When running an IT services firm, it’s easy to fall into the lure of acquiring new IT business. But in the grind to attract new customers, IT businesses mistakenly overlook the diamonds in their own backyard. As Ron LeGrand says, they’re “stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.”
I’ve developed IT services marketing and sales plans for thousands of IT firms to upsell existing customers and generate monthly recurring revenue. After comparing results, I’ve learned tried-and-true tactics for doubling — and tripling — revenue from existing IT leads and customers.
Why Upselling Goes Beyond A Superior IT Service
In most cases, IT businesses believe providing a superior service means customers will spend more with them. While great service IS important, it’s not a fast fix to get top dollar for managed IT services. Here’s why:
Customers forget to come back
You don’t procrastinate getting an oil change because you got bad service. Without someone nagging and reminding you, it goes on the backburner UNTIL you’ve got a problem.
Your IT services customers won’t proactively come to you for managed IT services — even if they know they need it. They’ll drag their feet unless you constantly remind them why managed IT services matters to their business.
They don’t understand all you can do for them
IT firms often forget this fact. They assume customers understand what they provide because they’ve “told them once before.” But people are busy and have short attention spans. You have to constantly REMIND them how you can help in your IT services marketing.
Many of my clients have LOST customers because they went somewhere else for printing problems, software support (usually line of business software), telephone systems, etc. Just because IT services customers say “no” right now doesn’t mean their situation won’t change in 3 to 6 months. Keep promoting your stack of IT services!
They don’t understand the value proposition or think they need the service
Failing to communicate the value prop of specific IT services is poor salesmanship. Your IT services marketing and sales materials should define what separate your services from the next guy’s and how each IT solution solves customer pain points.
MSP Trade Secrets To Double Or Triple Existing Revenue
So how do you fix these flaws in your IT services marketing and secure more revenue from every customer?
1. Add a subscription income element to everything you sell
Break-fix is a good way to go broke-fast. EVERY IT service you sell should have an ongoing subscription attached to it. Customers will be more loyal, and you’ll double or triple the lifetime value of each one.
My MSP clients do this through managed IT services, but also:
- Spam filtering
- Web hosting services
- Hardware as a service
- Software as a service
- Managed backup
- Managed security services
- Telephone service
Try to add as many subscription IT services as possible to generate a steady income stream.
2. Communicate with your customers MONTHLY via online and offline media
One of the best ways to do this is a newsletter with articles, photos, and personal stories about you, your staff, and your customers.
Every month, pick one client to write about. Discuss what you’ve done to help the company run faster, better, and cheaper. Include photos of you and your staff going to conferences, promoting at a trade show, hanging out with clients, helping a local charity, showing off your new company van, etc.
This will endear your readers and make people look forward to receiving your newsletter. And of course, take one IT product or service every month and write a promotion for it. Repetition is key!
You can post this content on your blog, but it’s also important to MAIL a copy to your clients. You’ll get better response rates than doing online and email communications alone.
Here’s another money-saving tip: Many manufacturers and vendors will pay you cash to sponsor a section of your newsletter! Just offer to include a flyer or an article about their solution, and you can use the money to pay for the printing and mailing.
3. Put a formal IT lead referral system in place and actively promote it
IT lead referrals are the easiest prospects to close. To build a referral pipeline, integrate your lead referral system into your monthly invoices and sales process. Offer a discount or a bonus if your client gives you the names of 3 or more friends and business colleagues PLUS a gift or bonus if they actually buy. By offering a reward for providing the referral, you’ll capture more.
Also, make sure you THANK people for sending referrals and update them on what happened with their referral. This is not only good manners, but it will also make the person want to refer more people to you.
These are just a few IT services marketing tactics my MSP clients have implemented to extract more revenue from existing clients.
To learn more strategies for marketing your IT business and claim a FREE audio training CD, check out my Technology Marketing Toolkit for MSPs. You’ll gain easy, proven, low-cost marketing strategies to sell more IT services.