<img src="https://certify.alexametrics.com/atrk.gif?account=GcYKv1Fx9f207i" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="">
2 min read

Value of Relationships

By Adam Walter on Apr 11, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

People have to realize that relationships matter no matter what industry you’re in. If you can understand that, then you’ll be much more successful. It’s the same for MSPs. Relationships are extremely important for both you and your clients.

MSPs are known for going in and fixing technology while the person isn’t at their desk. But, does the MSP actually know the person or why they need their computer fixed? Do they know what they do at their business? These things are way more important than you may realize.

As you go about your business, you should be deliberate about building relationships with your clients so that you can be the best asset for them and so they trust your advice. It all goes back to strategic engagement — you don’t have to be an expert in your customer’s business, they’re already the expert in that. If you’re only engaging with the end-users when they’re not around and simply fixing the technical issues they are having, then you’re missing out on the opportunity to connect with them. We need to open ourselves up a bit because, when we do that, we begin to foster the business-focused relationships as well.

You may not see the value in these relationships, but trust us — there is extreme value! If you are not choosing to interact with your customers, you may be missing out on opportunities for bigger projects. The information that you learn from conversations can open up the flood gates for future projects and the trust that you have with clients who you have relationships with will help and your clients succeed.

Let’s look at doctors as an example. If you have a regular doctor that you go to a couple times a year for regular checkups and other types of appointments, then you have a relationship with them. They know about your history and they understand what has worked for you in the past, which helps them know what coud work in the future. You are most likely going to feel more comfortable and trusting with this doctor rather than an urgent care doctor that you only go to when you’re not feeling well or something needs checked out. The relationship and understanding that the regular doctor has with you is valuable.

This is not just just something that you have to feel obligated to do. It’s going to pay back by allowing you to accomplish more by knowing the person you’re working with or working for.

Now, there are going to be people that you don’t match with culturally, and that is good to know. You can help those people out by finding an MSP that will match their style of relationship or company better.

Besides the abstract value relationships bring the table, they have very concrete dollar amount attached to them as well. If your client knows you and you have a relationship with them, your suggestions for products and solutions will be more likely to be put in place. Your clients will be more likely to spend the money on something that you believe will help them because they know that you are on their side. This is valuable!

Ultimately, MSPs have to decide what types of relationships you want so you and your clients can get the most value out of them.

Topics: vCIO IT Management IT Client Engagement
2 min read

Tech and Teens

By Adam Walter on Apr 4, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

We’ve got a very special guest with us for this week’s episode: Lizzie Walter, my daughter! We’re talking about one teenager’s opinion on technology and how it affects school, home life and friendships. Here’s a glimpse into our conversation!

Adam and Skip: What kinds of technologies rule your life right now?

Lizzy: Snapchat and Instagram. I don’t have Snapchat, but most teenagers have them. I usually use Instagram over most other things, even though Instagram is pretty similar to Facebook.

Adam and Skip: When we were in school, we used to have books for classes and carried them around in our backpacks. Today, most people have Chromebooks for school. What do you guys use for school?

Lizzy: Google Classroom, a portal with all of our textbooks and video platforms, Google Keep for notes and Google Classroom to plan and keep track of assignments.

Adam and Skip: Do you trust these technologies, or do you feel the need to check on it and make sure everything is working properly?

Lizzy: I trust that it’s going to be there and give me the information that I need.

Adam and Skip: Google Classroom is pretty accessible. Given the choice, would you rather pick up your phone or your Chromebook?

Lizzy: I prefer my phone to quickly check assignments, but if I have to do something on a Google Doc, then I prefer to use my Chromebook because it’s easier to see and type on. And, It’s less distracting.

Adam and Skip: VR is the new, cool technology in town. How big are you on VR stuff?

Lizzy: It’s cool and all, but most of my friends don’t have a VR headset, so I can’t really talk to them or play with them on that. I have other stuff I can do with my friends.

Adam and Skip: What’s your digital life like at home?

Lizzy: We turn on the TV and everything that we want to watch is there. Sometimes we have to pay for stuff, but that’s becoming less and less of a thing. My phone, the switch and the Xbox are my favorite technologies at home.

Adam and Skip: It’s pretty normal to get mad at technology. Do you ever get frustrated with technology?

Lizzy: Yeah. I probably yell at my phone on a daily basis because something isn’t loading.

Adam and Skip: Do teens unplug or take technology breaks?

Lizzy: Some of us do, but not a lot. I feel like I need that every once in a while. I like being outside and it’s nice to get a break from technology. I really don’t think about how much I use my phone or other technology. I can see how much I use it, but it doesn’t really bother me because I am just used to it.

Adam and Skip: What do your friends think about technology controls or people watching over them on their devices?

Lizzy: I have gotten a few complaints about restrictions, especially when I run out of time on a game.

Adam: Can you explain to everyone what our deal is and how you get restrictions with your phone?

Lizzy: I usually get more restrictions when I am abusing the phone, spending too much time on it or downloading games I’m not supposed to. But, if I’m open with how I’m using my phone and my screen time goes down, then I get more freedom and my restrictions get loosened.

Adam and Skip: To wrap up, what’s one piece of advice you can give tech leaders and parents?

Lizzy: Restrictions are good because they help turn your kid in the right direction. You may think you’re being mean, but in the long run, it’s super helpful.

Just like at Humanize IT, good conversations and open communication help everything run smoothly. Thanks Lizzie for chatting with us about your take on technology! Join us next week for another episode.

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers Virtual Chief Information Officer Implement New IT Services
2 min read

Dumb Mistakes

By Adam Walter on Mar 28, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

We all make dumb mistakes — it’s just a part of life. Some of these mistakes might stick with you and haunt you to this day. The important thing to pay attention to is how you will respond when you make silly mistakes.

We here at Humanize It have made our share of dumb mistakes. We get it! But, we have learned a lot and grown from those mistakes. The ability to look at those mistakes and celebrate what you got out of them is really important.


As a business owner, if you notice your MSP making little mistakes that should be avoided, you should check in with them. Make sure that they are doing alright. Based on personal experience, sleep deprivation can be a huge cause of making dumb mistakes. Make sure your MSP is not overworking and is getting enough sleep in order to have the right amount of energy for the tasks they have ahead of them. If they are getting enough sleep, look deeper. See what the cause of these mistakes could be and if there is anything you can do about it. If there isn’t anything that can be done specifically, you might just need to express the need to be more careful and mindful with the work they are doing.

The most important aspect of making mistakes is being able to learn from them. And, in order to do that, you have to be open about your mistakes. Engineers, this one is for you. If you are prone to hide your mistakes instead of bringing them into the open, you will not be able to learn and grow from those mistakes. You need to be open about what is happening or the problems you’re experiencing. This will allow other engineers and MSPs to be open as well. People look up to the engineers, and being open and leading by example will only help the team as a whole.

If you’re a business owner, it is critical that you invite mistakes and allow your team to fail in order for them to grow. If you cultivate a culture of fear of failure, people will walk on eggshells when something goes wrong. Investigate the culture of your work place and make sure that you allow people to open up. It is also great for you to lead by example, as well, and share your mistakes and what you have learned from them.

The last thing to know about mistakes is there is a difference between dumb mistakes and incompitancy. If you notice one of your engineers is consistently making the same mistakes over and over again, they might not know what they are doing. Check in with them and see what is going on. If you find out that they don’t know how to do the job fully, it is time to either train them in that area or find someone that knows how to do the job better.

Dumb mistakes happen to everyone. Look at the people making these mistakes and see how they are doing. Are they aware they are making mistakes? How are you dealing with these mistakes? Is your environment conducive to learning and are your employees taken care of? Ultimately, there is an opportunity to let dumb mistakes make you smarter!

Topics: IT Management Business Building for IT Companies
2 min read

Operations Vs. Strategy

By Adam Walter on Mar 21, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

If you’re an engineer then you might not like to talk about strategy. We get it! But, strategy is super important in any successful organization. This week, we are going to focus on how strategy is a component that we need to focus on as well as operations.

The simple fact is, strategy is not just simple planning; it’s a larger item that shows where your organization will be going someday. If you’re technical, you might not understand this. You might be someone who hears a bunch of strategic ideas and instantly thinks that none of it can be done. You might be thinking that the ideas are crazy and completely impossible.

The important thing to keep in mind is that none of these strategies and tactics need to be done tomorrow. These are ideas that are going to take time and very small steps forward. Strategy is where your organization is headed. You don’t have to get there by the end of the week!

Where your company is currently and where you will be in the future will look drastically different. You just have to focus on what you’re doing right now and then build to that future company bit by bit.

Look at strategy as the goal that your company is aiming towards, and operations are how you will get there. Strategy should be done in steps and you never have to know what the future step will be. If you’re on step 2, then do what is necessary for step 2 and slowly, step 3 will work its way to your understanding and become clear to your company. Once you’re on step 3, that can be your focus until step 4 begins to form and take place.

Another important thing to keep in mind is, while strategy is important, it’s not everything. Some people get too lost in strategy and nothing ever gets done. Those are the people that engineers hate. Their heads are always in the clouds and nothing ever happens. Operations are the day-to-day tasks that allow strategy to be accomplished. Both strategy and operations must work hand-in-hand.

The frustrating thing about strategy is you most likely will not see the fruits of your labor for months if not years. Results from operations can be seen by the end of the day. This doesn't make one more important than the other — it simply means that you have to be patient and know that both are very critical to your organization no matter the length of time it takes to see results.

In order for both of these to work together, there must be trust. People in strategy need to understand that their engineers will have the ideas and the operations people will be able to accomplish it. The people in operations need to look at the strategic people and know that they have great direction and know where the company is headed. When both work together, that’s when success happens.

In order to understand if your strategy and operations are working together, look back at your company and where you were a couple of years ago. Have you accomplished what your strategists thought would accomplish with the operations help? If not, be honest and make changes based on what you see that is working. Essentially, don’t just take steps to take them. Take steps to get where you’re trying to go.

The moral of the story: strategy is where you are going and operations are how you get there.

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Management Business Building for IT Companies CIO
2 min read

Talk Like a CEO

By Adam Walter on Mar 14, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

Last week, our focus was talking like a CFO. This week, we’re tackling how to talk like a CEO!

You might have heard the phrase: one throat to choke, one back to pat. Well, that’s the CEO of a company. They are responsible for their company in the good and the bad, for better or worse. CEO is a title that a lot of people want, but it comes with a lot of weight.

As an MSP, when you’re talking to your clients in a meeting, the CEO might be trying not to fall asleep. Don’t take this personally, their focus is just mainly on the success of the company at large.

With that information in mind, there is one sure-fire way to get the CEO on your side. Make them look good. Yep, it’s that simple. Let them know how your products and services will make their company excel.

More than half of the CEO’s job is politics — essentially, making their company look good and being responsible with their decisions. They are looking for success, which means you need to let them know how your products and services are going to bring that success.

One thing to keep in mind is that success looks different for every CEO. Just like finding success with a CFO, talking to your client’s CEO is how you can determine how success is measured in their company. It is going to be a moving target, really. You can not take one thing that is important to one CEO and assume that it is going to be the same target that the next CEO is shooting for. Having conversations with each CEO will allow you to aim for the right things.

Another important tip is to get a grip on what the company’s culture is. Knowing what the culture is will allow you to get to the table in front of the CEO seamlessly. Some companies are hierarchical where there is an order of people that you must talk to or go through in order to chat with the CEO. Go through that process and be respectful of the way their business is structured. Other businesses are more of a level playing field and it’s okay to go directly to the CEO or upper-level management. Just be aware of that culture and go through the process of communicating accordingly. If you don’t, the CEO will be much less likely to meet with you at all, or they will choose to skip any meetings going forward.

The last tip we have for you is to learn the CEO’s vision for the company. The CEO is constantly going back to the basics of what the mission and vision of the company are and how you fit into that. Figure out what that vision is and put what you’re bringing to the table in that context.

A great way to do that is to go to your client or potential client’s website and write in your own words what you believe their vision is. In your meeting with the client, ask the CEO to take a look at it and make sure that what you wrote is correct. This will let the CEO know that you understand them and desire to make them look good with your solutions.

The CEO’s opinion is important, so have a listening-focused conversation, learn their measure of success, get a grip on their company culture and understand their CEO’s vision for the company. If you do all of that, you’ll be talking like a CEO and bringing success to you and your client in a heartbeat.

Topics: Managed Services Providers CIO Quarterly Business Review
2 min read

Talk like a CFO

By Adam Walter on Mar 7, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

As an MSP, you probably hate talking about finances, but, learning to talk like a CFO will help you be able to better connect with your clients. A CFO is focused on what financial actions are going to increase profits for their company, and you can use them as a resource. Let’s dive in!

First, you have to think about the CFO the same as the CEO: they are an executive who is trying to run a company. A CFO is looking at the revenue coming in and, although they are not responsible for generating that revenue, they are responsible for how that revenue gets allocated. It’s their job to manage expenses and make the right financial decisions for their company.

When an MSP comes in and talks to clients about products and services, the CFO is just thinking about it being another expense. You can’t blame them, it’s their job. Everything is looked at as either risk or reward.

To speak like a CFO, you must think about the financial aspect and how the company’s finances get managed. This means you should talk about products and services in context with how they are going to help the CFO’s company. This will let your client know that you are being thoughtful with your technology suggestions and thinking of your client’s return on investment.

With that being said, you can also learn a lot from your client’s CFOs — they are going to be one of your best resources when it comes to defining what’s going to help the company. CFOs have spent a lifetime learning what they know and you have to take advantage of that.

Ultimately, you don’t have to be a financial expert. The CFO is already filling that role.

MSPs sometimes show up to client engagements with the expectation that you need to educate your clients on technology. If we leave it in those terms, you are not going to get those meetings right. You need to show up and allow your clients to educate you on their business. Along the way, you are going to explain your role and make sure that your client understands how their technology is helping them, but the role of teaching your clients how you do your job is not what your main goal should be.

If you want to sell your clients fully on a product, you’re going to have to talk like a CFO. And, to talk like a CFO, you’re going to have to learn from one.

If you really want to get in with a CFO, tell your client contact that you want to understand how finances work at their company. Ask if you could have some time with the company’s CFO to chat about how ride offs work within their industry to see if there are any that you could help them take advantage of with your technology and services. This will knock their socks off!

You may not know anything about finances or taxes and you may hate the thought of talking about those topics, but you can sell your CFOs on what you’re trying to implement if you can show them why and how it will benefit their business and use their knowledge as a resource.

Topics: vCIO IT Account Management
2 min read

Powerpoint Costs You Clients

By Adam Walter on Feb 28, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd 

Topics: vCIO IT Sales Person QBR Humanize Podcast
2 min read

How to Hire Great People

By Adam Walter on Feb 21, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd 

Topics: IT Management Humanize Podcast
2 min read

How to Fire your client

By Adam Walter on Feb 12, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd 

Topics: IT Management Business Building for IT Companies Strategic Leadership Humanize Podcast
2 min read

How to Fire Your MSP

By Adam Walter on Feb 7, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd 

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Management Business Building for IT Companies MSP Humanize Podcast
3 min read

Pick a Client

By Adam Walter on Jan 31, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd 

2 min read

Pick an MSP

By Adam Walter on Jan 25, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd

Topics: Business Building for IT Companies Marketing for IT Companies Humanize Podcast
Sign up for the Client Engagement Excellence Manifesto PDF coming end of January

Featured