Protecting client retention during Covid

Episode 33: Protecting client retention during Covid

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Episode 33: Protecting client retention during Covid

 
 
00:00 / 00:33:09
 
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In this week’s episode

  • Although MSPs have had the opportunity during the Covid pandemic to service more clients needing homeworking solutions, the issue of client retention has never been so pressing. In this week’s show Paul’s joined by an expert in generating profitable growth to discuss the steps you can take to keep your clients
  • Paul’s also going to be talking about a slightly delicate subject – the matter of your life expectancy and how your MSP is linked to it
  • Along with a great question from a listener on marketing to prospects, Paul recommends an incredible book on negotiating that could save you money. Paul literally used it to save thousands and thousands of pounds

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 back to the show. Here’s what we’ve got coming up for you today.

Benjamin Niernberg:
You have to be the champion for how you go about questioning those customers. Otherwise you’ll slowly start to see that business trickle away to those that are.

Paul Green:
I’m also going to tell you about the best book on negotiating that I ever read. In fact, last year it helped me to save 7,246 pounds. We’re also going to look at how you can examine your marketing as a prospect does and not look at it like a tech.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast.

Paul Green:
Back in episode 28 we were talking about the wheel of life and how important it is to get a balance between your work, your family, having fun, all of the things in your life. And we become a bit dull when we’re obsessed with work. And we also become a bit dull when we don’t have meaningful work. It’s very much about a balance. And I’ve been meaning for some time to talk to you about the figure 953. And this is a figure which was given to me by my friend, Andy Edwards. If you go right back to episode one of this podcast, Andy was my very, very first guest, he’s a very good friend of mine, and he’s one of these people who teaches other people how to have a better life and how to get that kind of balance back into their life.

Paul Green:
And he gave me this figure years ago, 953. I can’t remember exactly where he got it from, but it was some research somewhere which showed that on average in the US, in the UK, in most Western economies, that’s the average life expectancy in months of the average person. 953 months, which in human years works out to be around about 79 years. Now, what that means is, if currently you are 30 years old, you’ve only got 593 months left to live. That’s a scary figure, isn’t it? If you’re 40, you only have 473 months left to live. If you’re 50, you only have 353 months left to live. If you’re 60, you’ve only got 233 months left to live. And I’m not going any further than that, because that’s already a scary enough figure. But it’s part of the human condition that we always look ahead and think that we have so much more time left.

Paul Green:
Oh, and this of course is best case scenario. This is absolutely best case scenario, 79. It’s not about living as long as you can. It’s about having the best quality of life for as long as you can. And we’ve all met very elderly people in their 80s or 90s who really don’t enjoy being alive any more. So I think it’s important that we do think about that wheel of life and getting that balance right and enjoying our family and enjoying our work and making sure we live a great life. Now, there’s a book that I recommend that you get. And when I tell you what the title is, you’ll think, “Oh, come on, Paul. We listen to this podcast to be motivated.” Well, I think this is quite a motivating book because it’s called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. And it’s written by a lady called Bronnie Ware. We’ll put a link to it in the show notes.

Paul Green:
Now, she was an Australian palliative care nurse and spent her career looking after mostly elderly people at the ends of their lives. And she did this for about, I think it was about 15 years, something like that. And she noticed that their regrets were all very, very similar. They could all be grouped together in the same kind of way. You don’t really need to read the book, because the summary I’m about to give you essentially captures the book. It’s not the best written book I’ve ever read, but it’s one of those books that maybe you and your partner, and I mean your life partner, might want to read this book to trigger a conversation about, “What do we want to do with our lives? If we’ve only got 300 months left, what do we want to do with those 300 months?” Now, some of the regrets that Bronnie Ware talks about in the book include the fact that people wish they’d had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life that other people expected from them.

Paul Green:
And that’s about living your life your way and doing the things that you want to do. And I think as business owners, perhaps we don’t suffer too much from this because we’ve already gone down that route, haven’t we? We’ve already set up our own business or bought something and we’re doing things the way we want to do them. But I’ll tell you the one that resonated with me when I read this a few years ago, was, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” Now, these days I have a pretty good work-life balance. I make sure I have plenty of time for my daughter, for family, for fun, for all of that kind of stuff. But if I look back to my 20s, when I was building my radio career and working in radio stations, and I did okay, it wasn’t spectacular, but I did okay. I worked very, very hard. I really threw myself into work. And I enjoyed it at the time, but I do look back and think, what if I’d looked after my body better then? What if I’d stayed fit? Because I had a fat few years.

Paul Green:
What if I’d spent more time on my relationships, what if I’d spent more time with my friends? It wasn’t all hard work. There was some fun in it, but I do regret a little bit looking back in my 20s and perhaps my early 30s just working too hard. Another one that Bronnie Ware wrote about was, “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.” And again, maybe this is a generational thing. This was mostly elderly people, and she wrote the book about 10 years ago. So this is a completely different generation to us. We don’t have that problem expressing our feelings, do we? Well, we don’t want to get to the end and regret it, that’s for sure. Now, this is another one. “I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends.” So much easier for us today with Facebook and electronic messaging.

Paul Green:
And yet still I’ve got hundreds of friends that I kind of know what’s going on in their life because of Facebook. But when was the last time I had an interaction with them? Wouldn’t this just be a great time to grab your phone, go onto WhatsApp, and just message three people? Who are the three people that jump into your right now that you haven’t spoken to for ages? You kind of know what’s going on with them because of Facebook, but you haven’t directly reached out to them. Go on, send them a WhatsApp or send them a Messenger message just to say, “Hi, how are you? I was thinking about you today. How’s it going?” You could make their day. Wouldn’t that be a great thing to do?

Paul Green:
And then another one that’s in Bronnie Ware’s book is, “I wish I’d let myself be happier.” And this, I think, is where we come back to that wheel of life, that balance. Because whatever it is that makes you happy, you really should do more of it. My work makes me happy. It’s very meaningful work for me, but it only makes me happy to a point. What also makes me happy is just pootling in my garden, going for walks, going for runs, spending time with my daughter, having fun, doing all the things that young parents do with their children. Don’t know how I can call myself young, I’m 45, but you get the idea. And you’ve got to remember with all of this, if we bring this back to your business, the purpose of your MSP is to be there for you and not the other way around.

Paul Green:
And if you heard me talk about that in episode 28, and I’m talking about it again now just a few weeks later, and it’s still resonating with you, that actually, yeah, the balance isn’t quite right. This is really the wake up call, this is really the time to do something about it. The purpose of the business is to be there for you and not the other way around. If you have to be there in order for the business to thrive, it’s not a business, it’s just a job. And a job that’s either well-paid or badly paid, but it’s still a job that you’re trapped within.

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

Paul Green:
In the guest room of my house, that’s where we keep all of our books. We call it the library, it’s just the guest room really, but it’s quite an exciting room to go in. My daughter and I will go in and we’ll sit on the bed and we’ll just gaze at the bookshelves. Because we have bookshelves on both sides of the room. It’s really quite exciting. There’s nothing like sitting and looking at all the books that you’ve got and just letting your eyes just go over them.

Paul Green:
And you know that most of them you’re never going to read them again, but they’re there and you can look at them and you can be inspired by them. And it’s exciting. And I have one particular bookshelf, and that’s dedicated for the very best business and marketing books that I’ve ever read. And it’s a fairly limited number, because you’ve got to have an exceptionally good book to get your book onto that bookshelf. Now, one book which immediately earned its place on that bookshelf the second I read it was Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. Now, Chris is a former FBI chief negotiator, and he tells some amazing stories in the book about how he developed brand new techniques during his career in the FBI to save people from criminals. Literally, he knew when things worked or didn’t work. Because if they worked the person got released, the hostage was released and they paid the money, and yes, they do pay money for that. If it didn’t work, people got killed.

Paul Green:
So it’s a fairly extreme, in the field way of testing out negotiation techniques. And he actually, over his time, he actually completely changed the way that the FBI negotiated with criminals who’d kidnapped people. And he’s taken the very best of what he learned and he’s put it all into a book. It’s on Amazon, it’s also on Audible, and it’s worth getting both copies. Because even though you think you might not do a great deal of negotiation, actually you’re negotiating all the time. You’re negotiating with staff, with clients, with your other half, with your business partner, with your children. Although I’ve found some of the more clever techniques don’t work, particularly with younger children. But there’s some very, very clever stuff in there. And I’m looking at my notes now, whenever I read one of my best books I keep notes, detailed notes of the things that I’ve learned from the book. And there’s things in there like labelling their pain.

Paul Green:
If you know during a negotiation that someone is likely to have a fear, something they’re scared that you’re trying to do, then instead of trying to avoid it and hide away from it, you bring it out and you label it as something that you are aware of and something that they’re scared of. To give an example from the book, when he was negotiating with a criminal he would actually say, “It sounds like you don’t want to go back to jail.” Because that was that person’s overriding fear, was, “I don’t want to go back to jail.” And the reality was, they were going back to jail because they’d kidnapped someone. But by negotiating with them saying, “It sounds like you don’t want to go back to jail,” he’s showing empathy. He’s showing that he understands what’s driving them and what’s motivating them. When we think someone understands us, we’re much more likely to do a deal with that person.

Paul Green:
He talks in the book about not trying to get people to say yes to things, but to get people to say no to things. Impossible for me to try and explain that fully to you now. You’ve really got to listen to or read the book to get it. In fact, what Chris Voss writes is that you don’t want to hear someone saying yes, you want to hear them saying the two words that change everything, “That’s right.” When they say, “That’s right,” it’s their way of acknowledging that you have reached an agreement on something. It’s almost impossible for me to summarise a book like this, but what I have done, because I kept those detailed notes, is I’ve been able to use that now and again when I’m doing negotiations with people.

Paul Green:
Around about 15, 16 months ago, I was buying a parcel of land. Now, I had a very short career as a property investor. I’ve got some buy-to-lets and that does just fine for me, but I thought I had this epiphany when I’d sold my business in 2016 that I should go and invest into properties. And I actually put myself through a training course in a mastermind group of something called build to rent, which is where you build houses and you refinance them at the end, and you keep those houses, and then you rent them out to people. So it’s like buy-to-let, except you’re essentially building your own houses. And the theory of that is sound, and there are lots of people who have done very well with it. I just didn’t particularly get on with it. The levels of risk were a little bit too high for me. And I did one land acquisition, which is going through, those houses are being built right now, but I won’t be keeping them at the end of it. I’ll be getting out of that.

Paul Green:
And it was quite a complicated deal. And we had to buy a couple of different parcels of land. We had to negotiate some rights. There were lots of parties involved, lots of egos, and it was all a bit of a nightmare, and lots of lawyers involved as well. And we all know how much fun it is when you’ve got lots of lawyers involved. Now, one of the sellers of land insisted on dealing over email, which was a real pain, because it’s very hard to negotiate with someone over email. It really is. Much easier to sit down with someone and have a chat with them or jump on a phone call, but this person, I don’t know why, insisted on negotiating over email. And I’ve actually got the email conversation here that we had back then.

Paul Green:
So we were trying to agree a price for their land, they were very ready to sell it. They knew what we were going to do with it. And we needed that piece of land to bolt it together to make the deal happen. The only thing that we needed to agree on was the price. And I got an email one morning saying, “We are willing to reduce the price by 5,000 pounds.” Now, I was actually quite happy with that. That 5,000 pound reduction brought it within the budget that we had for the build. However, I just thought, “Do you know what? I wonder if I can push that just a little bit more.”

Paul Green:
So I sent them back an email. I literally went into my notes and I copied the exact words that Chris Voss had written in his book. “Morning, name redacted. Your offer is very generous. I’m sorry, that just doesn’t work for me.” So that was the least confrontational way of me declining that offer. “Your offer is very generous. I’m sorry, that just doesn’t work for me. It looks like you want to protect the up front payment.” Because we’d got quite a complicated deal structure put together. “And you also want to make sure that the land sale goes through in the next couple of weeks.” So remember what I was saying about labelling their pain, I knew that their pain was, they wanted the money up front, or certainly a proportion of the money up front, and they wanted this money quickly. They wanted the deal to go through in the next couple of weeks.

Paul Green:
“It looks like you want to protect the up front payment and also make sure the sale goes through in the next couple of weeks.” And then I wrote, “I want you both to feel like you’re being treated fairly during this process. Please stop me if you feel I’m being unfair and we’ll address it.” Now, this is a line directly out of that book. And in the book he talks about the concept of fairness and how we all have a concept in our minds, in our hearts, of what is fair. And I’m directly there addressing it and telling them I believe I’m being fair. And if you do not believe I’m being fair, tell me and we will make this fair for both parties. Then I wrote, “A price correction like this elsewhere would be worth 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds.” Now, the reason I wrote that is, I’m not going back to them and negotiating on this deal. I’m setting some expectations. I’m saying to them, “If this deal happened elsewhere it would be worth 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds.” Remember, they’d offered me 5,000 pounds off.

Paul Green:
I had a nervous few hours waiting for their reply. And then, ping, an email came in and they said, “We can move the overall price down to,” and it’s actually the price we paid, “from the original of this. That’s a reduction of 7,246 pounds.” So essentially I got another 2,246 pounds off the land that I was buying just by sending one email. What did the book cost me? Probably about 10 pounds, 15 pounds on Amazon plus the Audible version, which, hey, I’ve got a subscription anyway. So I paid 10 or 15 pounds for a book, I read it, I made good notes on it, and just by sending one email, it helped me to save an additional 2,246 pounds.

Paul Green:
Now, that is powerful. And do you know what? I use this book all the time. There’s all sorts of little techniques in there. Just things like getting people to open your emails, things like getting people to respond if they’ve gone quiet. If you are negotiating with someone in a new way, whether that’s a new client for your MSP or something, there are lines in that book that you will find invaluable. And you can pop them in your head or pop them in your notepad and use them in real life or use them on email. They’re very, very powerful. Get this book, read it, and action it.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
Everything we talk about in the podcast is also the kind of stuff we discuss in the Facebook group. Now, this is a free group, and we’ve got more than 800 members from all around the world, every single one of them an MSP, because this is a vendor free zone. So if you’re serious about talking about MSP marketing and business growth activities, ways of generating more monthly recurring revenue, and just growing your business, making it better, getting more cash out of it while still delighting your clients, come and join me in the group. Just go into Facebook, go into the app on your phone, type in MSP marketing at the top and go onto groups, and it should be the first result, the MSP marketing Facebook group. I do ask you a couple of questions just to validate that you are an MSP and not a vendor trying to sneak in. And it’s as simple as that, you’ll be let in within 24 hours, the MSP marketing Facebook group. Go on, join it now.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Benjamin Niernberg:
Hi, my name’s Benjamin Niernberg. I’m the executive vice president of MNJ Technologies and Ignyte. And we are a service provider specialising at the edge of all things that have to do with connectivity.

Paul Green:
And thanks for joining me on the show, Ben, because you were recommended to me by one of our previous guests, who said that you were the person to talk to about how to manage client retention during a down economy. Now, without getting too caught up in what’s happening right now, we can all see that obviously this is going to have a long financial impact on pretty much every country around the world. And we’ve got an interesting couple of years ahead. That’s going to create lots of opportunities for some people, and it’s going to create a lot of heartache for other people. Now, I know the MSPs have always benefited from incredibly good client retention. Most MSPs I speak to, they’ve still got a client that they first picked up 10, 15, 20 years ago. And do you think that’s going to change as we go forward from here over the next couple of years? Do you think that the retention is going to get a little bit worse for MSPs?

Benjamin Niernberg:
I would agree. I don’t know if I would say the retention is going to get worse, as much as I truly believe that we’re going to have to do more to retain our customers, that it’s no longer about maintaining the status quo. It’s no longer about, customers won’t leave us because we control X, Y, and Z. That we need to really embrace being proactive in the way we go about helping our customers enable their business. As IT professionals are getting tasked to do more and more within a company and have more and more of an impact, they’re going to be forced to look for service providers that help enable that. And if you’re a service provider that doesn’t, you’re not going to be able to retain that customer like you would in the past.

Paul Green:
So can you give me some examples of what you mean by being more proactive for clients?

Benjamin Niernberg:
Sure. And I think the point is, you’re not just being proactive about, are you using too much bandwidth? And are you meeting certain thresholds? We’re talking about being proactive when we do quarterly business reviews, understanding the needs of the business and the needs of the technology group. Are they being tasked with moving more workloads to the cloud, and how can we help and be a part of that? What are they doing with things like bot technology and what are they doing with their remote workforce? You need to get ahead of the conversation and be a part of those things at more of a business level than you’ve ever needed to.

Benjamin Niernberg:
Oftentimes AI and bot technology is being talked about not just in the IT area, but being talked about in the operations group. And if you’re not a part of those conversations, when the IT professionals get told, “Hey, this is where the business is going and this is what we need to do. How can you help enable us?” They’re going to look for other providers that can. And so it’s really about being proactive and having business discussions about understanding where the business is going. Even up to now, including climate and culture, never before has IT been looked at as an enablement to climate and culture, and now they have. And if you’re not asking those questions about how you can help enable that, you’re going to be a service provider that’s going to be left out on the side.

Paul Green:
And looking at how you do that practically, you mentioned doing quarterly business reviews. Is it as simple as really good account management skills and making sure that you’re in touch with your clients, you’re seeing them on a regular basis, and you’re actually sitting down and asking them open questions about, where are they going? What are they talking about? What are their problems?

Benjamin Niernberg:
I think, Paul, it starts with a mind shift and a change in mindset, and that understanding that you’re not going in there to sell them something specific. You’re going in there to help them solve a business problem. So when we look at the sales professionals for service providers that are most successful, they’re the ones that go in with an open mind, asking business questions, understanding the needs of the customer, and then tailor making the solution or services to that. And so quarterly business reviews are just that. It’s not just about going over where we stand in terms of the SLAs that we have in place, but saying, what’s changing in your business? What problems? What keeps you up at night? What are your big initiatives for the year, and how can we help enable that? And that’s a change in mindset, of getting outside of technology questions and inside of business questioning techniques.

Paul Green:
I can see how that’s a complete shift. So what do you do then if you’re in an MSP where you simply don’t have the resource to do that? Because you as the owner, perhaps you’re the second or the third line tech, and you’re just far too busy working in the business to be able to spend your time getting out and talking to your clients. Is that actually a major risk factor, do you think?

Benjamin Niernberg:
Well, I think you need to do two things. One, I think as MSPs you need to not be everything for everybody. You need to really pick a lane and be hyper-focused in that area. And then what you do is you build a team or a group of partners behind you so that you can be the front line consultant. And as your customers’ needs and demands get asked, you don’t have to worry about, who do you call? You know who your team is behind you. So you stay more hyper-focused so you can do that. Secondly, if you’re just focused on the back end technology and you’re not having those discussions, you are going to be that MSP that’s been left, and you are going to have an issue with customer retention. We really don’t have a choice any more of staying status quo and standing behind the scenes. We have to be present in front of them.

Benjamin Niernberg:
And then you have to be the champion for how you go about doing that and how you go about questioning those customers. Otherwise you’ll slowly start to see that business trickle away to those that are. I don’t believe that the largest MSPs are the ones that are most apt to help customers right now. I actually think the MSPs that are most nimble, the MSPs that are all relying on each other and building these conglomerates of services are the ones that are going to be most successful, because they can be the most nimble. They can be the most agile, and they don’t have to train 1,500 salespeople to work in that way. They have a much smaller group to pivot and change with.

Paul Green:
That’s so exciting to hear that, it really is. So I can see you talking about almost a transformation there, and the transformation almost away from being a technology provider and a service provider into being, and the word is bandied around, but a true partner, where you are actually genuinely partnering with your clients to help them to grow their overall business. It’s just the way that you do that is through technology.

Benjamin Niernberg:
Whether it’s a trusted adviser, whether it’s a true business partner, those are the things and those are the terms that you hear around our industry of those being successful. I affectionately tell people, your competitors are now becoming your partners. The ability for all of us to say, “Hey, maybe they competed against us in the past, but they’ve got something that they do that’s unique, and I could really use that so I don’t have to focus on that. And I’m going to partner with that person that maybe was down the street with me, or maybe that I competed against in the past.” These lines are starting to get blurred. And those that are embracing that and those that are accepting that, and those that are looking for ways to build stronger partnerships in communities, those are the ones that we’ve seen be most successful.

Paul Green:
Ben, tell us a little bit about MNJ Technologies and what you do for MSPs.

Benjamin Niernberg:
Sure, so MNJ Technologies started out as a traditional hardware VAR or traditional reseller, and we’ve grown quite large in that market space, but really the pivot has been around us being a master service provider or service provider at the edge. We believe that all of the things going on in our communities revolve at the edge, whether customers are moving to unified communications in the cloud, security in the cloud, workflows in the cloud, layer seven applications, remote workforces, we believe that the edge is where traffic flows. And so we’re hyper-focused on being a service provider that is at the edge, where we marry both WAN, LAN, security, and SD-WAN technologies to create not only cost efficiencies and production efficiencies, but also an end user experience that’s second to none.

Paul Green:
And I know you have a channel program, so what’s your website for MSPs who want to have a look at that and learn more about you?

Benjamin Niernberg:
Yeah, sure. So our channel program is under our company name, Ignyte, which is I-G-N-Y-T-E. And if you go to ignytenow.com, you’ll be able to see exactly what we do and reach out to us. And we’d be glad to partner with you and help you out.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast, ask Paul anything.

Jack:
Hi, my name is Jack from Genio Technologies. How can I look at my marketing like a prospect and not a tech?

Paul Green:
Great question, Jack, thank you. And fits very well with something we were talking about on last week’s show, which was, to influence what John Smith buys you’ve got to look through John Smith’s eyes. So it’s a problem that most MSPs have, is how do you look at your marketing as a prospect and not a tech? So I’ve only been in the MSP world for what, five years, something like that. And already I have stopped being an ordinary person. Because I know about things now like how important it is to back up your computer and disaster recovery. And I even know what MSP stands for, which most ordinary people don’t. And even me, a non-technical person, has become a little bit of an insider. And that makes me not an ordinary prospect. So I have to use my marketing super power of pretending not to know anything about technology when I’m looking at MSPs marketing.

Paul Green:
That’s doubly hard for you, because you’ve probably been doing this a lot longer. You’ve probably engaged in technology and you understand technology and know so much, so much more than ordinary people do. And you’ve got to kind of forget all of that when you look at your marketing. Now, that’s easy for me to do, because I was trained to do this at the age of 19. I went to journalism school and became a newspaper reporter. And one of the first things they taught us to do was to look at things from the other person’s point of view. So I’ve literally spent an entire career preparing to do this. You haven’t. Maybe some of your training has been to try and look at things from the user’s point of view when they’ve got an issue, but it’s still not a natural talent. Most people really do struggle to do this.

Paul Green:
And this is why I actually recommend, if you want to look at your marketing from the prospect’s point of view and not from your point of view, you’re going to need some help to do this. Maybe, just maybe, you could put a panel together. Now, what if you got hold of two or three ordinary business owners from your area, so they’re the kind of business owners that you would like to reach, but maybe they’re clients, maybe they’re prospects, it’s got to be someone that you trust, but they mustn’t be friends. They can’t be people who are perhaps not telling you something negative in order to protect you. They’ve got to be just contacts. You maybe might try and find them on LinkedIn, you might try and find them with just a Facebook advert. You might even pay them for their feedback.

Paul Green:
“Who wants to earn 50 pounds for 20 minutes on a Zoom call? But you must be a business owner.” And what I would do is I would get them on a Zoom call and I would take them through your website, take them through the two most important pages, which is the home page and the About Us page. And just ask them open questions about your website. “What does it make you feel when you see this? Tell me about my business from what you’ve read here. On a scale of one to 10, where one is never and 10 is, ‘Oh, I’d be straight on the phone,’ how likely are you to pick up the phone and call us off the back of this? What do we sell?” That’s a great question to ask anyone that’s looking at your website. “What do we do and what do we sell? And is it for you?”

Paul Green:
You could do this with calls on an individual basis, or you could get them onto a group call. The problem with a group call is there’s a bit of a group mentality thing that happens. One strong person gives their opinion and everyone else tends to just fall in line with that opinion. But however you do it, you don’t have to do this in a scientific way. You’re looking to pick up trends. If two or three people say the same thing, “Oh, this left me a bit cold.” Or, “Actually I’m not quite sure what it is that you sell.” Or, “I really don’t know what all this gobbledygook means.” If two or three people say that, it’s a trend. And where it’s a trend, you can assume that lots of other people are looking at it. The trends are our friends. They tell us when there’s a problem and we need to change something.

Paul Green:
So I think if you haven’t got that super power of being able to look at your marketing like an ordinary person, this is an exceptionally good way of getting some feedback. You could do this before you make some changes to your website and you could then do it with the same people afterwards, or maybe with different people afterwards. You’re looking for a review. Now, there are actually some online services that you can use to see what people are doing on your website. I’m not convinced they have absolute value for MSPs, but I just want to mention them to you anyway so you can do your own research. So you’ve got userbrain.net, which will record videos of people interacting with your website. And it has a way of getting some feedback from them as well. I think this is more aimed at e-commerce than anything else. And certainly the amount of traffic you get to your website might make this just an expensive plaything and not actually useful for you.

Paul Green:
Also got another one could User Bob, it’s userbob.com. Interesting name that one, isn’t it? And they get videos and ask people what it was like visiting your website. And again, I’d question with that, is it the right kind of people? Is it the decision makers that we want to reach? And then there’s another one called User Insights. Userinsights.com, which will give you some insights into how people are using your website. Don’t think I’ve ever recommended those before to MSPs, because I can see that they are of limited value. You haven’t got high traffic websites, you don’t need thousands of people going through your sites. You only need one new client every month or every quarter, or however often you want a new client, depending on how many users you’re onboarding, of course. But it’s worth you just having a look at those, seeing if they could help you on your website.

Paul Green:
The other thing you could do is just post it in things like my Facebook group. I mentioned earlier the MSP marketing Facebook group. Always happy to give a very, very quick critique of a website. For my clients I do in-depth video critiques, but that’s just for my paying clients, because obviously that takes some time. There’s a finite number of those that I can do at any point. But anyone can post their website into the MSP marketing Facebook group. And loads of people will just jump in with a very quick critique, things you could do for some quick wins to improve your website and your marketing.

Voiceover:
How to contribute to the show.

Paul Green:
Now, if you listen to this podcast on the website, you’ll see there’s now a clever little tool that we’ve put on the show page to allow you to send a voice message to me. We’ve integrated something called SpeakPipe into the page, and you can literally send a voice message direct from the page without having to download anything or faff about. Just underneath the actual episode itself there’s a little orange button that says, “Start recording.” You can press that, it asks for access to your microphone, and then you can just record me a voice message. And you just press go at the end and it will email it to me automatically. It’s very, very clever and very simple. It’s frictionless. So why don’t you send me an audio recording? You could send me a question just like Jack did then, or just a piece of feedback on the show, or just tell me what you like about the show. It’s always good to get feedback from you.

Paul Green:
Go onto my website now, paulgreensmspmarketing.com/podcast. Pick the latest episodes, and you can see the orange start recording button. Go on, send me some feedback. I’d love to hear from you.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week.

Mark Copeman:
I just thought, everybody’s looking for inspiration. Everybody’s looking for answers. Why don’t I make an attempt at bringing together almost 90 experienced IT professionals, MSP owners, and get their one thing which they attribute their success to, and somehow pull it all together?

Paul Green:
That’s Mark Copeman. He’s the author of Help Desk Habits and a brand new book called MSP Secrets Revealed. He’s going to be joining me on the show next week to talk about 84 nuggets of critical advice that every MSP really should be taking action on. We’re also going to be talking about some rules of websites and things that you really should be following to make your website better. And we’re going to be at the marketing implications of a cyber first future. We all know that the chances of you running an MSSP, a managed security services provider, is very high in the next five to 10 years. It’s the way that all MSPs are going to go. But what are the marketing implications of that? We’re going to discuss it in next week’s show. See you then.

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

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