Author’s note: This article also appears on MSP Mentor.
The past few weeks, I’ve been on the phone talking to MSPs about making sales. Specifically, as you might imagine, how to best sell backup and disaster recovery services. The partners I called were ones that we’ve identified as money-makers. They know how to sell their services and solutions better than anybody else. But don’t worry—I don’t just talk to the big sellers, I’ve also chatted with plenty that have a hard time selling certain services. I’ve seen feast and famine and I’ve taken notes. Some MSPs have trouble selling and don’t know what to do, but some can’t even believe there are MSPs that aren’t making a killing selling backup and recovery.
The money-makers have some advice for those who aren’t getting the sales they need, and it boils down to two things: price and pitch.
Price is a concern for you and your clients. What you buy is often what you sell as part of your offering. Great products don’t come cheap, but when you’ve got to guarantee to your clients that the solutions you provide them with will work, price shouldn’t be your biggest concern, value should. Paying for reliability will save you money and allow you to offer more value for clients. The most reliable solutions are the ones you don’t have to worry about and the fewer hours or minutes you spend troubleshooting any software or hardware, the more cash fills your money bucket, that’s money that makes your more profitable. Finding solid, reliable solutions is the best way to not only build steel-hardy trust with your clients, but to make sure you keep every dime you work so hard for. In the long run, paying a little more for quality will always pay off. Remember, though, that a lot of what you buy is sold to your clients or used as part of your service offering. You can probably get behind the idea of spending more on good products, but can your clients? You need reasonable prices to sell anything, but more than that you need to show value.
Your clients probably get the basic idea of backup. They probably know that they need copies of data for compliance, taxes, or just to be safe. Trouble is, you need to make some profit too and when you add something to their cost for your bottom line, the first thing they say is, “you want how much? For a stupid backup?!”
But this is all wrong.
Your clients won’t see the value in higher costs if you’re trying to sell a backup. You shouldn’t even be selling backup. You should be selling disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). The value of DRaaS for your clients—the value you need to make them aware of—is that you can get them back up and running quickly if something goes wrong with their IT environment. Your clients understand backup, but do they understand downtime? Do they have recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives? Do they have a solitary clue about what will happen if their systems take a dive or the cost of this type of failure? Tell them they have the option of being down and out for a long time or a very short time. Help them figure out how much money they’ll be losing for each minute of downtime and show them how easily this can be avoided. The value will become crystal clear.
I know a lot of MSPs aren’t really great salespeople—I get it, it’s not easy. But when it comes to making more money it’s really up to you. You’ve got to put in the effort to show clients or potential clients the value or you’re not going to make a lot of sales—plain and simple. People won’t buy stuff if they can’t see how it will save them money, so if you really want to sell more disaster recovery services, you’ve got to do some work. Make more money or not—it’s really your choice.
Photo credit: Chris Potter via Flickr