Managed services providers (MSPs) provide a wide range of IT services that are vital to modern business. With the help of your expertise and services, clients have more peace of mind knowing you’re monitoring, managing and caring for their IT infrastructure. However, IT services don’t always sell themselves. Valuable IT providers need a structured approach to convince prospects of their value.
One of the best sales strategies follows the AIDA model, which stands for:
Leveraging the AIDA model has helped my MSP business win over new clients, so let’s take a closer look at how it can help you do the same.
The first step of this strategy is grabbing the attention of your prospect. This is best done with something that represents a solution to their current operational difficulties or pain points. Doing this generates interest and, if properly managed, a desire to source your services. Eventually, this will lead to action on your client's part.
HoustonTech recently used these principles to win a client – a legal firm – over. If you've ever worked with those who practice the law, you know just how terse those sales can be. Attorneys are very intelligent and ask many questions – cross-examination is the job they've studied to attain and become talented at. But they have digital needs like any business, and especially for clients like these, offering well-managed, available cloud storage with an ever-present, locally-sourced support desk is quite an advantage. This is, in a nutshell, what HoustonTech did. Let me walk you through how it all became possible.
Prior to signing with HoustonTech, the client had some problems with their previous IT providers.
First, they discovered through their newly-hired accountant that they were paying their former provider twice the original contracted price. Then, when they allied with another company, they experienced yet another problem: poor customer support. Whenever they’d call for assistance, someone from the IT company would tell them that another person will be in touch with them soon, but they’d always spend hours waiting to get a response. This cost the law firm a lot in terms of productivity. Last but not the least, they had the final blow with their recent IT provider. The client had secured cloud computing services from them (that they hosted on site), but they experienced connection issues right in the middle of the day. They'd been accessing a SaaS application on the cloud, and then lost it at a crucial moment. As it turned out, the IT firm stored all their files on a single computer with QuickBooks.
HoustonTech to the Rescue
The client first contacted HoustonTech in November, after HoustonTech had reached out to the client with generic MSP marketing. Either through references, advertisement, public relations or other avenues of visibility, HoustonTech had established themselves as a viable option.
After the legal firm reached out to HoustonTech, a meeting was scheduled to examine the issues that the firm had called about. As mentioned earlier, the client’s most recent IT provider had failed them with connection problems and interrupted cloud access, not to mention the fact that they stored all the client’s files on a single computer including QuickBooks. So, HoustonTech advised them this wasn't necessary, then told them to move QuickBooks to an Internet version or accountant’s computer so they didn’t need to log on to the cloud to access SaaS services, and made suggestions to streamline services. This proved eye-opening and attention-getting to the client, which gave them confidence leading to increasing interest.
Willing to Listen, But Not Trust
From there, enough interest had been developed that a meeting with the main partner of the law firm was penciled in, and he was advised of what implementation could be done. A proposal was made, though skepticism on the legal side of things remained.
An interview was then scheduled with several attorneys that had previous tech experience, and the argumentative capabilities of the lawyers were brought to the forefront. Eventually, an Azure cloud plan was ironed out, accompanied by a strategy to move some 680 GB of data without any downtime, as well as audit trail and versioning. Even then, the client remained skeptical and brought a tale of woe from previous IT providers. But they were getting more on board. They got a quote from another IT provider, just to see if HoustonTech's services were on par.
How the Client Was Won
Desire was on the edge, and it was time to prompt an action. The client called and asked what support options looked like, and HoustonTech explained that they are able to provide instant support through their U.S.-based Help Desk—via a white-label service provided by Continuum—with user support available via phone or chat. When HoustonTech provided an overview of the service they were leveraging from Continuum—including the fact that Continuum’s techs support more than 60,000 end users and have a first-contact resolution rate of more than 80 percent—the client was ready to move forward and the deal was finalized in February.
Examining the Acquisitions Arc
The initial call for services came in November, but it took until February for the client to finalize their decision. As an IT service provider, you need to have systems in place that can handle such lengthy client courtship. Grab their attention, increase their interest, facilitate desire, and so spurn action, just as HoustonTech did. Have solutions in place and know the issues many providers need assistance with, then demonstrate your acumen directly. In doing so and adopting an AIDA strategy, you might be able to win over more clients.
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By Gretchen Hoffman
By Gretchen Hoffman