“We all want to make money but we have prioritized the idea that we make money over providing solutions and services.”.-Bruce Sarte
Today one of the issues facing tech companies and many others is that we treat people like everything but human beings. We classify them as clients/customers, employees, bosses, or even simply as “The man”. We have dehumanized relationships. We used to solve problems for people now we only present pre-built solutions without understanding the person in front of us.
So why don’t MSPs treat customers as people? Honestly…it is easier to follow a process than to have a conversation.
“Operational efficiency is great, but why is it the only thing we focus on?” - Adam Walter
“Because it saves US money.” Bruce Sarte
We no longer ask the question of our clients “What are your goals?” We seem to only be interested in what their technical goals are at best. This results in detached support that solves problems that do not help the company.
“We walk in with a solution to a problem they don’t know they have” - Bruce Sarte
The reason for this is that IT professionals have been convinced that they need to sell software and hardware from big vendors. Vendors such as Microsoft, Dell and Lenovo because their margins depend on you selling their software and hardware so they're going to convince you to do their job for them. It is easy, sell a laptop, and make $100 on this latest deal. Everyone can get behind that! Except…what problem is it solving for your client? How are you helping them serve their customers better?
MSPs have gotten comfortable with being a retailer rather than a service provider. We FEEL like we are providing a service because we are solving a problem (replacing a computer, software etc). While it is a problem, it is not the right problem. It is like the Janitor buying a new desk to replace the old one. It is necessary, but they are ignoring that the HVAC system has been on the fritz for months causing a lot of employees to be uncomfortable and costing the company money. In this situation, the Janitor gets to go home feeling like they did a great job because they got something done.
This is the state a lot of MSPs are in. They have 10,000 solutions in their head and will only sell the solutions they are conditioned to sell. They are doing this for tiny margins that are not impactful to the client. This is why clients nickel and dime MSPs…the perceived value is just not there.
We need to be asking better questions and aligning with client’s purpose. We need to treat our clients like people, because that is what they are…with unique problems and values that need help.
MSPs can build a bond of trust with their client but only if we treat them like people. In Part 2, Bruce and Adam talk through how to do this. How to see the person across the table as a human being so you BOTH can be successful.