If there is an Achilles Heel of MSPs, it’s the role of sales and marketing. MSPs, by their very nature, are technology driven. They are comfortable in the realm of tech and can do things that others simply can’t fathom – it’s exactly why they exist! Although sales and marketing are essential in sustaining a profitable business, many MSP owners are often so immersed in the day-to-day of their business that they don’t have the time to market or sell.
But let me tell you something that MSP owners often don’t realize: you’re actually selling at all times. Think about it, you’re in a front-facing role where you’re frequently networking with other business owners. The trouble is, though, that you’re not always in “sales mode.” So, how can you better incorporate sales into your day-to-day in a way that feels natural?
Why You Need an Elevator Pitch
The truth is, selling often only requires about 30 seconds of canned presentation. The rest is simply the result of learning, giving opinions, establishing trust and attracting new opportunities with that security blanket you provide.
As you may know, an elevator pitch is a 30-second overview of your product, services and value proposition. The precept is that you should be able to tell a person you’ve never met before exactly what your business is, why it is unique and why they should be interested, all in the time it takes to ride an elevator with them.
Sounds daunting? It’s not. An elevator pitch is part of the MSP sales process that allows you to present the value of your business. Before jumping in, let’s look at the basic elements first. Typically, a strong elevator pitch is:
The key idea is to not sound like everyone else. For example, a rather mundane elevator pitch for an MSP may sound like this:
“My company, XYZ Corp, is a managed services provider, which provides technology services for businesses of all sizes. We are based in Your Town, USA and have offices in 5 other cities. We provide network monitoring and a wide variety of other technical services to help businesses get the most for their IT dollar.”
Now, this takes about 16 seconds to say at an acceptable pace. You don’t need to be hung up on taking up the entire 30 seconds. In fact, just like other first impressions, you will either grab your prospect’s attention or lose it in the first few seconds.
With that said, the above pitch is functional, but does literally nothing to set apart this particular MSP from any other MSP. It’s generic, and the person who hears this will forget it in no time. Opportunity found and lost in 16 seconds!
Let’s try another approach and see if you can tell the difference:
“I’m the owner of XYZ Corp. It is my mission to help businesses maximize profitability and become more efficient by leveraging new technologies. We work primarily with [insert target vertical] and specialize in [insert area of expertise].”
This one is little different, but doesn’t it make you want to know more? There is no direct mention of IT, but rather the benefit of IT. Also, this pitch provides areas of expertise that can help set you apart from others.
Key Elements to a Successful Elevator Pitch
So, what exactly should you include in your elevator pitch? Here are a number of elements you should consider:
- Your position – Being an owner carries weight. It shows your experience and expertise, so use it!
- Your mission – Using language like this shows passion, and people are more drawn to passionate people. Also, this helps shift the focus on to the value you aim to provide.
- Your focus – Your focus should be to make them as profitable as they can be, while adding peace of mind that they don’t have to worry about their IT infrastructure. Make that clear!
- Your area of concentration – What are you best at? Communicate this to set you apart from your competition.
- Your intent – Be a person of action. That alone will make you look different 99 percent of the time. Ask them to move the conversation to a meeting room and not an elevator. Also, it’s a good idea to offer up a business card and ask for one as well. That way, you have contact info to follow up on.
- Simplicity – As mentioned above, the most successful elevator pitches are simple, short direct, concise, and confident.
Now that you’re equipped with the essentials, go ahead and create an elevator pitch for your business! Practice it until it rolls off your tongue naturally, then go out and use it. You might be surprised how easy it is to incorporate sales into your day-to-day and prove your worth to future clients.
By Carlos Borges
By Ray Vrabel