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MSP Common questions

The Most Frustrating Question that Paul Hears All the Time…

business marketing msp Jan 27, 2023

Today I’m going to be speaking with Paul Lloyd who is a ‘Sales and Growth Expert’ according to his LinkedIn Profile.

And in this new series of posts, we’re going to be speaking to experts from all sides of the MSP World and asking them - What is the One Question that your clients always ask, and how do you respond to it?

These will also be uploaded as Podcasts, as I am finally, Resurrecting the ‘Not a Business Coach’ podcast! Available on your favourite podcasting platforms.

So you will get to hear from experts on Sales, Marketing, PSA, RMM, Operations, Recruitment - and hopefully learn some little gems of information to help you run your MSP too.

This might be quite fun - so comment down below this post with the question that YOU hear most often when meeting new clients, and let’s kick off this over to Paul, to see what question HE hears all the time…


 One of the questions I get asked from the smaller MSPs is how do I go out and win new business? Everybody within that smaller Community they want to go out and they want to win new clients and build their business and typically they've got to where they are through recommendation and referral.


So what they need to be able to do is to go out and sell deliberately so you know; "what do I need to do to go out and sell"? And in terms of advice and what we talk about then I'd say, it's really complicated and hard but you know fundamentally none of this is rocket science. But I think what happens is they get to where they are through recommendations and referrals, so they come from anywhere, and with recommendations it could be a company in Scotland it could be a company in Portsmouth, it could be a company with five staff or it could be a company with 50 staff.


You can't go out and sell to those so you first and foremost have to decide who is it that you want to sell to and to some extent I mean there's a lot of nonsense talked but I mean it's really just creating an audience of people that fit with you that you can get on with that you want to go out and sell to. So that could be accountants or it could be lawyers it could be companies within 25 miles and an office and it may be that they have requirements for large data storage or high security.


So you have to define that and get a very clear list of people that you want to sell to and then go and do it. So you go and do it by being where they are so whether that's LinkedIn, YouTube, or whether it's your local network Business Club you have to be there. They have to see you, they have to know who you are and that takes time and effort because so many businesses have grown through recommendation referral which is relatively easy. Then if you actually want to go out and sell deliberately then there's a lot more effort, you've got to make it happen so you've got to put time in, you've got to produce the list, you've got to know who these people are and what makes them attractive or what would make you attractive to them as a supplier and at some point, you have to talk to them and pursue that through. So, it may be that they're not looking to change for 12 months but what else are they doing? Do they have any projects coming up? Have they got any renewals? 


Is there something that you've seen that may be of interest to them? So get them on the hook and then help and work with them through to a conclusion. And you're not going to win all of them, I mean the key is if you get all the steps in place then you're going to win more of them than you would without a plan work. So, plan, set time in your diary when you're going to actually do it, and make those regular calls, do your emails, get your meeting and see where they're at, and then work them through from that meeting to a conclusion over and over and over.


Again the most often asked question for the sort of bigger MSPs, so you know potentially a million pounds plus is where they've gone out and they've hired their own salespeople or salesperson and it just hasn't worked and I've spoken to people that have on three occasions, which is staggering. I've found people who have been in business for 30 years and who have had two or three salespeople all of that time and never actually produce any business. But it's always the salesperson's fault so you know over and over again what you find is that it's the salesperson's fault and I have to say well have you looked at your business? And again a lot of it comes down to understanding the process but then managing the people tightly so that they do what you want them to do. Giving them again a Target list of accounts so they know where you want them to go and sell and their job then is to get into those people. By doing that they know what it is that they're selling which means that you have to commit that to paper that it's not all in your head.


They need to understand pricing because otherwise what tends to happen when you're doing it for yourself, is,  you don't write all of that down and they need a sales story. You know the number of times I've been told well they've got a desk and a chair, they've got access to Google they can go and do some business is just staggering because you wouldn't do that with a techie, you wouldn't take a technical person on stick them on the help desk and assume that they can do everything that is needed. They need some guidance, they need some training and they need managing, and every week the other CRM you should be distilling all of their efforts and all of what they do so that in the event that you part company you've got that for the next person or to work with.


But you'd be surprised at the number of people who take a Salesman on don't talk to them for six months and then because they haven't done anything and they've got nothing behind them, they've got no contacts, they've got no work, they've got nothing that's gone on and all that happens is that that person will go off and work for somebody else and they'll be six months down the track in terms of producing business. The answer is to take them on and give them a framework within which to work. Manage them on at least a weekly basis, produce a pipeline and manage a forecast, and then people will start to produce business for you. 


 Thank you Paul for that gem of knowledge. I look forward to seeing you all in the next installment!


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