Strategy calls have always been a big part of my sales process. They're not only the best chance I have to get to know a prospect a little more before our relationship begins, but also an opportunity for me to provide some genuine value before we even get into the conversation of what things might look like if we work together.
On those strategy calls, I always make it a point to give whatever MSP owner I have the pleasure of speaking with a chance to ask questions. Without fail, there’s one question that comes up over and over again:
“How can I improve my website?”
In an era where the vast majority of all online experiences still begin with a search engine—meaning that most people are going to make first contact with your brand by way of your website—it’s a good question to ask. It’s good that people care so much about this. But at the same time, as this discussion continues, I see the same mistakes being made in MSP websites. One that doesn’t just put the cart before the horse, but that might actually be doing far more harm than good in the long run.
99 times out of 100, I look at an MSP’s website and see a business focused way too much on their services and way too little on the problems they actually solve.
More Services, More Problems...
Part of the reason that this happens so often is that MSP owners are, ironically, experts. They’re so close to their services and they understand them on such an intimate level that they can clearly see their value on the surface.
When it comes to your prospective customers, however, that’s almost never the case. You see a ream of technical specifications and your mind immediately heads for the implications those specs bring with them. A prospect sees that same ream of tech specs and they head for the door. Why? Because they can’t make the same connection that you can. They’re not experts in managed services. They’re experts in the problems they’re trying to solve, the questions they’re looking for answers to.
Because of this, whenever I’m working on any type of new marketing campaign, I always try to keep something in mind that I was told by my very first marketing mentor: “The ‘high-value’ part of your service lies in the value of the problem you’re solving, NOT in the value of your solution itself.” To put it another way, nobody cares how fast your car is. They care about whether or not it’s going to be able to get them to work on time.
Think about that sentiment for a moment and how that might apply to your own website. If the situation was reversed and you were looking for a managed services provider, what would you want to see? What would convince you that this person understood your business and your challenges and that they were the right partner at the right time?
At this point, you’ll probably agree that putting the big emphasis on details and specs isn’t going to get you very far. So stop doing it.
Become Fluent in the Language of Your Customer
Instead, you need to focus less on the “how” and more on the “what,” meaning “what’s in it for the customer?”
Social proof, like testimonials and case studies, are a great way to reframe this message in the right way, as they clearly show a common problem among your prospects and that you have the ability to solve them. Equally important is a clear, firm call-to-action that is more than just “Contact us to find out more!” Instead, you need to move into the realm of “Contact us so that we can help solve your problems.”
But again, the most important thing for you to understand is that you need to begin your marketing from a place of “Here’s what I can do for you.” Everything else—up to and including how fancy and state-of-the-art your services are—comes later. If you can’t communicate that, all of the technical specifications in the world won’t be able to help you.
To be clear, I’m NOT saying that you should remove your service pages altogether. People are still going to want to know what you offer. Instead, you need to rebuild those service pages so that they’re coming from a different place. Explain the types of problems that your services solve FIRST. Then, and only then, are you free to dive into all the nitty gritty details that come with that.
You're a Problem Solver. It's Time to Act Like It
As I said, I spend a lot of my days holding strategy calls with MSP business owners as a way to help get to know them better before we work together. In a lot of ways, this allows me to “practice what I preach,” helping business owners figure out the steps they need to take to solve their marketing problems. Whether it involves working with us as a client or something else entirely, I provide them with solutions first, everything else second. If you’re looking to level up your website and marketing efforts as an MSP in 2019, I encourage you to apply for a strategy call yourself. Feel free to contact me directly or visit us at Tech Pro Marketing for more information.
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