One of the most crucial parts of sales and marketing in your MSP is having a prospect list.
I could have titled this article "prospecting for MSPs" the truth is that prospecting is a method of detailing who your ideal clients are - I call these your dream clients and as you may already know what you want is what you will get in life - it's just about being determined. It also helps if you know what you want!
Imagine having a planned and targeted list of prospects that you've been consistently marketing to and talking to on the phone throughout six months. What do you think that would do to your bottom line?
Instead of marketing to everyone, why not market to the people you want to partner with? Your dream clients.
In this article, I'm going to show you how to come up with a list of your dream clients.
The dream 100, 150, 250 - what is the number? How big should the list be?
For me it's 200 - that's all I need and all I can handle. If I'm speaking to this list on a regular basis, then that's ten phone calls a day per month to each of the 200 dream customers.
The math: 200 dream customers / 20 working days in the month = ten calls a day.
You might be questioning at this point...calls? Surely cold calling is dead?
These calls are not cold calls - by the time I'm speaking with my dream clients, they know who I am. That's thanks to my highly targeted marketing.
We'll get into this later, but for now, all you need to know is that the number you choose has to be manageable.
I'm making these calls myself. If you have a sales team or a sales rep then obviously you might increase the number. Or maybe your resources are stretched - at a minimum you need at least 100 on the list.
The beauty of having a targeted list of dream clients from a marketing budget perspective is that you can spend more money to market to them.
To give you an example:
Instead of paying $20/click on a Google Ads campaign to a cold list of prospects that don't know who you are instead could use that same budget to market directly to your dream customer and send them something extraordinary.
We're going off track here - I always get excited by this fact 🙂
How exactly do you come up with your list of dream clients?
Keep it real
Where do you see your business in 3-5 years. How big will it be and what types of customers can you visualise having and serving?
Be realistic about your team's capabilities, your capacity as an MSP and resources you've got at your disposal.
With that reality check start dreaming and form the vision of your perfect client base. Easy right? Here are a few places to start:
Existing clients - who are your best clients? Which ones do you love working with, pay you on time and more importantly are profitable?
Based on the answer, you should be able to identify around 20% of your customer base as your "best customers". With the list in hand, all you have to do now is profile similar types of companies in the same industry or similar related industries—headcount, location - all easy to find on LinkedIn sales navigator.
Don't have existing clients?
Maybe you are just starting out, or all your clients suck? How do you start dreaming up the ideal customers?
There are two paths you can take. The first is to look on your competitor websites - the competitors you admire. (we all have them if we're honest).
Many MSP websites include testimonials from their existing client base. These are usually featured on the homepage. Take note of the companies add them to your dream list and look for similar types of businesses.
The other way to come up with a list is to niche down. This is something we did at IT Rockstars - we only work with MSPs. No break-fix, no software developers just MSPs.
The old saying goes the riches are in the niches and believe me it's true. Obviously, as an MSP it can be more challenging to niche down, especially as your probably operating in a local market.
The solution to this is to partner with other MSPs for the 1st line onsite support. It's that simple and something we've yet to cover, but as the world goes more remote, the writing is on the wall. Some of the biggest MSPs I know operate in only a narrow niche.
I've heard of MSPs that operate solely with hotels, housing associations and accountants.
Tools for the job
LinkedIn Sales Navigator will allow you to narrow down on your dream customers. It's ideal, and if you've never used it, then they do offer a trail that's open to anyone on LinkedIn.
A CRM is also crucial - even if you are a one-man-band a CRM can help you manage and stay on track. We cover CRMs extensively in the IT Rockstars membership and how to integrate with a marketing platform for added effectiveness.
A scheduling tool is also crucial and makes calling and scheduling meetings invaluable. I pay for the professional version of Calendy. This not only allows prospects to schedule a call with me (see here if you want to speak) But also reminds the prospect of the meeting. Before I had the reminders setup, I was always dealing with "no shows" now I can safely say a thing of the past. Just remember to set it up correctly.
Ever seen a grown man cry?
Before you even attempt to market to your dream clients, you must qualify. There are three questions you must ask and get from all of your prospects before you start marketing to them.
1) Who is the IT decision making buyer? The person that makes the decisions on IT spend in the company. This person is your marketing target.
2) When does the existing contract end with the current supplier. Again crucial you'll be able to find out if they have a relationship with another MSP and the date the contract is up.
3) How many users are there? Not employees, users. I've heard of IT salespeople chasing prospects for years only to find out the account only has five users!
Armed with your dream customer list and the answers to the above questions, you are now in an optimal position to start a highly targeted marketing campaign that over time will help you form relationships with the businesses you'd love to work with.
Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn spam bombing all low-end marketing opportunities compared to the targeted approach.
The only question I have for you if you got to the end of this article is what's stopping you?
You've got the knowledge now - the marketing material is something we can provide you at IT Rockstars, maybe you're stuck on making a list or being held accountable?
Fear not that's why we're here. I would love to hear from you.
Talk to Scott
A 15 minute call that will change they way you market your Technology Business
IT Rockstars // MSP Marketing Geek