Archives For selling managed services

Turn your lunch & learns into high-conversion sales events that predictably drive new business.

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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


FREE Webinar: Accelerating Managed Services Sales, April 3, 2012 3:00 PM ET.

Yes, I am repeating this webinar – the waiting list from last week was big, and few cancelled, so if you missed it, I apologize.  You can sign up here:

Tomorrow morning I am headed out west to speak to business owners on major threats closing in on their business.  Most of the them have no idea how vulnerable they are – yet their data is their most important asset.  Some of them are working on new inventions that will take their business to the next level, others are handling sensitive medical information protected by HIPAA and highly guarded by their patients, and still others are processing financial transactions, managing debt, and overseeing investments and bank accounts.  These are the owners and business leaders of a city’s small business community – and they all have one thing in common; Data@Risk.

As someone who has sold security solutions, developed methodology, and overseen some very large security/risk assessments, I know first hand that it is easy to get in.  I also know that most of these companies think they have it covered because they sit behind a firewall and run anti-virus software. Meanwhile we have companies like Nortel written up in the Wall Street Journal, having had hackers in the bowels of their company for over a decade, siphoning off, who knows what kind of data?  It’s epidemic, and it’s urgent.

Attending our event we have over 60 decision makers – all from companies who would benefit from a managed services solution that includes security management.  They need a way to detect problems before they get big, and a way to effectively respond…All of this points to managed services…on April 3rd, my goal is to show you what these people need, how to tell them about it, and how to justify the expense, making this a win/win for you and your clients.  If you want to know how to build this side of your business, join me on the 4rd – we have limited seating, so sign up soon.  Here’s the link again:

David Stelzl has a fresh perspective on the high-tech consulting business – he’s taken resellers from selling point products to providing high-end technology solutions, significantly increased company profits through the addition of consultative offerings and managed service programs, and has had the privilege of  speaking to and training marketing and sales teams all over the world.  As an example, he developed material and trained Cisco’s North American, Australia/New Zealand, and Asian sales forces on how to reach executive managers with a compelling value proposition; a message that grew Cisco’s advanced technology security sales by 38% in 2006, according to internal reports.
Visit us at to learn more.

© 2012, David Stelzl

I’ve just announced dates for a fall security sales workshop.  If you are looking at ways to grow annuity based services, managed services, or security related sales, this is the workshop to attend…check it out, hope to see you there.

Online (Webex), November 2,4, 9, 2011
For the fourth time, I’m presenting a comprehensive workshop on the techniques, methodology, approaches, and secrets of creating security business opportunities. Over 2500 people have attended this workshop since its inception! I’ll be using the same format as in the past, 3 classes spread over 3 days, 2 hours each, with time for questions between sessions.  Check out more through the link above…discounts available for early registration and mentor program alumi!

© 2011, David Stelzl

When I was growing up my father used to refer to our boat as a hole you throw money into.  You probably have something like a boat; something that continually eats away at the bottom line.  When it comes to selling support work, there are several holes I’ve identified.  Things to avoid if you want to produce hard-dollar profit:

1. Selling managed services with a contractual agreement to be on site.  Make sure your fee is high enough to include the cost of staff augmentation if you do this.  In most cases it is unnecessary.

2. Selling on site support or engineering (staff augmentation) with a commitment to be on site two or three days per week.  This is especially bad when the person is to be there every other day – it is nearly impossible to fill the other days.  This is break-even at best.  Another trap is selling half days.  What will they do the other half?

3. Billing a client for three hours.  You’ll never recover that 4th hour before lunch or the end of the day.

4. Support calls with no minimum charge.

5. A close second is, too small of a minimum charge.  Consider two hours…if the engineer has to drive an hour in traffic one way, the support call will be break-even at best.

6. Not understanding burden cost.  If a support engineer drives two hours (there and back) between every two hour minimum time call, the profit is zero in most cases.  Move to contracted managed support with annual contracts, spread your risk, and make sure your fees cover your cost with the required profit.

7. Converting support calls to managed contracts without a clear understanding of your cost and profit.  Once converted, good luck increasing prices!  You should be making more on managed contracts, not less.

© 2010, David Stelzl

Every technology company should be building and selling managed service offerings – this is the foundation of financial stability (whether traditional management, SaaS, Cloud, etc. ).  It’s the equivalent of software license renewal.

If you are in sales, and your company is smart, you are being asked to sell these services.  If you are hitting the wall on this, remember, all managed services are sold like security solutions.  They are in fact, security – some form of confidentiality, integrity, or availability.  As an example, server monitoring is done to ensure uptime and response time which are availability, backups are done to ensure recovery/availability and integrity,… and the list goes on.

So stop talking about ROI, operational efficiency, or price, and start focusing on critical assets and looking for asset owners who are liable for functions that depend on the confidentiality of that data asset.  Then determine what risks exist, what level of risk is acceptable, and what managed services could be used to maintain an acceptable level of risk.  This is the key to selling managed services, and brings with it the foundation of financial stability.