4 Ways to Build Credibility During a Managed Services Sale

posted by Stephanie Ragsdale on Monday, January 21, 2019 in Unified Communications and IT Blog

CharTec Sales Simplicity Seminar Managed Services Sales for MSP

In an industry that sometimes feels like it is becoming commoditized, Managed Service Providers are looking for ways to both differentiate and build credibility. I recently attended the Sales Simplicity Seminar presented by Alex Rodgers, CEO of CharTec, for the second time. The first time around, I was new to my marketing role in the UC & IT industry; while I learned a lot during that first seminar from Alex, an equal portion was over my head.

This time around, I had more knowledge of the IT and Managed Services industries under my belt. Everything clicked into place, from the 5 prerequisites for any sale to who the real competition is for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). However, there was one topic that really struck a chord: how to build your credibility.

How to Build Your Credibility with Managed Services Prospects

Alex showed us that during your discovery (or even before), you have four opportunities to build credibility with your leads. This is critical to separate yourself from the pack and demonstrate your knowledge to your customers, not only in your own industry, but theirs as well.

Four Options to Gain Credibility for Managed Services Sales MSPs

#1 Leverage References to Build Credibility

This is one you are likely already practicing. There are a variety of ways to leverage your happy customers to build credibility with prospects through references. From short testimonials to full case studies and even video interviews, introducing prospects to your current customers’ relatable stories goes a long way in gaining their trust.

The downside to using references is that eventually you run out of testimonials to use and they can be tough to keep up on. Having outdated references doesn’t look good for anyone… especially if that person is no longer your client or even worse, no longer on good terms with your company.

#2 Utilize Existing Relationships

Do you have a good relationship with a fellow vendor or do a lot of your clients tend to use the same vendor for another service? You could reach out and make a deal where you recommend them to one of your customers, and vice versa.

For example, if your customers ask you to build or update their website, but that’s not part of your services, you can recommend a good web development company to them. Conversely, if that web developer has customers who ask for help with their IT services or hardware, they can point them toward you.

You want to make sure you do this with trustworthy companies that have good-standing relationships with their customers. Their credibility with the customers will help build your own when they recommend you. However, if they are less than upstanding, being associated with them may have the opposite effect.

#3 Claim Your Own Credibility

Making claims on your credentials is a great way to expose your prospects to your credibility. Whether or not you realize it, chances are you’ve done this when selling, or at the very least been on the other end when someone was trying to sell to you. This is where you assert your credibility and usually sounds something like, “we have X, Y and Z credentials and work with a lot of businesses like yours…”

While there’s some merit to letting customers know you’re qualified, there’s isn’t much weight behind it without proof to back you up. I’d recommend doing this sparingly and in a passive way, maybe on your website or brochure.

#4 Ask Diagnostic Questions

The fourth and final method to building your credibility is also arguably the best – asking diagnostic questions. This one was new to me. Of course, asking questions is critical during a sales process, but these are specific close-ended questions designed to build your credibility by demonstrating your industry knowledge. Surprised? So was I. I always heard open-ended questions were the way to go.

However, after seeing examples of a few diagnostic questions and their use, it made sense. There is certainly a time and place for open-ended questions later in the sales process in order to probe deeper. They need to be used tactically. In your initial contact, open-ended questions can steer you off track and make you lose control of the conversation when you have limited time. This stunts your opportunity to establish credibility.

For example, if you are talking to an attorney’s office, research to discover the most common software for attorneys and then ask, “Do you use MyCase or Clio for your case management software?” This only takes a few minutes on Google, shows you understand their vertical, and lets you maintain control of the conversation.

The Big Picture – A Sales Process for Managed Services

The key to building credibility is to demonstrate that you understand your prospect’s industry and can meet their needs better than the alternatives. Even if you service a variety of verticals, being able to speak their language will gain their trust and confidence.

To learn more about diagnostic questions, what makes a good one and which one to avoid, as well as a proven sales process for Managed Services, you can register for one of our three upcoming Sales Simplicity Seminar in 2019.

Alex showed us that during your discovery (or even before), you have four opportunities to build credibility with your leads. This is critical to separate yourself from the pack and demonstrate your knowledge to your customers, not only in your own industry, but theirs as well.

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About The Author

Stephanie Ragsdale is the Marketing Specialist for the Unified Communications & IT Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She provides creative marketing support and helps build brand awareness. Stephanie started her career at GreatAmerica in 2014 when she joined the tax department. Prior to joining GreatAmerica, she designed billboards locally and received her B.B.A degree in Business Marketing and her B.F.A degree in Graphic Design from the University of Iowa.

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