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

It’s the Little Things

By Adam Walter on Sep 6, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/I_RZo9MXaBQ

As an MSP, you’re going to have moments when you mess up. There will be times when you forget a project or miss a deadline. Have you built up enough goodwill with your clients that in these instances, they’re going to tell you that it’s okay?

Let’s paint the picture using chips. Your client has a bag that, anytime you do something nice for them or perform a favor, a chip gets placed in the bag. Eventually, you’re going to withdraw chips from that bag when you need a favor of your own - but what happens when there are no chips in that bag? Well, the bag is likely to be thrown at you.

There are some people that are constantly doing nice things for other people, though they never spend the chips they earn by asking for favors of their own. They’ve built their business and are unaware of how to ask for help due to being too independent. It’s important to not only collect chips, but to spend them, as well. You must have a flow of exchange in order to develop a mature and productive relationship with your client.

This is where the little things come into play.

To build this relationship with your client, you have to remember the little things. For example, if your client has a sticky mouse, replacing it with a new one may mean more to them than the hours upon hours you spent replacing their entire server farm. Though the server farm was a much more difficult project and far more beneficial for the business as a whole, the replacement of the mouse is something that they will think about every time they sit at their desk and use it. Your client will remember this little thing you did for them that left a big impact on their daily work routine, and it will leave a lasting impression.

Sometimes, the little things might not make sense to you. You might not understand what these little things mean to your client or even appreciate the value they place on them. Though it seems minor to you, it is a big, meaningful deal to your client.

Your knowledge as an engineer can also help you place importance on the little things. You know about thousands and thousands of different technologies. Which one of those technologies would make the biggest impact on your client? They could be curious about NFTs, the VR world, inventory management, fleet management…the list goes on of various technologies that would change your client’s world if you shared your knowledge with them. Let’s take, for example, product release dates. You have these launch dates memorized, but your client doesn’t. They mention that they want to purchase an iPad, and you inform them that they should hold off until October when Apple releases the newest version of the iPad. The cost of older generations will go down, and your client will be able to save some money on a new iPad. This little piece of advice means the world to them, and by proving that you are listening and you want to help them out for the better, it will take your relationship to the next level.

You also don’t want to make assumptions. Perhaps your client is someone who wants the newest, greatest product out there. They’re not going to want to be advised to wait until October to buy an older generation after it’s discounted; they’re going to want to be told to wait until October when the newest iPad is launched, so that they can have the most current product in their hands.

Try thinking of things in your own life. Someone cleans your entire home - except the kitchen. When you come home, the huge mess in the kitchen is the first thing you see, and it immediately upsets you. The same can be said for your clients. There are things that they care about - that may be little to you - that, if not done, will upset them no matter what other work you complete. This is why it’s important to get to know your client and learn what these little things are. It may even be something as simple as vacuuming when you’ve finished your work.

Something may happen that causes you to drop the ball on a client’s project. If you have a strong relationship with your client already built, then they’re more likely to forgive the mistake - in other words, take a chip out of the bag. On the contrary, if you have a client that you know would be incredibly displeased with this mistake, it’s an indicator that you have a relationship that needs some work, and it all starts with the little things.

This is a good time of year to talk about the little things. As we near the end of Q3, businesses are discussing budget planning, year-end projects, and strategic focus. Make sure you have a good relationship with your clients to really close out Q4 strong with the bigger things that you need to be tackling. If you’re short on the little things, then the bigger things are going to be hard.

Replacing your client’s sticky mouse can be a bigger chip in the bag than the 16-hour project. It may not be something you care about, but the little things that your client cares about are the little things that matter.

Topics: IT Account Management Disruptive MSP Technical Account Manager
2 min read

Gap analysis for profit

By Adam Walter on Aug 1, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/jSRDaSpEdBw

When reviewing a gap analysis with a client, we often come off as the person on a terrible first date. Instead of conversing with our clients, we sit down and point out all the wrong or missing things. No one wants a date like that, and your clients are no exception.

A poor approach to gap analysis can hurt your business and the relationship you are trying to build with your customers. Of course, you need to do a gap analysis for your clients. It’s part of what helps you understand the goals of their business and how you can help. However, if you can’t align your findings with the needs and values of your client, you’ll find yourself getting nowhere. When approaching your client with your analysis, it’s not your thorough, super detailed report that will catch their attention. It’s understanding your client and the value you bring to the table. When your clients come to the same understanding, you stop becoming a nag with the same repetitive concerns. You become a partner and an asset.

Talk to your clients about their business. Make it a point to understand what aspects of your gap analysis are most valuable to their operation. You may have a lengthy list of items that need to be addressed, but not all of them are things your client will care about. Let them know how your gap analysis helps them run their organization and generate profit. When you take the time and effort to have a conversation with your customers, you start to build trust, which will, in turn, open up more opportunities for you!

There will be gaps that your clients will not understand. This is not a foreign concept to those of us in the IT world. We have language and lingo that a layperson does not use. While this can be a challenge, you should take this as an opportunity to showcase what you have learned about their business and how your gap analysis pertains to their success. Educate them as to why your services are needed. Prioritize the things that are most important to them. This is not you being a salesperson. It allows for a customer-led strategy! Your customers have the chance to do the work for you by prioritizing what risks need the most attention. Then let them know what future steps you can take to improve things in the future. It’s a win-win scenario!

Remember, you do not know every gap in your customer’s portfolio. When a client seeks your services, you are often given a small window of insight that usually only pertains to IT. Make an effort to build rapport. It will help you prioritize the gaps that need the most attention, and your client will start to trust you to make decisions. Again, this allows you more opportunities to expand your services and build a business relationship that can last decades.

Gap analysis doesn’t have to be boring and repetitive. Use it as a tool to strengthen your business relationships and turn them into a profit!

Topics: Demand Generation for IT Companies Technical Account Manager IT Security
2 min read

EpISODE 164: Complexity is the Enemy

By Adam Walter on Aug 23, 2021

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

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Management CIO Technical Account Manager
4 min read

How Salespeople Close IT Projects Faster?

By Myles Olson on Jan 28, 2021

We’re all too well aware of the enormous amount of work that goes into the preparation phase of every client IT project. From the idea stage (we need to replace the server architecture) to actually being able to send a proper quote ($18,500 with labour cost) the MSP spends dozens of hours coming up with the IT project plan and the numbers. The hours are tracked as “sales” hours spending time on those quotes but at the end of the day most of those projects never take off. Everybody is bummed, the client calls off the opportunity, the team writes off the time to a “lost opportunity” category and life goes on. However there is a totally legitimate, battle-tested sales tactic that a few MSPs use to cut this unproductive and morale-draining busy work. Let's get into the details.

Topics: IT Sales Person Managed Services Providers IT Account Management QBR Technical Account Manager Managed Services Platform
5 min read

How to Schedule QBRs for Engagement

By Denes Purnhauser on Jan 14, 2021

Most MSPs have a hard time not only engaging executives in QBRs but even being able to sit down with clients, as they don’t see the value they add to their business. The goal of scheduling a QBR is more about selling them the process, benefits and the results so they see the value and look forward to these events.

We are going to discover the minimum requirements of scheduling an engaging session with the right people in the client’s organization. As a result you are going to get more executive level decision makers in your meetings with higher anticipation.

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Account Management IT Client Engagement QBR Technical Account Manager Managed Services Platform
3 min read

Client Engagement in 2021 New Features

By Denes Purnhauser on Dec 10, 2020

At Managed Services Platform our vision has always been to turn technically heavy client meetings into engaging value added business conversations. 

2020 has brought new challenges for Account Managers and vCIOs. Client meetings became remote, the duration of sessions shrank, the topics in QBRs steadily increased and clients got very apprehensive about investing in general.

We would like to go through the upcoming new features to make sure you can solve those challenge.

Topics: Managed Services Providers IT Client Engagement NIST Cyber Security Technical Account Manager Managed Services Platform
3 min read

How We Predict the IT Industry Will Adapt to a New Crisis

By Adam Walter on Mar 25, 2020

One of the best things about IT is that we thrive on change.  Even when the world is on fire, we are at our best — we have come through for society several times over within the last 20 years alone. Our resilience and adaptability are what make our industry so valuable.  

Topics: vCIO IT Client Engagement Technical Account Manager Adam Walter
3 min read

How to transition to High-Value Business Partners during the recession

By Denes Purnhauser on Mar 25, 2020

The narrative is about to change now. With the recession coming only high-value and proven partnerships are going to last. All fat is going to be on the chopping block. High-value strategic relationships with technology providers will be critical for all organizations. In this blog I teamed up with Rich Anderson to probe some thoughts on the opportunities and conduct a practical walkthrough with inspiration on how to actually do it.

Topics: IT Client Engagement Strategic Leadership Win New Clients Technical Account Manager
6 min read

Why the better MSPs work the less perceived value they have

By Denes Purnhauser on Mar 10, 2020

For a while after our session with Sea-Level something was bugging me. We pondered a conundrum in this seminar: why can’t MSPs not become the victim of their own success? Why does a smooth service have to lead to disengaged clients? How can the MSP remain the hero not justhen the client has problems in their day-to-day operation but even when those problems are gone and the technology just works, and they stop noticing the value of the services? 

After many 1-1 discussions we came up with an answer. The issue comes into clear view from a distant overhead, as does the solution. Now having been able to create a model that explains the problems, the solution is far less difficult to manage.

We are going to break down the problem into 3 stages each with a brief explanation.

Topics: vCIO IT Account Management IT Client Engagement Technical Account Manager
5 min read

How to get out of your “Client Engagement Debt”

By Denes Purnhauser on Jan 17, 2020

As a Technology Provider, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the symptoms of your clients' "Technology Debt." This is the manifestation of the inherent costs of perpetual support for less-than-optimal technology. This is a drain on both you and the client. Client Engagement Debt is a similar concept that encompasses the implied cost of not having enough quality Account Management, Technical Account Management, vCIO or IT Consulting activities with your clients. This costs you money, erodes trust, loses opportunities and even lowers the value your clients see in your services. Let’s take a look at how much debt you have and how to get rid of it this year.

Topics: vCIO IT Client Engagement QBR Technical Account Manager Quarterly Business Review
4 min read

Managed Services Platform Account Manager Report 2019

By Dr Peter Torbagyi on Dec 13, 2019

In our previous blog post, we reviewed how we typically see our vCIO community members from 2019, so now let’s look at another report regarding our other active community of more than 700 account managers that are working with us today.

Topics: IT Account Management Win New Clients Technical Account Manager Managed Services Platform
9 min read

Accelerate Your Growth with the new features just released

By Denes Purnhauser on Oct 18, 2019

I am happy to introduce the sets of software features, updated templates, expert guide content and super specific programs to accelerate your growth! If your Account Management is not producing project revenues, your vCIO is not getting paid for advice, your Sales people are not getting leads or your cyber security services are not being sold then this release is for you! This is what we are going to cover:

  1. New Software Features for Growth
  2. Expert Guides for Growth
  3. Role Specific Programs for Growth
  4. Quarterly Sprints for Growth
Topics: vCIO IT Sales Person Business Building for IT Companies IT Account Management IT Client Engagement NIST Cyber Security Implement New IT Services Win New Clients Profitable Operations Technical Account Manager Skip Ziegler
Sign up for the Client Engagement Excellence Manifesto PDF coming end of January

Featured