The MSP market is more competitive than ever before. With the current array of providers, crafting a unique competitive advantage and differentiating your services from others could be a significant challenge. You may have determined how to start a managed services company, but the next major hurdle and question you face is: How do we get managed services clients?
Finding that first MSP client is critical in shaping the course of your organization’s future. In this article, we offer six ways to help you find customers and to help customers find you.
The Top Six Tips to Land Your First MSP Client
#1. Make Effective Use of Essential Communication Channels
When your goal is finding managed services clients, visibility means everything. Rather than searching for an MSP client, let the client find you. Explore ways that potential clients can reach out to you and make sure that all channels are accessible. Start out by developing a solid and attractive website which highlights the scope of your services. As simple as it may seem, from your organization’s email to the physical address and all relevant phone numbers, make sure that your information is correct, all modes of contact are functional and that you’re properly staffed to respond to inquiries, and that your Contact Us section is visible across all modes of communication that you are using to advertise your firm to potential MSP clients.
#2. Partner with the Best in the Game
Business success is really about building mutually beneficial partnerships. Some well-established MSPs with a large clientele may come across clients that are too “small” for them. Move in and make their small clients your first clients. You can offer your competitors a commission to refer these small clients to you—which, per industry standard, typically amounts to one month’s recurring revenue.
#3. Find your Niche and Stick to It
When the decision to start an MSP has been made, an appropriately focused entrepreneur begins to explore factors such as:
- Deciding on the scope of services
- Exploring funding options
- Highlighting strengths and weaknesses
- Narrowing down your target market
- Answering the four Ps of Marketing
In addition to the above elements, it is critical to determine your vertical industry focus at this stage, because it will be tremendously helpful when you’re trying to land your first MSP client. Companies are looking for experts, and building a niche offers advantages which help differentiate your services from that of competing businesses. You can even choose your industry focus based on location—for example, a company based near a major shoreline can look for MSP clients from the marine sector. Creating an industry focus is recommended over trying to offer services to everyone.
No matter how much marketing evolves, creating a genuine connection to potential customers will always make a difference. Make an effort to personally stop by clients’ offices to introduce yourself and your company’s services. Take the initiative to speak with the manager/owner and guide them. Provide them with an informational pamphlet which contains key details of your services, such as pricing, and explain why your services stand apart.
#5. Weave a Credible Business Network
For more marketing and selling power, network with business owners! Acquire memberships to industry chambers and join social clubs where you can meet potential customers. Developing business relationships through networking will help spread the word about your services.
#6. Don’t Let the Potential Power of Discounting Fool You
After days, weeks or even months of searching, finding your first MSP client may very much seem like an uphill climb. But even in the most uncertain times, DO NOT give away your services for free or at deeply discounted rates! Even though this may seem like a good strategy to entice customers, it will not play out well over time and only diminishes the perceived value of your offering. In many cases, clients will often push for even lower prices when an MSP seems willing to offer reductions to get them to sign on.
Most importantly, have faith in your company’s vision and the quality of your company’s services. Your business is only as good as you think it is. If you take pride in your product offering and value proposition, clients can sense this and will be more willing to confidently embark upon building a relationship of trust with you.
Take charge and march ahead. Good luck!