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There’s really no substitute for having a reliable Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution in place. When talking to Managed Service Providers, this is far from breaking news. Still, many small to mid sized businesses don’t understand the true value of having a bulletproof response to a potentially crippling situation.
The MSP challenge is making these SMBs see the true value, and convincing them that any extra costs associated with backing up their data are well worth it. They may not be looking at BDR through the same crystal clear lens that MSPs are. They're often looking through fogged up gasses, and its your job to wipe them clean.
There may be no guaranteed recipe for convincing them to invest in your BDR offering, but here are three approaches to start with.
1 – Examine the current plan
Anyone who has been tasked with starting or growing a business knows all about the hard work and commitment that it takes. Make your clients and prospective clients understand that all of their hard work is at risk if they don’t have a solid BDR solution in place. They've worked tirelessly to get to where they are. Is it really worth risking it all?
Examine the client’s current solution in order to give them a comprehensive assessment of their data protection plan. Explain to them exactly what they are risking with their current solution. If a client can fully understand the areas of concern surrounding their operation, they may have a better grasp on just how much data could be lost, and how to prevent this IT crisis.
For example, perhaps a current or potential client has a BDR solution, but it doesn't offer true 24x7x365 availability and business continuity. Disaster doesn't follow a 9-5 workday, so businesses need to be prepared to react at all hours of the day and night. Ask them what their plan would be if disaster struck at 4am? Make them understand that you'll be monitoring their systems during ALL hours. Without end-to-end, 24x7x365 backup and disaster recovery, your clients are jeopardizing the security of sensitive company data and running the risk of downtime.
2 – Focus on the cost of downtime
Now and then, we all pass on some form of "protection plan” or "insurance policy." Sometimes you risk it. Whether it's for a rental car or a new video game, on occasion, the cost may outweigh the benefit. In other words, there may not be a high Return on Investment (ROI). But when talking about the future of a business, the ROI of BDR is undeniable. You can't afford to leave the safety of client data to chance.
In the end, server backup should sell itself. The problem is that too many potential clients just aren't aware of what a poor disaster recovery strategy could mean for their business. It's your job to teach them!
The cost of downtime is something that is sure to make clients' ears perk up. Downtime means a loss of revenue, productivity, and recovery costs. Not to mention the hit the business’s reputation would likely take. How long can these businesses afford to be nonoperational? Even if a client does have the previously mentioned 24x7x365 data recovery availability, without a quick recovery time, they’re still facing extended downtime.
Make sure your clients know that data can be recovered and their systems can be back up and running in a matter of minutes. Do they really want to run the risk of being nonoperational for hours on end, or even days?!
There's nothing worse than having to start from scratch. With backup, more than anything, you're selling a sense of security; you’re selling guaranteed protection for your clients' businesses. Sell them the idea of being able to go to sleep at night knowing that their business is protected. Without server data protection, a disaster could lead to a loss of virtually everything. Again, think about the COST. How much would it cost a business to lose a day's, week's, or month's worth of data?
We're not saying you should try to scare clients into choosing your BDR solution, but rather make sure that they fully understand the difference between existing backup solutions and true business continuity. Business continuity means being able to remain operational at ALL times, even in the midst of a crisis.
3 – Use current clients as examples
Disaster can seem like a far-fetched notion for many businesses. The, "that could never happen to me," response is one you hear all too often. But what if it does happen? This is the question that you need to be asking your potential or existing clients. Come armed with testimonials from clients who have had disaster strike. If they had a BDR solution with continuous data recovery and a quick Recovery Time Objective (RTO), there's a good chance that they were able to withstand the crisis - and not days later! There's nothing more eye opening than being able to show someone a real world example of what a solid BDR solution can mean for their managed IT services business. Take this testimonial from one of our partners, James Boyd Associates, for instance.
It can be frustrating when clients don't see eye to eye with you on something as important as BDR. However, these three topics should go a long way toward opening their eyes and showing them the importance of BDR through a clear lens.
Are you offering your clients true business continuity with an effective BDR solution?
By Gretchen Hoffman