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

PitchIT Volume 2

By Adam Walter on Jul 5, 2022

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/xK0KEi-AKD8

Welcome to the second part of PitchIT with Sean Lardo of ConnectWise! We’re diving deeper into our IT world and how to provide your service to clients.

For those of us who work in IT, we know that our industry is ever-changing and growing. However, the growth that we’ve seen over the last few years has been exponential. When Covid hit, our services had adapt and expand in ways we did not anticipate. People had to stay home and run their businesses while out of the office. Innovation wasn’t what we wanted. It was what we needed!

Serving our MSPs is, of course, always at the forefront of our work. But how do we ensure they have the resources and understanding needed to do their jobs? The answer is simple, and ConnectWise has broken it down into 3 promises they make to their clients.

Be easy to work with
Invest in partner growth
Bring more innovations faster

Being easy to work with sounds simple, but it’s more than being friendly and showing up with a smile. You need to know your clients’ needs and develop solutions they can understand. Your clients deserve to know your company’s value and how it betters them. When people think of IT, their first thought is cybersecurity. But MSPs work with everyone from mechanics to bakeries by providing services from HR automation to accounting. Understanding what your clients want and need makes it easier for everyone to achieve their goals. Make it a point to know your clients and be personable! Ask them about their weekend. How’s the family? Let them know you care and are genuinely invested.

Investing in partner growth helps your client achieve their goals and keeps ongoing business by building stronger relationships with your customers. At MSPL, we believe in conversations, not presentations. Before meeting with a client, send them an agenda with your understanding of their needs, how you can address them, and how to move forward in the future. It tells your clients you are listening, invested, and have a firm grasp of their goals. Don’t use your PowerPoint or slides as the basis of your meeting. Use it to keep the conversation on track and address the topics that need to be discussed. An hour-long conversation should only require 20 minutes of slide show presentation. Tailor your conversations to your clients. Showcase your understanding of their needs, that you’re invested and how you can be of service.

Your clients want results, and they want them now! When you talk to your customers, you’re telling a story. Let them know how far they’ve come, where they are now and what the future holds. Each conversation needs to be better than the last. It allows your client to see how quickly you’ve improved their organization, where they are now, and the potential yet to come. Know your vertical, your space, and own it! New IT companies sometimes get into the pitfall of, “We can do anything!” but that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes a request goes beyond the scope of your abilities, and that’s OK. Be honest with your clients and help them find another venue to fulfill their needs, even if that means sending them to your competition. It shows the clients that you care and want to get them the best results as soon as possible.

Serving clients is the primary goal of any business, IT or otherwise. By being easy to work with, investing in partner growth and bringing more innovations faster, you are setting yourself and your customers up for success!

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers IT Account Management QBR
2 min read

PitchIT Volume 1

By Adam Walter on Jun 27, 2022

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3AyHCUd
Youtube: https://youtu.be/cZnUQXv1mPw

Get ready to share your innovation with the world. Whether your solution solves a need in IT, finance, business operations or sales, it is up to you to make sure that your business has the resources and structure for you, your colleagues and your clients to get the job done.

This week we have a great guest speaker, Sean Lardo of ConnectWise. With so much ground to cover, we have a two-part podcast coming your way!

So many of us have found ourselves in a time when we did not have the right processes or technologies to simplify workloads and make scaleable business models. When this happens, everyone suffers. We may not always have the answers or solutions to ensure that these processes are in place. Sometimes, the right answer is, “I don’t know.” Take this opportunity to learn, make connections in your industry and get excited about the possibilities on the horizon. Teach this to your colleagues and employees. They may not have all the knowledge, but encourage them to ask questions. Take the time to educate them about your industry and get them excited about your mission and the work you do. When people are passionate about your vision, they become a sponge to soak up knowledge! Talk to people in a language they can understand. Not everyone knows the lingo or work of your industry. Get on their level, and they’ll rise to the occasion.

We focus on conversations, not presentations. Sure, a presentation can be helpful and informative. But how do people really connect and retain what they’ve learned? How many relationships have you built solely on a slide show? Probably none. That’s why it is so important to add that personal touch by taking the time to talk with people. Open communication and conversations with your clients and colleagues make you a better leader and innovator. There’s a lot of passion in building relationships. Bring that passion to your team and your business!

When bringing your vision to fruition, it can feel a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of things to think about because we all know that a well-laid plan means nothing if you don’t have or provide the tools to execute your ideas. For example, if you’ve created the best firewall that’s ever been made, it will not go anywhere without a great sales team to bring in new clients and a crew of staff to keep your operations running smoothly. Sometimes looking at the big picture is not the best idea. So many things to do. So little time to do it. One of the best ways to deal with a huge undertaking is to take a note from the great Sherlock Holmes - keep a clean attic. Clear your head, cut out the unnecessary noise of information and make room in your brain for the context that helps you connect the dots and build. Remember, there’s success to be had when you are the architect with a vision instead of a micromanager who loses sight.

Enjoy the ride! The world is ready and eager for your innovation.

Topics: vCIO Business Building for IT Companies MSP
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

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

Tech Conferences

By Adam Walter on Nov 29, 2021

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

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers IT Sales
1 min read

Thanksgiving 2021

By Adam Walter on Nov 22, 2021

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

Topics: vCIO IT Sales Person IT Sales conversation
1 min read

Daylight Savings

By Adam Walter on Nov 15, 2021

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

Topics: vCIO IT Management Drinks with IT
2 min read

Internet of Things

By Adam Walter on Oct 11, 2021

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

Topics: vCIO Managed Services Providers Implement New IT Services Adam Walter
1 min read

Shiny IT Things

By Adam Walter on Sep 20, 2021

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

Topics: vCIO CIO Humanize Podcast
2 min read

Episode 163: Exercise and IT

By Adam Walter on Aug 11, 2021

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2NHRRDl

Topics: vCIO IT Management MSP Humanize Podcast
Sign up for the Client Engagement Excellence Manifesto PDF coming end of January

Featured