EVERYONE who seeks out my advice on marketing comes with a single, grossly limited goal in mind: how to get more clients.
And while that’s a necessary part of a business and one they often need to fix, ultimately what most business owners want is more revenue and profits. Further, the more clients you need to hit your personal revenue goals, the more complicated, stressful, and problem-riddled your business becomes.
If simply adding more clients is your only approach, you are overlooking a vast number of smart strategies you can easily and inexpensively implement to get more from every client you have, thereby reducing the complexity of your business, which allows you to spend more to get a customer (because they are worth more) and gives you more bang for your buck per client and per lead you generate.
Here are some strategies you are probably overlooking:
1. Cross-sell other solutions. I’m often shocked at how many MSPs settle for “just” selling managed services. They have ownership of the network but fail to sell hosting solutions, print management solutions, phone systems, physical security solutions, internet connectivity, application development solutions, and more. All these solutions are already being bought and paid for by clients you have—but they’re not buying through you. Moreover, each one represents a residual income stream that makes every client more profitable and “stickier,” keeps competitors out of your clients’ networks, and (often) allows you to deliver a more complete, better-quality solution overall. Further, you don’t have to be the one doing the work. You can subcontract the work but have the client billing go through you, giving you control over the relationship.
2. Upsell cybersecurity solutions. Another grossly untapped area for additional revenue is bundling and upselling a more advanced cybersecurity solution that rides on top of your current managed services offering. This could include services such as advanced endpoint protection, a more robust backup solution, employee awareness training, dark web monitoring, and dual-factor authentication. What you sell will depend on your client base and what you’re doing now; however, far too many MSPs assume their clients won’t pay for it, or will be angry they aren’t “doing this already” for them. Neither is true and both are unfounded fears.
3. Get every client to bring you another client. Referrals are some of the best sources of new leads and sales for MSPs, but how many businesses actually have a plan in place for asking for them? If every client brought you just one additional client per year, you’d double your business. For starters, set a quota and then work on an annual marketing calendar to ask for, incentivize, and secure at least one referral per client per year.
4. Raise your prices. Another area awash in “feelings” holding back profit is pricing. Many MSPs are grossly underpriced—yet they stubbornly refuse to raise rates, insisting they can’t for fear of clients dropping like flies. Reality is, for all the clients I’ve forced the issue with, the losses were zero—or so few it didn’t matter. Further, the increased profits with fewer clients proved to be a much better financial situation than having a lot of clients with no profit.
5. Increase your close rate. The average close for MSPs is an abysmal 25 percent. That’s mostly because of a lack of any sales training, or understanding of sales fundamentals, structures, and systems. With just a little bit of training and attention, the close rate could easily go to 35 or 40 percent, adding a significant bump in sales. Combine that with raising prices by just 10 percent, and the numbers look like this:
- Today: 12 prospects, 25 percent close rate, average sale of $1,000 per month = $36,000 over one year
- Improved: 12 prospects, 40 percent close rate (five clients rounded up slightly), average sale of $1,100 per month = $66,000 over one year, or a $30,000 BUMP with no extra cost.
6. Implement a “no-fail” follow-up system. If you depend on salespeople to properly follow up with prospects, you’re a fool. I’ve yet to meet a single salesperson who has the discipline or organizational skills needed to ensure every single prospect is followed up with meticulously. Reasons range from simply forgetting to a belief that “that guy won’t spend any money.” If salespeople are busy, hitting quota, they might justify their lack of follow-up by their success. Or they might just give up too quickly on a prospect. The truth is, prospects get ready to buy on their schedule, not yours. Therefore, if you don’t have a system—a CRM and, more importantly, a marketing automation platform—that will organize, report, and enforce a no-fail follow-up, you’re leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
ROBIN ROBINS, CEO of Technology Marketing Toolkit, has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery, and low incomes. For over 18 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams, and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by over 8,000 IT services firms from around the world, from startups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com.