The world is changing – whether we like it or not – and as we become less physically connected to the world around us, how we choose to interact with each other will change as well. With no live events or in-person networking, I.T. companies are being forced to adapt their sales process at a much faster pace. If you want to grow your business in 2020, you’ll have to change, too.
When Covid-19 hit North America, business owners were forced to close their businesses or move their teams home to work in safe isolation. MSPs were better equipped than most businesses to handle that initial transition. I.T. businesses were deemed essential, and they could quickly adjust their technology infrastructures to support remote work. Six months in, most MSPs were relieved that they didn’t need to execute on their constantly changing disaster-scenario business plans. Most of our businesses are still here. Congratulations!
Your processes changed. You pivoted because you had to, not because you wanted to. Your sales and marketing plan needs to change, too.
Time for cold calling
Cold calling is one of the few things that you can add to your sales and marketing roster quickly and easily. (And if done correctly, it can produce over 1,100% ROI for your MSP!)
Business owners who do not enjoy being cold-called themselves are hesitant to add this simple and inexpensive process into their 2021 business plan. In January 2019, if someone had suggested to you that you ditch your office and move your entire team home, you might have been resistant to the idea, especially if you do not enjoy working from home. If you had previous experience working from home that left you certain that it would never work in your business, you might have been twice as resistant to the idea.
The pandemic doesn’t care about what you liked or what you wanted. In 2020, you either worked from home or didn’t work. Faced with extinction, we adapted. Quickly.
It’s time to adapt your sales and marketing approach and to adopt new best practices and processes. Cold calling is inexpensive, easy to implement, and produces results even when done by people who have only done it for a week. Telemarketing agencies hire for volume, not skill. Telemarketing is a skill, and it can be taught. It is nothing more than a series of steps that need to be followed. Being great at it doesn’t require anything that you don’t already use every day: Got a computer? Got a phone? You’re ready to start!
That voice telling you that it’s not going to work for you, or that cold calling is dead, or that you’re not good at talking to people? That’s “call reluctance”, or simply put: that’s fear.
How to get past the fear
Here are three things to think about to get over your fear of picking up that phone and generating more MRR for your managed services company.
Reframe cold calling
While your initial reaction tells you that people don’t want to be ‘bothered’ at work, I’m here to remind you that you aren’t ‘bothering’ anyone. As a business leader, I have one job. That job is to make my company more profitable. I can do that by selling more, to more people, more often. While I work towards that, I look for ways to do things better and faster, with less expense. I try to create differentiators in our business, provide unique reasons why my business is better than my competitors. My whole job is looking towards the future and course-correcting as needed. If a sales agent for any company can legitimately help me save money or make money, I owe it to my company to take that sales call. If I’m not interested in innovation, increased profitability, or efficiency, am I a great business leader? If you own an I.T. company, you are leaps and bounds ahead of other businesses when it comes to using technology. Your knowledge – even for 15 minutes on the phone – is welcome. The business leader you’re connecting to? They know things, too. A peer-to-peer cold call is a learning opportunity. Approach cold calling with curiosity and look for ways to help other business owners. You’re looking for great ideas, and you’re offering up great ideas. Once you remove the burden of selling from your conversations, you’ll find that they naturally progress to discovery.
Start with your network
Begin reconnecting with your peers, friends, and clients. Stop using social media, email, and texts to communicate with the people in your world. Practice. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of picking up the phone, start slowly and commit to checking in with five people every day. Schedule time on your calendar to do it. Ask each one of those people to introduce you to one of their peers. Then call that person. A warm introduction means it’s not a “cold” call. Once you’re used to using the phone and having sales conversations, you can start slowly adding a few cold calls a day into that routine. Before you know it, your fear of talking to strangers will be gone.
Create reasons for phone calls
Calling people is easier when you have a specific thing to discuss. Host an online event that you can invite people to. Inviting people to an event is a much simpler conversation than a cold outbound prospecting call. It allows you to begin a discussion with a prospect and gives you a very specific reason to connect with people that isn’t “I want you to buy something from me.”
Cold calling isn’t scary. Join me on October 15th at 11 am CT to learn how to create and implement a simple outbound calling process for your MSP. I’ll teach you some tricks, you should bring your own treats. It might be a little early in the day for booooooooooze, but you do you.
Want to know more about Carrie Simpson and Managed Sales Pros? Head over to www.managedsalespros.com.