When you think about managed services and the best way to sell them, the idea can be daunting. There are many ways to make sales. Do you send out mailers and hope one or maybe, if you’re really lucky, more than one will end up in the hands of someone who is interested? Do you send out email—the new mass mailing sales effort, and hope that people who receive an email will actually open it—then, if you’re lucky, they will need the services you’re offering?
A good thing about mass emails is that they are less expensive that sending out “snail” mail—with paper, postage, and time. But cheaper does not always mean more effective. The point is to make people see the value of your product then convince them that you can make their work more efficient and more cost effective. Perhaps there is a better and more efficient way to sale managed services.
One way to get your information to the right people is attach your advertisement to inbound marketing. Think about Google, and how your ad could be attached to a web search for computers, or software, or technology help—you want your information somewhere that someone who may not even know they need your help will be. Those are people who may be doing a web search and are already in the “shopping” mood as they think about ways to make their usage of tech more efficient.
Another way to take advantage of inbound marketing is to write blogs that will make people search for content that will eventually put them on your website. For example, write a blog entry about the supposedly newest and best software to help salespeople do their jobs better. Write a blog about why a certain kind of tech is soon to be outdated. The goal is to get people to visit your website, see what you have to offer them while they’re there to read about that software, and maybe convince them to use your managed service to make their life more tenable.
With inbound marketing you are targeting customers—not just taking a shotgun approach and hope you hit your target. That alone makes it more efficient than outbound marketing like mass mailing and mass emailing. People also no longer want to watch commercials—which means running a commercial and hoping the right person sees it. Why put a billboard up and hope the right person will drive by, see it, and think, “aha, managed services is what I’ve been needing.” Inbound marketing will not net 100 percent success, but it will allow the right kinds of people to see what you have for sale.
Other Thoughts on Selling Managed Services
Don’t sell the bells and whistles of your service when you speak to the CEO or COO. Instead, tell them what the entire package of managed services has to offer their organization. Rather than tell the executive at the first meeting that managed services offers greater anti-spam, or better spyware, or something specific; begin by telling them that managed services will create fewer risks, and it will keep risks and losses under control. Speak the CEO and COO language which is the big picture.
If, after they hear to major points of using managed services, they have more detailed questions, then go for it, but start the sell with the main points. What people want to know is that managed services allows them to be proactive and that it can make their performance better and certainly more reliable. Make certain that they understand that their employees will be more productive and more focused, they will want to hear more.
Develop and Rely on Your Reputation
Have a reputation that you can rely on, and that you can refer others to. Even if this is your first venture on your own, you have done similar work as someone else’s employee. You need to be able to describe how you did your job before, and what kind of job you will do for a new client. They want to have faith that when they rely on you and your team, you will come through.
To be successful at selling managed services to other companies, it has to be a focus for you as a provider. This may seem simple, but until you develop a solid reputation for keeping other businesses up and running, for preventing problems with viruses and malware, and for doing all of this 24 hours a day every day, it will be hard to gain new customers.
When you speak to potential clients you must know their needs—perhaps even better than they do. Know what companies their size struggle with, then have a solution to present to them. They may not even know that their problem has been a problem—at least until you tell them how you will fix it. Once they see they have a problem, make certain they understand that you will offer them the managed solution that will allow them to be more productive than ever before.