How many times has one of your IT Solution Provider or Managed Service Provider (MSP) clients telephoned you with a request similar to “We have bought a new Printer, can you help us install it?”. While you are happy to help, you ask the client what printer they have bought (they’ve bought a model you know has a history of faults) and how much they paid for it (and they’ve overpaid for it) – then explained that if the client had come to you for advice you could have helped them make a better decision, only to hear the phrase “I didn’t realise you did that”.
I didn’t know you do that!
Whenever you hear your client utter the phrase “I didn’t know you did that!” it should serve as the clarion call for you to look to how well your improve the marketing of your services – to your *existing clients*.
In many cases, while you put a lot of time and effort into marketing your products and services to new clients, your existing clients may be less aware of how you can help them.
It’s probably true that each of your clients came to work with you because of a specific issue or problem they had that one of your products or services helped them to resolve. Beyond this, have you explained to them how the other services you have might help them?
For instance, if you offer Off-Site Backup services – while you may mention this on your website, how many of your existing clients visit your website now that they are working with you?
Or if you offer VoIP services – how do you demonstrate to your existing clients, even those who you know don’t have an immediate need for VoIP, that when they are interested in upgrading their Telecoms system that you can help?
One way to keep your existing clients up to date on how you might help them with additional products and services is through an e-mail newsletter.
Many MSP’s have an e-mail newsletter that is aimed at their prospective clients, but few have e-mail newsletters for their *existing* customers. While the content of the two newsletters may be similar, there are subtle differences. For your prospect newsletter, the focus of the content may be on your core offering – Managed Services. 95% of new clients will probably want to work with you on the basis you offer great IT Support, so it makes sense for this to be the focus of your newsletter.
For existing clients who are already taking your Managed Service offering though, the focus of your e-mail newsletter should be on your complimentary services. Newsletter content around how an off-site backup solution can help protect your clients critical data in a cost-effective manner will effectively make your existing clients aware that you offer the service, and in many cases where the client is in the market for such an offering, can be the “right time, right place” nudge you needed to start a sales conversation with your client about this service.
One MSP that I know has an ingenious way of marketing their service portfolio to their existing clients, each and every month.
On every monthly invoice, not only does this MSP include details of the services their client takes from them – they make a list of the services their client DOESN’T take from them, noting that these services are “Inactive”.
The genius in this idea is that we all love to think we’re getting all the bells and whistles available to any service we buy, and so having a reminder of those bells and whistles we aren’t buying makes us more inclined to buy them.
In this example, the MSP behind this great idea reported a growth in sales of their complimentary services such as Off-Site Backup and Managed Broadband Internet within the first month of their new invoices going live!
Marketing your entire portfolio of services to your existing clients is similar, but different to your external facing marketing where you are trying to win new clients.
Taking steps to ensure your existing clients know about all the products and services you offer is very important to your business growth. The revenue generated by upselling these products and services can be huge. It’s worth remembering that any time you hear a client tell you that “I didn’t know you did that!”.