Archives For managed IT

NewsProCoverWe’ve Re-engineered Our Newsletter…Why?

How Many People Are Reading Your Newsletter? And How Long Does It Take To Write It?

What about yours? Do you have a monthly newsletter?  Chances are you do. You might even have a blog. Does anyone read your letter or your blog?

If you’re selling technology or IT Management,…or security, I’m talking to you.

When I started my business over a decade ago, I had a newsletter…it took a lot of time, and my sense was, no one was reading it. After several years, and during a transition to a new CRM system, my SUBSCRIBE list was accidentally deleted. It seemed like a good time to abandon the newsletter – so I did.

About two years ago, around the time I started up the SVLC Insider’s Circle I was prompted by a business coach to get back on the letter. So I did.

I started with electronic – but the truth is I never read electronic newsletters, so I started questioning if anyone does. It turns out, at least most marketing experts agree, that few will open an electronic newsletter and actually read it.  Print is easier. It arrives as one of the only mail pieces that is not truly junk mail, and sits on one’s desk.  But will anyone actually read it?

It depends…

I’ve been writing my newsletter for two years and printing it most of that time.  However, after reading Shaun Buck’s book on Newsletters…my mindset is completely changed!

I read his book in two days!  

And yes, my newsletter needed a facelift. If you’re in one of my programs you’ll receive my newsletter this week.  It’s completely different – and my hope is, it’s interesting.   Shaun encouraged me to reformat, change the content, and change just about everything I thought was right about my old style letter…

Either way – I want your feedback…we think it’s great, but do you?  If you won’t read it, we need to change it more.

But I also want you to have Shaun’s book, and you can get it for Free (Free shipping too) right here:

http://www.thenewsletterpro.com/stelzl/

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

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vance morrisAre Your Customer’s Getting The Disney Experience?

Retention with any form of managed services depends a lot on customer experience.

No one can argue that Disney hasn’t been a leader when it comes to attracting people – and building loyalty.

Yesterday I had the privilege of interviewing Vance Morris as part of our monthly SVLC Insider’s Circle Program.  Vance has lived on the other side of the Disney experience – the side creating it. Today Vance works with companies like yours to help create differentiation through customer experience.

There are two key value propositions out there right now that really matter… Customer Experience and Security. Imagine if your company could provide both!

Here are a few highlights from yesterday’s program… Want more? Join the Insider’s Circle

Read More About Joining The SVLC Insider’s Circle

First, Vance tells us it’s not really MAGIC.  But what is it? It’s more about consistent processes that make everyone feel loved.  He talked about the script you use when you answer the phone, and how your SE’s approach a client when arriving onsite. These simple things go a long way when you engineer them correctly, and train your people to follow through.

The Welcome Matters. Welcome kits are a big deal. But Vance took this a step further, talking about how to keep clients thinking about you long term. It’s more than just good service. The extras go a long way. An important point here was charging enough to add those extras.

Newsletters Create Magic. Vance showed us how a dentist and a carpet cleaning business leveraged the newsletter. This is an area I believe we are failing in!  In fact, I had to look back at my own efforts and make the decision to recreate. It’s not cheap, and it takes time. But I am convinced it matters.  People do read newsletters when they are worth reading…but no one wants to read about Microsoft patches…Vance told us exactly what to put in the  Newsletter if we want it to sell for us.

And there’s a lot more.  But these three things stand out as steps every one of us can take without too much effort.  And if we did…we would see some amazing results.

For those of you who are already in the SVLC Insider’s Circle – your copy of both the video and audio are going out this week…with our NEW newsletter (in hard copy as Vance recommended) shortly to follow…If you’re not – please consider joining us using the link above. These programs are designed to keep you up to date on the industry and in front of your competition.

© 2016 David Stelzl

 

Last week I met Brian NeSmith, President of Arctic Wolf out in Sunnyvale California. Great solution for small and medium business resellers who need a detection solution supporting their MSSP offering! Take 2 minutes to watch this video…this is what I’ve been preaching for the last decade.

© 2016, David Stelzl

cloud1Where Should You Focus Sales Efforts in 2016

The trends are important.  Whether you resell technology or sell for a vendor, you need to know what CIOs are up against…if you call on the SMB, think of the owner as the part-time CIO. Both are going to leverage technology if they plan to grow.

Know the Important Trends Before You Make Your Next Sales Appointment

Regardless of what President Obama claims, WSJ continues to report a shaky economy. That translates into tighter spending.  This morning’s WSJ reports three significant trends…

  1. BIG DATA is where the gains are. Big data represents a promise for future decision making – better decision making. Especially in the enterprise, data analysis can lead to better marketing, better hiring, and greater efficiency. The value proposition here is Competitive Advantage! One of the four key value props I wrote about in From Vendor to Adviser.
  2. CLOUD is strong. People are moving to the cloud to achieve greater efficiencies. That means they want to see a reduction in TCO – Total Cost of Ownership.  This too is one of the four value props I describe in my book.
  3. Third, there is a slowdown in SECURITY – but the WSJ is talking about new companies and IPOs, not security spending. IT Spending as a whole is down by more than 5% this year as compared to last (According to recent WSJ reports), but security spending is up.

If you understand Cloud and Big Data (And we should mention IoT as well here), you know that using these technologies demands a change in the security strategy. Tie the two together and you’re well positioned to drive security business. If you call on the SMB market, you should be adding the DETECTION side of security to every existing contract – it’s an almost guaranteed up-sell opportunity.

© 2016, David Stelzl

PS. I still have some seats in the SECURITY MASTERY SALES PROGRAM – These are for resellers only, sponsored by distributors and manufacturers… Where You’ll Learn Exactly How to Make Security Sales Happen. (CLICK)

Is Your MSP Business Growing?

How Many New Logos Did You Pick Up in 2015?

That was the question I started with in last nights Check Point/Tech Data event just outside of Boston. From the hand raises it looked like many groups I’ve spoken to in recent months.

Everyone has an MSP offering – meaning there are thousands of resellers offering basically the same thing…and most don’t see big growth.  2016 will probably show a decline in sales – and if you’re hoping to sell more product, forget it. The cloud really is hear to stay. Of course everything seems to go in cycles, so maybe we’ll move back to mainframes next, and then a new type of Token Ring network.

If you’re in sales, you know the technology is not all that important. Conversion is what matters. Do you have something people are interested in, need, and are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on? Last night I shared pieces of a presentation I use to convert small business audiences through lunch & learns. The point of the message is this: Everyone needs more security. This will become even more critical over the next 12 months as many companies adopt more apps, more cloud, and more BYOD. $1 HC Book Ad

The problem is, small business owners are limited on budget. If you ask them, they don’t need more security. In fact, they don’t need more of anything…well, what they really need more of is retained earnings and working capital.  Better workers would be a plus.

But the truth is, they really do need more security. They just can’t see it. If you had a way to attract them into an educational session, with a message that clearly explained the need…and brought them to a point of wanting to know where they really sit (Assessment), would new business result?  It would.

The core message I presented last night comes from my book, The House & The Cloud.It points out the one BIG mistake just about all companies have made. Their security centers around firewalls and passwords. There is no detection, and there is no response. And that means, once a breach occurs, they won’t know it for at least 14 months (According to the FBI – and it could be a lot longer.)  Next step – enter the Assessment.

Our meeting ended with Tech Data and Check Point offering qualified resellers a seat in the SVLC Security Sales Mastery Program…the only training program I know of specifically designed for resellers, to teach them how to sell more security to business leaders.

© 2016, David Stelzl

P.S. Looking forward to presenting this later today in NYC. – Sponsored by Ingram Micro.

ingram

 

boring salesAre You Getting Leads to Talk About Managed IT

…Only to find that what your prospect really wants is a quote – to compare to others.  Price is your only value proposition here, so what do you do?

I was recently working with a small business reseller on the west coast. He had mastered the art of using Google Adwords to attract new business and was getting meetings.

The problem? No sales. His conversion from EDUCATION to SOMETHING was downright frustrating.

So how do you turn a meeting like this into something worth meeting about?

The answer, you need something in your meeting that’s new, exciting, compelling, and urgent. Napoleon Hill, in his book, The Law of Success, tells us that enthusiasm is critical. If you don’t love your value proposition, you’ll probably leave any meeting hungry. But you need more.

While enthusiasm is an essential part of moving people to buy, you also have to understand what they really need. In another section of Hill’s book he shares with us principles of the shirt sales person. The one who presents the shirt he likes assumes the buyer won’t buy a shirt. The seller who understands the real need sells multiple shirts.

But What Does the Small Business Owner Really Need?

Hint; It’s not managed services.

Managed IT offers the client a couple of things, but only one is potentially urgent. And only by identify urgent aspect of that one thing, are you going to differentiate yourself during this sales call. It’s security of course.

There are thousands of choices when it comes to buying basic server and network monitoring. There’s a well known business coach out there telling his clients to find something unique in order to sell more managed IT contracts – he’s right! But what unique thing can you bring to the table, that your buyer really does need, and that really is urgent? It’s security – but not just firewall management. It’s security intelligence – it’s detection/response.

So How Did My Client Start Turning These Deals Around?

Here’s what he did.  First, he learned to present a compelling security message. In his case he simply memorized the message I give in my book, The House & The Cloud.  It’s simple, straight forward, and compelling. As I’ve said before, I still use this message in lunch & learn meetings, and I’m converting more business owners than ever in one single hour with it.

Now, when he would schedule a new prospect meeting from his Adword campaign, he would go in armed with two things. Some basic MSP (Managed Services Provider) materials and his compelling security presentation.

He started his meeting out addressing the reason for their initial call – finding a new managed IT provider. But quickly transitioned to security. It went something like this:

“Here is what we can provide from a managed IT perspective…backup, monitoring, patching, etc…but the truth is, there are hundreds of companies that provide these same services in this city. And it would be hard to figure out who to use – in fact, many of them would do a good job, and prices would be all over the map.  But let’s look at what really matters.”

“Have you considered how secure your data is?”

Using the three questions presented in my book, The House & the Cloud, my client gathered some basic information. All of these companies are moving to the cloud. As they do, their approach to security must chance. And so he asked them.

“What are you trying to protect?”$1 HC Book Ad

“What are your relevant threats?”

“How comfortable are you with your ability to detect something is going wrong, and respond to it before it is too late?”

See The House & Cloud book to get the details on how this conversation should go. But from there, my client showed them a model I use to determine risk – The Impact Vs. Likelihood graph.

“This is what you need before you can make any sort of budgetary or technology decision. Without it you’re flying blind.”

He then spent ten minutes taking them through The House, Cloud and Coverage model – the message presented in my book. The point is, there’s one mistake just about every company has made when it comes to securing data, and this model proves it.

The response from his listeners was obvious. They too have been making this mistake. Their security has no detection/response capability built into it – and only a managed program can provide this to a small business client.

An Assessment Was Offered

The assessment does three things.

First, it puts everyone else (his competition) on hold, while he does his assessment.

Second, he now has face time with every decision maker. With his consulting hat on, he can talk to whoever he wants, because, in their eyes, he is no longer selling.

Third, he is building the justification he needs to sell this deal without budget being a concern. If the need is urgent (and it will be in most cases), the client will respond.

If the client does not convert, either you had the wrong audience, didn’t find the right urgencies (ones they care about – like the shirt seller above), or did not present the urgency in the context of their business.

The last deal my client worked on landed him the largest managed services contract he’s ever signed, worth about $20,000/month.

© 2016, David Stelzl

bcbsDo Your Clients Love You Or Hate You?

Here’s How Blue Cross Blue Shield Got Me to Leave Them…

Put your clients on hold for 4.5 hours, with a deadline so that they can’t hang up. Don’t provide any sort of automated system to schedule a call back. And make sure there is no other way to get what you need without a call.  I just did that this morning.  But let me back up…

In December I received a friendly letter from my Health Insurance Provider – BCBS of North Carolina… letting me know that my policy would no longer be offered in the county I live it.  That was puzzling to me, but it is what it is.

I then received another letter telling me my premium would be double with the new plan they were putting me on – all part of the “Affordable” Healthcare Act.  $1 HC Book Ad

So this morning I was forced to hang on the phone listening to their music and a hold message telling me they were to busy to talk to me…knowing that in just a few days my bank account would be syphoned off to a new plan that I did not order.

Over the course of 4.5 hours I did have a few contacts with different people.  People who could not help me, but who would be happy to transfer me to another hour-long queue. The first person I spoke with actually told me I was not in the system and no longer had any plan, and not to worry about the automatic bank draft.  The second person said, “That’s not right, but I can’t help you…hold please.”

Finally I reached the right person…who told me that actually I did have a plan, and that my annual rate would be grandfathered in at a similar rate to the old one…in other words, the letters I had received, and all the research I did in December to find a new plan, could have been avoided.  But of course, I had done all of that with the information I had, and was ready to quick BCBS…After a 4.5 hour wait, it’s hard to feel good about staying.

What a disaster…Are there other industries out there that can operate like this and still be in business?  If there are, yours in not one of them…what are you doing to make sure people on are getting their answers quickly?

© 2016, David Stelzl