when you’re 75 or certainly even 48, which is what I am. Because doing the parachute jump as you’re a lot older, you’ve got a lot more things to break, right? There are a lot more things that can go wrong with you and the recovery from that is greater.

And this book talks about things like travel. One of the author’s regrets of his 20s was not that he… Well, he spent his 20s building up his career, building up an asset base and whereas one of his best friends took six months off. It is a US author. Took six months off, went to Europe, had an amazing backpacking, staying in hostels experiences, the kind of experience you couldn’t have in your 30s or 40s because I don’t know about you, but you’ll never catch me in a hostel or backpacking, not at this age. Maybe at 22 I might have done that. Do you see what we mean here by delayed gratification?

Go and listen to this book, Die With Zero, or go and read it, because I think in there is a really good core message of balance. Sure, building the business is really important. I mean, that’s why we’re here, right? That’s why I’m doing this podcast and it’s why you are listening to it or watching it on YouTube, but the big picture here is getting that balance. Building the business but also enjoying your life. Doing the things you want to do as quickly as you can do them at the same time as growing the business. I think that is the balance that you and me and every other MSP has got to work towards.

Voiceover:

Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green:

We are going to start a short three-week series today and it’s all about sales meetings. Today, we’re going to talk about things that you can do before your sales meeting to improve your odds, increase your odds of actually converting them at the meeting. That’s what we’ll do today. Next week, we’ll talk about things that you can do at the meeting and then in two weeks’ time we’ll talk about things you do in the follow-up, so after the meeting. Essentially we’re doing before, during and after the meeting.

And there are two things that I want to talk about today. The first of them is something called pre-appointment pre-suasion. Have you ever heard that word before? Pre-suasion? It’s where you persuade someone before you ask them to do something. And it’s actually a book. It’s the title of a book. Pre-Suasion, written by the amazing Robert Cialdini. He’s a psychology professor who focuses just on marketing and has done for many decades now. He wrote the book on influencing people and psychologically influencing people with marketing and that’s called Influence. And then he wrote Pre-Suasion around about six, seven years ago. Got to be honest, don’t tell Cialdini that I said this, but whereas Influence is an epic read and everyone should read it at least once a week… That’s a joke. You should read it once a month. Pre-Suasion felt like a lot of writing for a small number of ideas, if I’m honest. Don’t shoot me for having that opinion, but there we go.

And anyway, I’ve read the book so you don’t have to, and I’ve pretty much described it. Pre-suasion is persuading someone before you ask them to do something. So when we talk about pre-suasion, we’re talking about… Let’s say we’ve done some marketing. You’ve done some marketing and you’ve got this lead and you have got this lead onto a video call and you’ve had a 15, 20, 25 minute conversation with them on a video call. And at this point you have gotten to agree to what you and I would know is a proper sales meeting. You are going to go and sit down with them and try to sell them your stuff.

So at this point we assume that marketing has done its job and sales take over, and this is the point now where many MSPs say, “Oh yeah, yeah, brilliant. I’m really good at this bit. You give me the appointments and I will turn them into clients.” But no matter how good you are at sales, there are always systems that you can build to, as I said earlier, swing the odds, increase the odds of you winning more business, and you want to swing that to be dramatically in your favor. I don’t see any point in leaving anything to chance with any part of your marketing or your sales.

So we’re going to start then with this pre-suasion, and this is about persuading them before the sales meeting. Here’s what I suggest, because these are practical actions I’m going to suggest. I think before you go to meet them, you send them something in the mail. Not digital, nothing in the digital realm, nothing on email. You physically send this to them. What you do is you get a professionally written and designed case study or case studies book and you get it printed in a high-quality booklet. So you might, for example, go out and do some case study videos with some of your favorite clients. Case study videos are always the best place to start because once you’ve done the video, you can then repurpose that into something written like a booklet. Of course, you can’t take a written case study and repurpose that into a video, or at least not a video that ha is particularly persuasive.

So I would recommend get some videos done for your website, which is professional case studies of your clients talking about how their lives are better as a result of working with you. And then you repurpose their words. You get their words transcribed, not just from the finished edited video, but you take everything they said across their interview and you get a writer to repurpose that into a case study. So you’re still telling a story. You’re still talking about their journey with you, but you repurpose it into the written word. And it would be a little bit different in a video than it would the written word. You get that designed as a booklet professionally and you get it printed professionally. We’re not talking on thin tissue paper here. We’re talking thick paper, proper design, proper printer. It’s got to look absolutely professional because you are going to increase the chances of winning the work or decrease your chances of winning the work based on what’s in that case study booklet.

So you post that to them and you tell them, when you book the sales meeting, you say, “I’m going to send this to you in the mail. Please, can I ask for your commitment to read this before we meet?” And you do actually go and ask them to do this. Remember, you’re doing this over the video call when you’re actually booking the appointment. You say to them, “I’m going to send you a case study booklet so you can see the experience that other business owners like you have had working with us. Please, will you agree, will you commit to reading that case study book before we meet?”

And of course everyone says yes. And many of those people will go on to do that thing. They will go on to make that commitment. This is actually another Cialdini… What do you call it? Weapon of influence, where if someone says they’re going to do something, they typically will go ahead and do that. Commitment and consistency, that’s what it’s called. We like to be consistent with the commitments we hear coming out of our mouth. Now you may be aware of Marcus Sheridan, They Ask You Answer, who joined me in an early episode in January this year, which is actually now our most popular episode ever so far to date. And he talked about the concept of They Ask You Answer. If you go and read that book, one of the things he talks about is exactly this, sending social proof before a meeting.

And actually, he has got to the point with his businesses now that they send videos. They send YouTube videos, which is fine. I just think something in the mail stands out more. But they send YouTube videos and they’ve got to the point now where they will not go to the sales meeting if the prospect has not watched the YouTube video. And that’s pretty hardcore. But I like that. That’s what I like about Marcus, is everything he does is designed to increase and improve his chances of winning the sale. So that’s a little bit of pre-suasion. One thing, you can see, it’s a one-off job. Prepare your case study booklet and then a small number of those need to be sent out, one to each decision maker and influencer at the prospect you’re going to see before the meeting.

There’s one other thing that I recommend you do before your appointments, and that’s do some practical planning. So you need to fully research your prospect before the meeting. That means, of course, studying their website, pretty much looking at their overall digital footprint. What I mean by that is you Google them but you kind of look… You don’t really have pages anymore, do you, on Google, but you just keep looking and keep looking and keep looking until it’s about someone else and it’s nothing to do with them. Find out who you are meeting. Who are the people you are meeting? Look them up on LinkedIn, each individual person. In fact, while you’re there, why don’t you connect to them on LinkedIn as well?

And you can also research basics for the actual meetings such as where wherever you are going, where can you park? What does their building look like? Go on to Street View on Google and look at it. Ring up reception and ask reception. Tell them you’ve got a sales meeting and say, “How do people usually dress?” Because if you turn up in jeans and a shirt and they’re in suits, that’s not a great start, and vice versa if you turn up in a suit and they’re all sitting there in jeans and tatty t-shirts. All of that kind of research really, really pays off when you actually get to that meeting. And that is what we are going to cover off in next week’s show.

Voiceover:

Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:

There was me jabbering on there about sales meetings and actually most MSPs get stuck a little bit before then. Lead generation. How do you find more leads and turn them into prospects and turn them into meetings? Well, we have a solution. It’s called the MSP Marketing Edge, and it is the only marketing solution out there that is based around a weekly marketing system.

We have four simple steps that you just need to put into place with your MSP and we literally talk you through it every single step, step by step by step by step. We could not make it easier to take your hand and lead you through setting up a weekly marketing system. And once you’ve done that, you suddenly have consistent and persistent marketing that no one else in your area can have because we only supply this to one MSP per area. So the first thing for you to do is check to see whether or not your area is still available. You can do this at mspmarketingedge.com.

Voiceover:

The big interview.

Craig Andrews:

Hi, I’m Craig Andrews. I run a marketing consultancy out of Austin, Texas.

Paul Green:

And I am delighted to have you on the show Craig, because I think the kind of marketing that you specialize in is exactly what MSPs need to win more sales. Because in this interview we are going to talk about trust, how important trust is, why it’s so important to build it up. And I know that you’ve got for us later on a framework that MSPs can use to actually build that trust quickly.

Before we get into that, tell us a little bit about you. What’s your background and what brings you being on a podcast like this?

Craig Andrews:

Well, when I graduated high school, I was not what you would call a model student and I would not get into any university that anybody had ever heard of. So I went in the Marine Corps for six years, had a very good recruiter, great salesman, and he got me for six years. And when I got out of the Marines I thought, “Well, let me go into engineering,” because I had a desire to create and build things. And I got into engineering and unfortunately I got an undergraduate and a graduate degree before I figured out it’s not the place to be creative. It’s very, very restrictive.

And so I went from that to marketing semiconductors for mobile phones. And I’ve been in the buildings of the world’s largest mobile phone makers. That’s changed a little bit over time, but that was a great run. The margins in those industry had been eroding. We had a 20% down slope on price per year, and I knew the day was coming when they would ask me to fly to Asia in coach. I used to go four or five times a year, and the thought of flying to Asia in coach four or five times a year was not my idea of fun. And when that day hit, sure enough, I got out of that industry and I decided that I would start doing more general marketing for more typical companies.

And I started that a little over 10 years ago. And it’s funny, I run across some of my buddies from the semiconductor world and they ask me what I’ve been doing and I tell them, I say, “I’ve spent the last 10 years learning how little I knew about marketing,” because it’s just been such an explosion of methods that are just grossly under-tapped in that industry. And so that’s kind of how I got to where I’m doing this.

Paul Green:

And the main reason I wanted to get you on the show today is because of your thinking and your experience and your ability to help a business develop trust with a prospect. Why is trust so important for MSPs?

Craig Andrews:

When I think about opening up a relationship… And we’ll go back to this model a lot. We look at business relationships much like courtship relationships. You start off with a introduction and then you have conversation. If conversation goes well, you don’t get married, you go out on a coffee date. It’s a very safe date. From what I understand, what the ladies tell me, they have a girlfriend call in 15, 20 minutes into the date to see if they need a rescue and they drive themselves there. You drive yourself there. There’s a lot of safeguards that keep you from jumping into a huge commitment that won’t pan out.

And so that’s really where a lot of trust is built. And the hopes of that coffee date is that it evolves into a dinner date and then eventually commitment. That’s the trajectory you’re on, but you have to have a safe stop. And for some reason, businesses just consistently want to jump from the conversation all the way to the commitment. We kind of liken it as someone walking into a bar, they see somebody cute on the other side of the bar and they say, “Hey, you know what? You’re kind of cute. Can I get your phone number? Why don’t we just get married?” That’s inappropriate. We know it’s inappropriate, so we don’t do it there. But for some reason when it comes to business, that’s precisely what we do. And when it fails, we sit around wondering why.

Paul Green:

Yeah, so I think that kind of dating only works in Vegas, doesn’t it? It certainly doesn’t work anywhere else.

Craig Andrews:

Well, and when you try that sort of dating, you always have to question the character of the person that you’re dating. And I would say the same thing. If you’re an MSP and you’re looking to bring in new clients, think about the character of the client that you’re bringing in. Do you want somebody who would just immediately sign up for a large commitment where they now have access or where you have access to their deepest darkest secrets, their financial records, their HR records? Do you want somebody that would immediately jump in that bed with no questions, no relationship, no trust?

Paul Green:

Yeah, essentially if someone will marry you on the first date, they’re not worth marrying is the message I think you’re trying to send there. In fact, you’re quite right that MSPs need to build triple trust because actually, when someone picks an MSP, let’s say if they pick a CPA, an accountant, and it’s the wrong accountant. The very worst thing that happens is they have a year’s worth of accounts that aren’t quite right. Their numbers are all over the place. Perhaps they pay too much tax or too little tax, but then they can fire that CPA, bring in another new CPA who can fix all of those problems because ultimately it’s just numbers in some software. It’s not really important in the grand scheme of things unless you run out of cash, then it becomes important.

But if you hire an MSP and that MSP leaves you vulnerable to a cyber attack, you get ransomware, it turns out your backups fell over three months ago, your VoIP system stops working one morning and no one’s quite sure why, these are all business killing items. And I think business owners, they may not know the specifics of how their business could be killed by their IT support company, but they know deep down that it can absolutely happen because their technology is mission-critical. So I think you’re right. We need to build triple trust with prospects.

Let’s start to move on to… Well, actually before we move on to the framework, I know that you had a kind of scary epiphany moment about trust, didn’t you?

Craig Andrews:

I did. So about 18 months ago, I went into the hospital with COVID and I ended up not leaving for three months later. And about 11 days into it, they called my wife in the middle of the night and said they wanted permission to put me on the ventilator. And so for me it was lights out for about six weeks. And by the way, that’s where I got this interesting little scar across the lip. It was the kind treatment of my doctors. But six weeks later I woke up and something bizarre happened. My trust in the doctors had absolutely plummeted to near zero, and my trust in my wife had gone through the roof.

And this is going to sound weird, this was actually the best thing that ever happened to my marriage. Just how it brought my wife and I together is amazing, and very honestly, I’ve told her this. I said, “It’s worth the price.” The price of everything I had to go through, still recovering now, it’s worth the price for what it’s done in our relationship. It built that much trust. And when I was first coming to, things were kind of hazy. The doctors kept asking me to do something. Now in a clear-headed situation, I probably would’ve followed the doctors, but my trust in them had just completely evaporated. And my wife comes up to me and say, “Hey, they want to do this.” And I couldn’t talk at the time, I had trach, but I could whisper, and I said, “Is it safe?” And she said, “Yeah, absolutely.” And because I trusted her, we did it.

Paul Green:

That’s fascinating, isn’t it? Because if you study Robert Cialdini, I’m sure you’ve read his book Influence, and one of the things they talk about… I’m going to misquote it here, but it’s the white coat thing. So there’s a famous psychological experiment where people went way further than they would’ve done because it was actually actors posing as scientist, wearing a white coat, holding a clipboard, and people put trust in them. And maybe that has changed over a number of years or maybe because as you say, you were in quite an extreme situation where you no longer trusted the strangers who you’re surrounded by, but you did trust this person that you had built a relationship up with over a number of years.

I think also, I mean, obviously amazing that you’ve strengthened your relationship, but you’ve got to look at that situation, Craig, and tell yourself that not only have you improved your relationship with your wife, but you now have an epic story to tell on podcasts, interviews, dinner parties. You’ve literally got the “I nearly died,” story, “And this is how it improved my marketing.”

Craig Andrews:

Right.

Paul Green:

Is that a tad too far to say that?

Craig Andrews:

No. I mean as a matter of fact, for a solid month they told my wife that I was going to die. They had her meeting with hospice to plan the day they were going to pull the plug. It was a dire situation. And to your point, for years, I’ve always started a presentation with some type of story that makes the point. And I have an experience that has just given me applications for any presentation I could ever imagine using.

And it’s been hard. I mean, I’ve had to learn how to walk again. Everything that people take for granted, I’ve had to see through a different light. I’ve had to fight a bathroom door from a wheelchair to try to get the door to keep from blocking me from getting in. And there’s so many things that came from that that are just powerful and broader lessons than just what I went through. Broader lessons for life.

Paul Green:

It sounds like a hell of an experience. I’m glad you’re healthy now and I’m sure these kind of recoveries take many years to be fully back to speed, but it sounds like you’re doing a great job.

Let’s move on to that framework. This is the big tease of this whole interview. You’ve got a framework for MSPs to build trust with suspicious prospects. Where do we start?

Craig Andrews:

Yeah, so let’s go back to the five stages of courtship. You have an introduction, you need some form of introduction. It can be referrals, it could be paid ads, it could be a variety of things. Then you need to have a conversation. Now, a lot of people in marketing call these things lead magnets. I hate that term. It’s so mercenary. It makes me think about the prospect and the way that I don’t want to think about them. So we call them conversation starters. That’s actually the goal of that, is to actually start a conversation where you can get somebody on the phone, help equip them with information, help build their trust. That’s the first step in building trust. But when you get them on the phone, instead of trying to sell them your MSP package, do this coffee date. Solve a much smaller problem quickly. And that’s what we call a first time offer.

And quick run through, if you think about the ingredients of it, a first time offer is a impulse purchase. That means the coins in the cushion of your couch, the money in your wallet, or the B2B equivalent of that. It has to be an amount of money that’s so small, nobody will ever be held accountable for how that money is spent. The next thing is it has to deliver a disproportionate amount value to price. We typically target a 10 X return, 10 X the value for what they pay. And it has to solve a problem because if it’s not solving a problem, it’s not delivering value, it’s a gimmick. Actually solve a problem for them. Small problem. And that’s the thing, you want to leave the big problems unsolved and you want it to naturally lead to the next step.

And so when you do those things, that actually gets you in a place where you’re building trust by solving a small problem. It shows them how you’re going to work with them. It is the coffee date where they are making a judgment about you. But guess what? You’re making a judgment about them. So if you’re dealing with somebody who is still running Windows 7 and in this coffee date, you say, “You know, you really need to get rid of Windows 7,” and they’re saying, “Well no, we’re not.” That’s your sign. This is not a good match. You’re going to be constantly trying to maintain equipment that’s obsolete or near obsolete. They’re not going to upgrade things. They’re going to make your job harder and they’re going to raise your margin. So this coffee date goes two ways. It’s a chance for you to evaluate them and it’s their chance to evaluate you.

And a couple more things to say about that. When you’re putting it to together, it should have a minimum of three deliverables, no more than five. When you get less than three, it feels underwhelming. When you get over five, it becomes overwhelming, overwhelms the brain, makes it hard for them to make a decision. One of the deliverables should be the product of a co-working session where they contribute to the deliverables. It gives them a sense of ownership, it triggers a couple cognitive biases, the IKEA effect, the endowment effect. But also when you get to the end of it and you present, “Here are the next steps,” for them to reject that would require that they reject their own work, which they’re unlikely to do.

And then the last thing, and hang with me because this will sound complicated first, but I’ll make it super simple immediately. The last deliverable has to solve a problem that is created by the successful delivery of the preceding deliverables. Okay, let’s make that a lot more simple. If you buy a boat, you have a new problem that’s created by the successful delivery of the boat. You need now need a place to dock your boat. And so if I were selling boats when somebody came into my boat yard, I would say, “We’re going to find the perfect boat for you that’s going to meet exactly your needs. Once that happens, you’re going to have a new problem. You’re going to want to know where to dock it. Well guess what? We have relationships with all the marinas, all the yacht clubs in the area, and we know their pricing. We will make introductions. We will find just the perfect place for you. As a matter of fact, we can have the boat delivered there.”

And what that does for them is that puts them in a success mindset where they start visualizing themself experiencing the joys of being on the boat. And that’s so essential in selling, it’s they have to picture themselves actually buying what you’re selling. And so that’s the last step. The final deliverable has to solve a problem that’s created by the successful delivery of the preceding deliverables.

Paul Green:

I love it. I’m going to try and put some practical examples onto that because I know that’s what most MSPs would want. So when you talked about the… I’m going to forget the exact words you used, but the coffee date. Let’s talk about the coffee date. So some kind of early low-level commitment. The only thing I can think of right now, and I’ll bet you the second we finish this interview, I think of something better. But there there’s a tool that MSPs have used for years which has kind of gone out of fashion so much these days, which is an IT audit.

So you take any MSP into any business and they’ll do an audit and there are various different levels. You know can just do a software audit, you can do a hardware audit, you can do everything. You can look at some sort of low level of penetration testing, security audits, right down to walking around an office and seeing a post-it note with passwords written on it. That kind of level of checking something. And there’s an old-fashioned marketing method, which as I say, it doesn’t seem that popular these days, but it strikes me that you could sell that audit for a few hundred dollars. So you may cost you $1,000 to actually deliver it, but it’s a low level item. Do you think that kind of thing, Craig, would work or would we need to find something more tangible than an audit?

Craig Andrews:

Well, we used to offer that in our own marketing and we discovered there’s a limited supply of people that want us to come in and tell them wrong with them. And so one, we banished the term audit. We use a term called gap analysis. That would appropriately be one of the deliverables, but you would still need another three or four, what I would recommend. And again, the essential thing is solving a problem. And to understand that, you actually have to start with the pains that they’re experiencing.

Paul Green:

So actually, the audit could just be the entry point into that because as I say, you put any IT professional in any organization and they will find things that could be improved or need to be fixed urgently because they’re dangerous. And I guess that’s where some of those other deliverables come from. Do you know what? Each MSP listening to this, it’s food for thought to start thinking, “I wonder if we could do that,” and different MSPs have different comfort levels or depends how much time they’ve got or how much spare resource they’ve got to do marketing. But it sounds like something that you could certainly start to look at something down that direction. And I love the idea of calling it the gap analysis. That’s brilliant.

Now the boat example, the boat one for me is a lot easier. If you, for example, set up a business for proper true remote working where they genuinely can access any file at any time on any device, but it’s safe and it’s secure. And that’s genuine remote working with VPNs and all of that technical stuff, and that creates the problem then that you’ve got your team working at home on their seven-year-old laptop that their kids use for homework in the evenings, and that’s not a secure thing. So that then, the sort of boat birth, where do I mow the boat example for the MSPs to say, “Well hey, why don’t we get new secure laptops for all of your team? Why don’t we get new secure mobile devices?” Right down to, “Should we give them all a work from home setup? We’ll get them set up with a proper webcam, with lights, with a USB microphone, with everything they need from work from home, and you can almost pick up the internet and speeds and all sorts of routers and all kind of stuff like that.”

So I think within the world of technology, there are so many different things. In fact, there’s an almost never ending supply of things that you can do to that. But I love that concept of if you sell them the boat, you’ve got to sell them or help them find somewhere to park the boat as well. And of course you sell more boats along the way.

Craig, tell us a little bit more about what you do to help MSPs. And I know that you practice what you preach and you have a very, very early kind of coffee date. It’s more a bit of Tinder flirting really, isn’t it? But tell us how we can access that.

Craig Andrews:

Yeah, so for any of the MSPs that are interested in learning more, we have two things. One is a guide to building a first-time offer. And just for reference it, I spent 18 months fumbling around, screwing it up. My first first-time offer nobody wanted, nobody understood what it was. Nobody bought it. It was a complete failure. But I kept trying and about 18 months later they started hitting and then we’ve obviously over the years learned so much more. So I have a guide that will let you avoid all the mistakes that I made, and we made a lot, and so hopefully it’ll help guide you.

We also have a course, a 23-day course. Well, we give 23 days access and I’ll tell you why we do that in a second. But it’s a self-paced course to help you build your own first time offer. And the reason we’re limiting it to 23 days is not because we want to be stingy. We’re in the business of changing lives. We want to see lives changed in powerful ways. And I know that if you sign up for the course, you’ll say, “I’ll get to this next month,” and then next month it won’t happen. Month after that, it won’t happen, month after that, it won’t happen.

So when we put a limitation on that, it improves the probability that you will actually put this to work because I believe the MSP space is ripe for change. I talk to MSPs and they keep struggling to say, “Look, we’re either their MSP or they’re not.” And I say, “Look, you can build a first time offer that will actually bring you in and just powerfully bond you to them,” and you can evaluate them. You can avoid the problem clients. I’ve had MSPs tell me about the bad clients that literally are still using Windows 7, which is just nuts. You probably don’t want to work with those. And so anyway, you’ll have access to that. There is a link, go to alliesforme.com/mspmarketing, all lowercase, and that will take you into that offer.

Voiceover:

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

Leahanne Hobson:

Hi, I’m Leahanne Hobson, CEO and founder of Alinea Partners, and I’m excited to recommend The Goal by Eli Goldratt and Jeff Cox. This is a fast-moving thriller of a book. It’s written in that style, but it’s all around crisis management and change management. And it actually walks through in story format how a project manager turned their business around from almost going out of business to thriving in 100 days.

Voiceover:

Coming up next week.

Doug Kreitzberg:

Hi, I’m Doug Kreitzberg. I’m a cyber insurance expert, and I’ll teach you enough about cyber insurance to know how to integrate it with the solutions that you’re providing your clients so that you can be successful and your clients can be better insured.

Paul Green:

Hey, that platform that you are listening to this podcast on right now, go on, subscribe. Hit the subscribe button, do the same if you’re watching me on YouTube and then you will never miss an episode of the show.

Because on top of that interview next week, we are continuing our series, our short series about improving your sales meetings. And I’m also going to challenge you to stop having a to-do list and instead have a stop doing list. I’ll explain that fully next week.

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.