There are dozens of ways you can get new clients. Literally, dozens. Each have their pluses and minuses.
Some people swear by networking. I swear at it (because I think it’s inefficient).
Others love referrals. Referrals are amazing, if hard to ramp up when you need new clients.
The majority of referrals should lead to a client, so long as the prospect’s expectations are set correctly. Someone being told “you should use my IT guy, he’s amazing, and you can ring him on his mobile at 11pm on a Sunday night” is never going to be a happy client… 🤣
Side note: This is the best book I’ve ever read on referrals, and explains very well how the fear of social risk stops you getting more referrals.
There’s straight advertising. Offline, as well as Google pay per click, Facebook ads and LinkedIn campaigns. These can work, although the cost of acquisition per client can be very high.
My favourite 3 methods to get new clients
When I’m working with my MSP Mastermind clients, I tend to focus on three main methods to get new clients. Because they work, and they are utterly controllable.
Each requires an element of work. They’re not easy.
To me, that’s important. I encourage my Masterminders to embrace the complexity of marketing. Where you are prepared to put in hard work to find a prospect and warm them up, you are more likely to beat competitors who are just coasting along.
Method 1) Data capture
You get qualified prospects to choose to join your database and receive your marketing, by asking them to opt-in. This is fully GDPR-compliant.
It is best done by offering them an ethical bribe – something they get as a reward for opting in. A print book works best.
Once they are in your database, you trigger an automated set of follow-up emails. This is highly efficient. You build a relationship hundreds or thousands of people at once.
And you either build in buying triggers or use telesales, so that those who are ready to move forward identify themselves. And you can meet with them.
Every successful business venture I’ve ever done has been built with this method. It works best in B2B, although can work really well with consumers too.
I had 12,000 opted-in B2B prospects in my last business. Right now I have just under 1,000 MSPs getting weekly emails from me.
- Plus: Most scalable and automatable method of building long-term relationships with hundreds or thousands of prospects at once
- Plus: You pay once for some traffic and have multiple chances to talk to that person, often over a number of years, for no additional cost
- Plus: You’re more likely to be in front of someone at the exact moment they are ready to buy
- Minus: Lots of work to set it up
- Minus: It’s a constant slog to drive quality traffic
- Minus: It’s getting harder to get people to opt-in (which is what makes a print book a necessity)
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Method 2) Smash & grab
With this method, you identify a series of prospects you’d like to work with, and send them a letter and a book. This smashes your way into their attention
Then a few days later, you phone them to explore their relationship with their current MSP and grab a meeting with them.
- Plus: You can switch it on and off as needed
- Plus: It gives you immense standoutability
- Plus: It lets you build a relationship with a prospect months before they decide to ditch their incumbent
- Plus: You’re positioned as an expert
- Minus: You need a printed book
- Minus: It needs to be hyper targeted and relevant to give the best results
- Minus: You need a video case study with an existing client
- Minus: It’s a manual process
- Minus: You can have lots of meetings now but no new clients for months
Method 3) Intrigue letter
This is beautiful, because it’s simple.
You post a sales letter directly to some targeted prospects and follow-up by phone a few days later. That’s it.
But the sales letter needs to build up some intrigue. It needs to be the kind of letter that gets your prospect thinking and feeling. Get the brain and heart moving and you’re more likely to win the sale.
I’ve just written a 5 page intrigue letter for my MSP Masterminders, based around GDPR. I can’t give it to you, but here’s a screenshot of the first page, to give you an idea what makes it intriguing.
- Plus: It’s quick and easy
- Plus: Switch it on and off as needed
- Plus: Quickly identifies those who have a want/need and puts you in front of them
- Minus: No relationship building or expert positioning
- Minus: It’s pure selling
- Minus: They won’t respond unless they want/need what you’re talking about
- Minus: It’s a manual process