Sometimes when you speak to potential or even existing MSP clients, you find they can’t quite grasp the value of working with a Managed Service Provider. They might say something like “When there’s a problem – we will call you!”

While break/fix is a valuable model for certain relationships, MSPs can get more stability for their business and forecast revenues and costs with greater transparency by moving as many customers as possible to a managed services approach. But it’s not just great for the MSP, it’s great for the client, too!

If you find yourself stumped when customers or prospects ask why managed services provide more value… Here’s the scoop you’ve been waiting for.

“By the time something goes wrong… it’s very late in the game”

The first thing to explain during your meeting with either a prospect or a client who is getting cold feet, is that managed services provide the opportunity for them to get proactive about their IT environment, instead of sitting around waiting for something to go wrong.

Without visibility into what’s happening behind the scenes, there could be anything from a cyberattack, to a network failure or a system disaster already in its earliest stages. According to IBM, it could take a company as many as 197 days to recognize that an attacker has made it inside the network for example. However, through continuous monitoring of an environment, an MSP can often spot early signs of an attack, such as performance issues or unusual login attempts, which can allow a data breach to be contained early before more harm is done.

This is why backup solutions aren’t enough in and of themselves. Sure, if a ransomware attack occurs, having regular backups is an essential part of recovery, but what if you aren’t even aware an attack is taking place? An MSP can sit with a company and work out a robust security toolkit that has backups as a central element, but also includes additional tools such as Endpoint Detection and Response, Email Security, Antimalware, and more.

“The cost of downtime grows every year”

Explain to your customer that by the time they phone you with a concern, the network might be offline. As a break/fix vendor you have a lot less visibility and know-how of the specific customer network, so searching for the problem becomes a lot harder, and takes much more time.

Downtime is a huge challenge for any business, which might be why 60% of small businesses are no longer working 6 months after a cyberattack. While you’re scrambling to get the lights back on, the costs are spiralling, whether that’s practical costs of restoring endpoints and getting the servers back up, or whether it’s money lost from the inability to do business. There may also be additional costs such as regulatory compliance fines, or reputational damage which is harder to put a price tag on.

No matter what, it’s always going to be better to be two steps ahead, so that a problem can be isolated at the first signs of trouble, and so that your customer has an expert on hand who truly understands their business context and their IT environment in granular detail.

“I succeed when you succeed”

To get prospects and customers on board with a managed services approach, you need to move away from the traditional idea of the IT guy who wants to charge as much as possible and do very little for the pleasure. Instead, you need to describe your services as those of a valued partner in their business success. If they win, you win.

Rather than pop in to help fix a printer jam or work out why the WiFi keeps dropping, start thinking about your business as a strategic consultant. As an MSP, you can provide so much more value than as the ad-hoc fix it person! Ask questions such as:

  • What does digital transformation mean for you?
  • What IT problem would you solve if you could snap your fingers and have it done?
  • What has been frustrating about IT services in the past?
  • What worries you about your IT environment right now?

These questions can help you get a sense of what offering to present to the prospect or customer, and what this business hasn’t been able to get from IT support and management in the past. By listening to these answers, you can see how to place your own services and what to include.

For example, imagine you have a prospect, Mike, in front of you. You present him with these questions and he says “Y’know, digital transformation sounds like a buzzword to me. I just want to know that we aren’t opening ourselves up to a cyber attack. Our old IT guys made big promises, but I know our patch management wasn’t great, and every time I asked, they had nothing to show me!”

Mike is telling you exactly what he needs! You can create a package for him, which includes intelligent patch management, automated and on a schedule, and ensure you have the right reports to show him ahead of time to provide transparency that his environment is up to date. You can also create a security bundle that gives him some added peace of mind.

In contrast, if you’re sitting with Alice and Alice says “To me, digital transformation means my guys can work from anywhere, cause they are getting restless having to come into the office all the time. We have tight compliance needs, so I can’t just send everyone home without adding risk” then you know to offer Work from Home via Remote Access software, and to set tight security policies around data transfer and credentials.

By showing your customer that you are listening to their needs, and that your business can only flourish by working on solving their business goals, you can create a symbiotic relationship where everyone is a winner!

Atera has the tools to hit your customer’s sweet spots, no matter what comes out of a discovery conversation. You can get started here, free for 30 days.

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