7 Critical Questions To Ask Any MSP Marketing Company Before You Sign Up For Their Services
Most MSPs admit they are not good at marketing or selling IT services. So naturally, they look to hire an MSP marketing company to help them get more clients. Smart! Problem is because they aren’t good at marketing, they’re very likely to choose the wrong MSP agency that won’t deliver the results they want.
Before you hire any MSP marketing company, here are seven things to ask about their services so you can avoid wasting precious time and money.
1. Do you specialize in MSP marketing?
This seems obvious, but there are a LOT of MSPs who come to us after hiring a local marketing agency that are frustrated because the ads, campaigns, websites, and other collateral LOOKED good, but didn’t deliver results. Why? That marketing agency is clueless about what managed IT services are, who the buyer is and what will motivate that MSP buyer to respond to your marketing efforts. You shouldn’t have to pay your marketing company to learn on your dime. Find someone who has successfully worked with other MSPs.
2. How many MSPs have you worked with and what results have they gotten?
The best way to determine if someone can help you is by looking at their track record. Do they have an abundance of MSP success stories that detail specific results their clients have achieved? Are they recent stories or ancient history? Do the case studies have details about their situation and what they did in addition to the results produced? Be sure to check all of this out. To date, we’ve worked with well over 10,000 MSPs, VARs, and IT services firms for the last two decades. You can see we’re very active in the MSP community. Our company helps thousands of MSPs not only get more clients but also raise their prices, develop a productive, working sales process, build a productive list and sales pipeline of MSP buyers and hire sales and marketing teams to grow their MSP.
3. Do you guarantee I’ll get MSP clients and tangible results?
This is a tricky one. No MSP marketing company can guarantee financial results because they aren’t the ones following up on the leads and closing the MSP contracts. You are. However, what they CAN (and should) offer is some type of guarantee where you can get your money back if they don’t perform or you discover it’s not a right fit for you.
Truth is, you can’t really know if an MSP marketing company is going to work for you until you buy. You can do all the due diligence you want, but that is the ultimate test. That’s why we offer a very generous money-back guarantee on our program with plenty of time to put it to work for you in your situation.
Another question closely related: is there a way we can try your services without signing a long-term contract? We’ve heard of MSPs getting stuck in contracts for THOUSANDS of dollars that they can’t get out of, even though the MSP marketing company is not producing results. Be very careful about signing any long-term marketing company’s contract when you’ve not worked with them initially and don’t have a track record of how they will perform.
4. Are you vendor- and media-agnostic?
If you contact an SEO company to help you generate more MSP clients, they’re going to sell you SEO services to fix that problem (surprise, surprise). They aren’t going to recommend a referral program, a cross-sell campaign to convert break-fix clients to MSP clients, a campaign to reactivate old, unconverted MSP leads, direct mail, telemarketing, or strategic partnerships to get more clients. Even though those strategies may deliver more MSP clients and IT services sales faster and cheaper than an SEO will. (Side Note: What media and strategy work best depends on your specific situation and factors such as your target market, competition, your list, client base, etc.)
5. Will you do the work for me?
Despite your desire to simply “write a check” and have someone just bring you new MSP clients – and what many MSP marketing companies try to sell you – you WILL need to be heavily involved if you want the services to work. The mistake is thinking you can completely abdicate the responsibility to an agency. I’ve never seen that work. For example, we do websites, social media marketing, and marketing collateral for our MSP clients. However, we ONLY do that for them after they’ve gone through a program that teaches them good marketing. In this program, they learn how to select a good target market, develop a USP, build a list, implement a marketing automation system (so leads don’t get overlooked and opportunities lost), price, package and sell managed services and implement lead generation systems, drip marketing, sales playbooks, referral campaigns, Google review, and SEO strategies and more. YES, we provide the tools and templates for ALL of this, but our clients still need to make critical decisions about these things, incorporate them into their business and understand the strategy behind what we’re doing and how it works.
Many MSPs think marketing is a department.
They believe it’s simply the mechanical and tactical things you DO to generate leads. What they come to understand is that your marketing strategy IS your business strategy. It’s the foundation of who you strategically choose to target to be your customer. It’s the strategy of what you are selling and how you are presenting it to your chosen target market so they want to do business with you over all the other IT firms and MSPs in your area. Those two things drive what you sell, and how you package, price, and deliver it. Your marketing plan determines the process and investment into new client acquisition (marketing budget). If you think marketing is just “tactics” and activities, you don’t understand business strategy and development, and you will struggle to grow profitably and with any speed.
6. Will you help me determine my target market and USP?
This is probably the biggest failing and why so many MSPs end up as advertising victims, writing check after check to marketing agencies and companies with no results to show. Before you can do any kind of lead generation marketing, revamp your website, implement an MSP marketing system, etc., you need to:
- Know precisely who you want as a customer and which target market(s) would be most appropriate and lucrative for you to target.
- What your value proposition is and why that prospect should fire their current IT company and hire you. I don’t care what type of marketing they suggest (social media, brochures, PPC, Facebook ads, telemarketing, trade shows, etc.) – NONE of it will work at all or as effectively if you haven’t gotten these two strategies clear for your MSP.
This is what differentiates us from most MSP marketing companies. We START by helping you to understand the strategy of lead generation and MSP marketing. We teach you how to build a productive, accurate list of prospects and then how to communicate with those MSP prospects so they pay attention to your marketing, book appointments, and ultimately buy your services. I don’t know of another MSP marketing company that does this as well as we do. This truly is our USP and why we have more documented client success stories than any other MSP marketing company in the channel today.
7. Do you have a community of MSPs I can talk to, learn from, and bounce ideas off?
Another thing that differentiates us is our amazing MSP community. I always believe that collaborating with smart, like-minded MSPs who are actively implementing MSP marketing systems, selling IT services and building their MSP business, and dealing with all the questions, problems, and obstacles that come with that benefits everyone. Our community is open to sharing and very generous with their time in helping other MSPs who are struggling or who simply need “fresh eyes” on a problem.
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