If you were at our MSP Minds #2 event, you will remember the awesome Frank Greco, CEO of Linctec, sharing his tips and tricks for onboarding the right MSP clients. If you missed the webinar, you can still check it out right here.
Frank promised us a pretty sweet going home present, his own template for a Managed Service Agreement, complete with all the best advice for how to reach out to prospects and make sure you’re building out that ‘trusted advisor’ relationship from Day 1. Here are 7 of his must-haves.
List your product relationships – go logo crazy!
Including a visual list of all your product relationships goes a long way to show your prospects that they’re investing in a full-suite solution. Make a space on your proposal template where you add the Atera logo, the Webroot name, your hardware and software providers, and more. When your prospective clients see all the value they’re getting from a single relationship, and realize that you’re going to be managing all those vendors, too – they’ll be asking you for a pen pretty quickly.
Talk long-term from the start
You’re not looking to be the fix-it guy that comes in to sort out a problem and then disappears into the background. If you’re looking for a commitment – be upfront about it! Let the client know from the start that you want to build a long-term relationship. Here’s a quote from Frank’s intro paragraph, “We are committed to establishing a genuine long term partnership with you and also to establish a long term strategic relationship where both organizations mutually benefit.” We love it!
Don’t get too technical
When you need an operation, you want the surgeon to tell you they’re going to fix the problem, not delve into exactly which arteries they’re digging into that day. The same is true for an MSP. Your clients have IT problems, they want IT solutions. Let them know you provide patching, maintenance, monitoring, and a whole lot of expertise. No need to get into the technical or IT jargon, especially when you’re starting out.
Set your terms – and stick to them!
Many MSPs get nervous about providing unlimited support, what if they’re taken advantage of? From the start, set out what you consider your terms, including your support hours, what machines and devices are covered, and your fair use policy. Think hard about what you want to include. Are you covering machines that are more than a few years old? What about legacy OS? Do you charge late fees, and are your prices including tax? Lay it all out in the proposal, so that everyone knows where they stand from the very first day.
No surprise charges
Everyone’s worst nightmare is unexpected charges at the end of a month, so don’t be afraid to be comprehensive about what you include in your service agreement. Frank’s list of inclusions and extras is almost 100 lines long! Set out three types of service, what’s included, what is not included, and what the client can ask for, for an additional fee. Frank uses the categories, Infrastructure Management, Monitoring, Maintenance, and End-user Support, but think about what works for you.
Think about your response times
We have to say, Frank’s SLA Matrix is a thing of beauty. In his proposal, he explains how he ranks service and support requests by impact and severity, cross-referencing these to give an accurate and fair timeline on response. For example, a high severity incident could be a major system failure, but if it has a low impact on business continuity, it will get a normal response time assigned to it. In contrast, if a moderately severe incident occurs, such as component failure, but it is having a high impact on workload, the response rate is raised to a quick response. The matrix also shows you how to explain to clients that low impact and low severity incidents will be dealt with during usual maintenance schedules.
Remember, you’re building a relationship!
A professional MSP onboarding proposal shows your client that you’ve got their back. You’ve done this countless times, you’re ready with the answers to any question they might have, you’ve got a full suite of solutions backing you up, and you’re looking to support them for the long-term. It might just step one in your client/MSP relationship, but if you get it right, it’s going to help you to build a formidable foundation for your ongoing partnership.
Want to see Frank’s MSP proposal template? You’d be crazy not to! Download it here.