A question recently asked by a new member: “Why do most MSPs fail at marketing?”
Most think it’s simply because they’re a “tech” and not a marketer or salesperson, but that’s not actually the reason, and it’s a lazy and simple way to explain their failure. When you were born, the doctor didn’t slap a label on your butt saying, “This One’s A TECH!” Sales, marketing, leadership, and business financials are SKILLS, not inherent traits like the color of your eyes; therefore, they can be acquired and mastered if you choose. So what is it?
One of the biggest reasons MSPs fail in marketing is because true success, growth, and REAL profitability are not requirements to stay in business.
Many MSPs manage to gather a handful of clients and make an “acceptable” living. Churn in this industry is low (unless you’re royally screwing up), so as long as you do a good job and you can learn to live within your means, you’re set.
You might not be thrilled with your income, but you’re not unhappy enough to really do anything about it. Roughly 83% of MSPs out there are not truly profitable, but make just enough to not go out of business. That is NOT success, but many accept and tolerate those circumstances, and would prefer to stay comfortable instead of putting themselves through the extra work, expense, and inevitable frustration of implementing a productive marketing plan.
Second, most won’t stick with any marketing strategy long enough to MAKE it work.
They approach any new marketing initiative with the mindset of “Let’s SEE IF this works” instead of “I MUST make this work.”
Imagine hiring a salesperson who approaches the job of selling with the mindset of “I am DETERMINED to hit quota, make money and succeed in this job” vs. “I’ll see if I can make the money I want and succeed at this job.”
Those are VERY different starting points. Who would you want to hire and be on your team? Who do you think will do the work necessary to figure out how to achieve quota? Who is going to stay late and put in the effort? Who is going to stick through slumps and setbacks? Who would you place your money on actually succeeding?
Click here to read: How This Managed Service Provider Took His Business From $2 Million To $6.5 Million In Less Than 3 Years!
If you don’t START with an absolute commitment to making marketing work, it won’t.
The other day a member told me he had hired an SDR who was not working out, felt it wasn’t ever going to work out, and wanted to know what to do. The answer is obvious: fire them and immediately hire TWO more.
Why two? Because the chances of you hiring the exact right person who will stay, work hard, hit quota, etc., is not guaranteed – so if you hire two, you’ll increase your chances and have the added advantage of onboarding both at once instead of having to onboard two different people at two different times.
Another client told me he had an appointment setter who was doing great. My advice? Hire two more. Why? Because he’s got a productive one he can build on and help to onboard, train, and set the standards for the others to continue to build momentum.
NEITHER liked that answer because it requires effort and complexity. It takes time to find, hire and train a new appointment setter or sales rep. And what if they don’t work out? TWO means twice as many lists I need to provide, twice as many campaigns I have to send out, twice as many inbound leads I need to generate, and twice as many people to manage.
Worse, what if they DO produce? How will I find the time to go on all those sales appointments? If I close the deals, how will I find the techs to DO THE WORK? How will we handle the overload of projects? No, better to slow-walk it. Do nothing. Watch and see…kick that can down the road for a few months…
Success in marketing is a serious discipline that requires a serious student and a serious, ongoing effort.
It’s not a casual “trying” of simple, cheap and easy stuff to “see if it works.” That’s the plan to get nowhere while separating you from your money. Marketing is not tactics first, but strategy first. NOT media selection (postcards, websites, Facebook ads, SEO, which are all tactics) in a vacuum, but a sophisticated building of a solid value proposition intentionally designed for a carefully selected “WHO.”
Then at that point when that strategy of WHO and WHY US is solid, you need a full-out marketing and sales effort to secure those clients and reinvest into people, tools and processes, all the while doing course correction and dealing with setbacks, roadblocks, problems, brush fires, etc.
Why don’t most succeed in marketing? Because it’s NOT EASY to.
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