I have run an MSP for 18 years and counting. I have learned a lot over the past 18 years, and I continue to learn new things every day.
When I first started out I was good at technology but crappy at sales and marketing. Back in 2000, there were no organizations like Robin Robins providing guidance and strategy on how to market and grow your business. In fact, I never joined any IT / MSP communities. Everything I did was based on reading and learning on my own.
We grew our MSP purely on referrals. I didn’t know anything about sales funnels, inbound marketing or other lead generation technics.
As I started building Secure Now! in 2010 with our HIPAA Secure Now! service, I realized I needed to get better at marketing and sales. We started to work with other MSPs that encouraged us to develop our channel only Breach Secure Now! service. 1,600 MSP partners later, we have a rapidly growing channel program.
What I have come to realize about many of our partners is that they are good at technology and crappy at sales. Now before you get offended, we have some partners that are absolutely crushing sales, but they are definitely the exception to the rule.
For the most part, our MSP partners are looking to grow their company and hungry for new clients. They rely on referrals, don’t do much marketing and aren’t familiar with sales funnels and inbound marketing. They look exactly like I did 18 years ago!
As a channel vendor, one of the most frustrating things is to sign up an excited partner who believes in our services only to have them produce no sales.
I have racked my brain trying to figure out how to help our channel partners grow their businesses.
A few years ago, Robin Robins, the Queen of MSP channel marketing and someone that I deeply admire, produced a video blog where she said selling MSP services is one of the hardest things to do. It is all or nothing and to get a prospect to commit, leave their existing IT provider and sign-up with a new MSP is extremely difficult. Robin said the best way to getting a new client is to get your foot in the door and start working with them. She acknowledged that working with a company that has an existing IT provider is difficult. That company won’t let you monitor their network, patch their servers or backup their data.
So here is our partners’ issue – selling MSP services is difficult. Getting your foot in the door by providing services, and showing a prospect how good your company is, is practically impossible. No wonder our partners struggle to grow their businesses!
Then the lightbulb went off! Wait I said to myself, Secure Now! provides services that most IT / MSPs don’t provide. Could our partners use our security services to get their foot in the door? Couldn’t our partners start providing services that a prospect’s existing IT provider is not providing currently? The answer was clear – YES!
Why didn’t I think of this earlier? We have the Prospecting tools that our partners need. We have the security services that our partners can use to get their foot in the door. We have the way for our partners to show a prospect what a great, security-focused MSP they are.
At this point you may be saying to yourself, OK Art sounds good, but SMBs don’t care about security. If they don’t care, how can I use security to get my foot in the door?
SMB clients need help with understanding their risks. They need help seeing where their weaknesses and vulnerabilities are. The key is showing an SMB these risks, vulnerabilities and the potential impact to the business.
Back to our Prospecting tools. I started thinking through the suite of products that we have that an MSP partner could use to get their foot in the door – our Dark Web Breach Assessment, simulated Phishing, Employee Security Awareness Training, our Employee Vulnerability Assessment, Written Security Policies, our Security Risk Assessment and our HIPAA Compliance Services for healthcare prospects.
I won’t go into detail about each of the services, but I absolutely believe that these services are the way to get your foot in the door of a prospect. They are the way to show a prospect how good your MSP is. They are the way to engage a prospect before they commit to becoming an MSP client. And if a prospect’s existing IT provider is not providing these services, then there is no reason why you can’t provide them to the prospect.
Did we stumble across the Ultimate Security Prospecting Toolkit? I absolutely believe we did!
If you want to grow your MSP business and you are interested in learning more about how our security services can help you with Prospecting and putting more leads into your sales funnel, check out our on-demand webinar on our brand-new Security Prospecting Toolkit, available now!
-Art Gross, President and CEO, Secure Now! & Entegration, Inc.
Watch our on-demand webinar now to learn more about the Toolkit and see how it can help you grow your MSP business!