Business for a Managed Service Provider
Being MSPs you may have multiple clients across various industries. Some around hospitality, some around finance, some around real estate, educational field etc. Irrespective of the industry, some of them may be the right clients for your business and some may not be. So, how would you analyze it?
Some of your potential clients may be associating with a managed service provider (MSP) for the first time and some may already be in association with someone else.
Narrow down the target audience for your MSP Business
Being an MSP, you can have and serve clients across multiple verticals. But it is not necessary that all those are right for you. Choose your target audience. Do you want a customer that lets you manage 100 nodes or do you want someone who has 700 nodes or more? Do you want 10 customers with approximately 200 nodes each or do you want 5 customers with 400 nodes each? Do you want to start with clients in the food and beverage industry or do you want to manage clients in the finance sector?
Geographical territory matters too, do you want to serve clients present only in your country or state or city or do you want to expand and go global?
It’s up to you and your vision for the future. So, you need to narrow down on that first.
Why would a potential client choose you over the other?
If the client is already associated with another MSP, why would they choose you over the other? The next 2 points give you the answer:
Analyze your USP
You offer something that the others don’t. Apart from the usual Monitoring and Management services, what else do you have to offer your clients? Is it friendly engineers? Is it them going the extra mile when the clients face a problem, or is it offering something completely offbeat like DevOps or Microsoft Services etc.? The answer that you get is what sets you apart from the rest.
Trust is a huge factor which comes into play while doing any business. If you have a good website, if you have an online presence, if you keep your followers updated, if you develop that trust through being in constant touch with them, that can surely develop trust over time.
Referrals can be of huge help since the customers that come through references are more likely to convert. Word of mouth spread through the network helps build trust and a good brand image as well.
And your existing customers would know you and your organization’s working style better, so it is more likely that they’ll recommend customers who are suitable for your target market.
There are very few chances for your customers to not refer you to their network if they are happy with the service that you provide. Deliver them the best service and give the best experience so that it leads to more word of mouth.
The one thing you can do to instigate referrals from your existing customers is to give incentives to customers that refer you to some more clients.
Do not undermine your services
Referrals are one thing and reducing the price of your service (giving discounts in order to attract customers) is another thing. Referrals incentivize or give positive reinforcement to those that are associated with you. But a discount is a different story because when you reduce the price of your service, you are undervaluing your service. People will only value you how much you value yourself.
But what you can do is if your prospective customer wants your service at a lower price, give them a taste of what your service looks like. Give them a part of the service that they need, not the entire facility. This way you don’t reduce your prices and the customer will also know your worth,
And if you impress them during this period, they won’t risk not signing a full-fledged contract with you. And even if they continue on the same package, at least your engineers are getting paid for what they are providing.
Using online and offline directories to let people know about you and your business better, also helps. Local Directories help you reach out to as many people and that can help you increase your clientele.
And these would also help you find the clients you have set as your target audience. Easy to filter them and divide them industry-wise.
You can partner with vendors (that sell tools and software like RMM or Firewall) and you can reach out to as many people as possible. The ones who are in the network of these vendors, you can cater to all those and increase your clientele.
Attend Events and Conferences
To increase brand visibility and awareness, you need to attend conferences. Some good-ol’ face-to-face communication can go a long way in building trust and creating an impact.
The more events and conferences you attend, the more you’ll be visible to everyone and the more likely you are to be etched in the mind of the prospects you meet.
Another benefit is that you get to understand the pain points of your prospective customers, which helps you understand them at a more ground level and gives you the ability to address their pain points and eventually help you serve them better.
So better have a stellar pitch ready and also your ears wide open!
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