How To Position Yourself As An IT Services Expert Even If You Are New

Robin Robins MSP Marketing Leave a Comment

With so many IT firms competing over the same opportunities, how can you stand out and be seen as the “go-to” expert in your niche (target market) so you don’t have to compete on price? How can you position yourself as a trusted advisor in your area of expertise, be it cyber security, IT services, co-managed IT, compliance, or all of the above?

Watch this short video where I explain one way to stand above your competition, build trust, and make price a non-issue. At Technology Marketing Toolkit, we have campaigns to help position you as an expert, but I wanted to share this one thing you can (and should) be doing right now to build trust and become the expert in your niche.

QUESTION: I am brand new to the MSP world and I’m trying to figure out how I position myself as an expert when really, I lack the experience and credibility in this field. I’m learning as much as I can, but there’s so much to learn. What can I do to just get up to speed as fast as possible?

Spend Time With Your Customers

One way to build trust when you are first starting out is to spend time with your customers. There are two areas you can be an expert and gain major credibility.

  1. There are salespeople who have expertise on a product, meaning they know everything about their product.
  2. Then there are salespeople with knowledge of their customers, meaning they understand who they are selling to and what they want.

Really good salespeople know both. They know their product or service really well, but they also know their customer even better. They understand their customer’s needs and wants and they know their customer at such a level that they know what they want before the customer even asks for it. If I go to my clients (and I’ve had this on multiple occasions) and ask them, are there any hot news or trends we should be writing an article about that you guys would want to put on your blog? They don’t even know. They’ll come up with something if I force them, but they don’t even know what to ask for.

And so, I have to know my customers and their business and what’s going on. I have to know that deeply enough that I don’t even have to ask them. I know what to write because I have spent time with my customers.

The reality is I don’t know a quick fix to being new to the game. It’s something that you have to invest a lot of time in. Listen to your customers and investigate your customers. Spend time with your customers and develop the skill of tactical empathy (to use a Chris Voss kind of term). You must understand empathy so you can understand why they think what they do. When you can get to that level of empathy, that’s where you really start to have that inner compass that helps you know what they’re going to buy and what frustrates them. And that takes time. It takes time and it takes a lot of interaction with your customers. I love that you’re asking this question. I love that you’re wanting to get better.

I also think it’s okay to say, I don’t know what that is. I have to ask my clients questions to understand them better. Someone will mention an acronym and I’ll tell them that I don’t know what they just said. Sometimes you have to be brave enough to say, “I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

For example, on the QUE the other day somebody posted up, “What’s a tool or something I can use to make my proposal look better?” There were suggestions like recommended vendors for example, but I said, “You know, really, they’re not buying the proposal, they’re buying you.” You’re going to have to learn what’s important and navigate through all of this stuff to really get down to what’s important and what isn’t.

I say really, really focus on your customer and spending time with them. Spend time and go talk to the CEO, the office manager, talk to some of the sales staff, and say to them, “Hey, I’m your IT company, can you tell me what it’s like working with us? Tell me what frustrates you with tech in general. What do you love about putting in a ticket? What do you hate about putting in a ticket?” You need these kinds of conversations with not just the CEO, but other people in an organization and after hearing it over and over again it’ll get into your subconscious.

Follow Your Gut…But First Follow The Steps

When you talk to really successful entrepreneurs, they will tell you, they trust their gut. Well, how do you develop the gut? I think that your gut is years and years of information going in, even in your subconscious, where you might not even consciously know you’re learning it, but it’s there and it’s making an impact. It’s pattern recognition that you can’t even articulate. Just spend a lot of time with your customers and constantly navigate through what’s important and what’s not.

With marketing, what I would say is just follow the steps. Follow the steps to the campaigns – imitate before you innovate. That’s how you’re going to learn because if I need to learn how to bake, I’m not going to just like willy-nilly stuff. I’m going to get a recipe. I’m going to follow it to the letter. I’m going to learn how to do the steps in there. Then once I’ve mastered the fundamentals and I’ve mastered certain recipes, then I can start putting a twist on it, right? So just follow the steps as closely as you can and know that you can’t really learn it until you do it, and you can’t be great until you do it poorly and badly and screw it up and do it again and do it again. Obviously, there’s that learning curve you’re going to have to go through, just stick with things long enough so that you can get them right.

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