Schools are out, and summer has officially begun! With family vacations and holidays around the corner, you might be thinking about different ways to drum up some additional managed services business during what can be a slow season.
That’s where we can help. We know that getting prospects on the phone can be difficult during the warm summer months, which is why this week’s tip comes from Matt McCarthy, the director of new MSP sales at Barracuda MSP. In a post on Smarter MSP, he shared this advice:
“One closing question I find myself frequently using on the first call is, ‘If all the information looks good, would you be interested in signing up today?’ This encourages them to bring up their objections, whether it’s money, needing to consult a decision maker, the wrong quarter, you name it. This is where you can gather great information. It also gives you a way back in to see if you can figure out if it’s possible to get the sale in by the end of the week or the end of the month.”
To read more of Matt’s advice, visit the original post here.
3 Ways to create more urgency
To close more sales, you need to find ways to create more urgency in the sales cycle. Why should your SMB customers buy now? What additional benefits will they receive if they’re onboarded in the summer months? Will they have more hands-on time with your techs? Think about how you can offer your managed services in a unique way that they won’t want to miss out on. Here are three ways to effectively trigger decision-making and speed up the sales process:
Establish specific timelines. Whether it’s based on your timeline or your prospective customer’s, agree on a set point in time when they would be looking to move unto your managed service offering. To find out when they’re looking to implement your services, ask what their timeframe would be and when they would like to be up and running with your solution.
If your prospective customer is in the introductory phase of the sales process or still under contract with another provider, it might be more difficult to pinpoint when they’ll be looking to transition. If they don’t have a specific timeline in mind, consider what you can offer if they were to come on board sooner. Can you offer up a few additional hours of your techs’ time for free to help onboard them?
During your slow summer months, finding additional value-adds is important—and it can be a way to speed up the sales process. For example, you might run an email campaign offering a free cybersecurity training if they implement your services before Labor Day. This could be delivered as an in-person session, webinar, or an online learning platform. Providing something like this can give interested SMBs an extra incentive to jump on board in the slow summer months.
Talk about how you can solve their pain points. In the beginning of the discovery process, you should always ask questions to find out where the SMB might need help. For example, have they experienced a ransomware attack in the past year? Do they routinely backup their data? What are they using for network protection? Are the currently working with another provider? Listen for answer that point to where they might be experiencing pain around their current services. Where are they unhappy—and most importantly, what can you do to help?
By identifying the pain points they’re experiencing you can speak to it directly and highlight ways that your IT service business can solve these problems for them. If possible, use testimonials from your current customers who have overcome similar pain points by using your IT services. Feedback from an outside source can help boost your credibility, and it can help them feel more comfortable selecting you as their service provider. To learn how to get more customer testimonials, check out this post from Smarter MSP.
Always be closing. During every conversation you have, always try to close the sale. This helps uncover and overcome any hesitations and objections a prospective customer might have early on. This approach can also highlight any additional challenges, such as that they aren’t the sole decision maker, they don’t have the money to do it this month, or anything else that might pop up.
If they share an objection, respond and take note of it. One of the best ways to do this is to write notes in your CRM tool with the perspective customer’s information. For example, if they are looking to do something mid-September, take note and follow up after the summer months. When you have a good feeling about the conversation, don’t be afraid to ask the customer for the sale—and if they aren’t ready now, ask when they will be.
Just because it is warm outside, doesn’t mean your sales pipeline needs to go cold. By using these three tips, you can create more urgency and revive your sales this summer.
Photo: Sunny studio / Shutterstock.