If you are like me, when you hear Moana, you probably start humming (or even singing to yourself) “You’re Welcome”, “Shiny” or one of the other songs from the movie. However, there is a lot more we can take away from the film than just some catchy tunes. In fact, I was watching Moana the other night with the family and doing some work at the same time, when I had an epiphany. There are so many similarities between the Village of Motonui, Chief Tui, and the IT Channel.
Moana goes beyond the reef because the village is dealing with diseased coconuts, dying plants, and a lack of fish in the lagoon. The struggles on the island were a threat to the way of life and future of the villagers. However, Chief Tui and the village operated under a strict belief that “no one goes beyond the reef; there is one rule, a rule that keep us safe!” Even with all the problems, it took guts for Moana to get on the boat and go beyond the reef to save the island and her people.
In our current competitive climate, the problems MSPs face is not unlike the Village of Motonui. Among the top challenges I hear about are margins becoming thin on both hardware and cloud services, noisy existing customers costing the MSP efficiency and money, and the lack of leads. These are all real threats to the way MSPs operate and what the future of their business will look like. If you are an MSP facing these dangers, are you bold enough to step on the boat and go beyond your reef and comfort zone to save your company?
There are three things you can do today to increase margins and quiet noisy existing customers:
- Offer your customer a monthly payment to help them move forward with a new project. Your customer is already familiar with paying monthly for technology. They’re probably paying monthly for support, a BDR provider, their phone bill and pretty much every other technology bill.
So, why would your customer pay cash for the hardware, software and labor? Is it because they always pays cash, or is it because you are uncomfortable with making a monthly payment offer and what might happen? Just like Moana’s father, Chief Tui, was stuck in his ways and worried about what was on the other side of the reef. Only offering cash prices drives down your value, opens the door to competition, and creates a race to the lowest price. There is no value in that sale for an MSP, but imagine how far it could go with the increased margin and easy upgrades.
- Do regular system refreshes. The reason you lose time and money on noisy customers is because the 7 year old server and workstations they’re using are junk! Whether you have a tool like MSPCFO or BrightGuage, or your own calculations, you know which customers are the trouble clients. By fixing their old technology, you are preventing them from seeing how much better life could be.
64% of technology buyers told GreatAmerica the cost of upgrades is a major technology concern for their business.
If the barrier to getting customers to upgrade is the cost and budget, remove that barrier (you’re welcome)! Customers are more likely to move forward with a $1,200 increase to their managed service bill than to spend $50,000 on a network refresh. There are many MSPs using financing for this exact reason, and closing much larger refreshes because of it.
- Finally, if you want to get good at the first two, you have to practice. Just like Moana learning how to travel the ocean, she had to try multiple times, get help from Maui, and have confidence in herself before she became a Master Wayfinder. Anyone touching sales in your business needs to practice talking to customers, facing objections, and helping your business become better. It’s not easy to change your methods and strike out into less familiar waters, but it may be the only shot of survival and growth. Try industry-led trainings or ask your vendor partners for their help. You’ll get lots of perspectives, and be able to craft your own style.
If you are an MSP facing decreasing margins and dealing with noisy customers, will you go beyond the reef to save your business? If you do and are bold enough, you will be able to be like Tamatoa and enjoy all things Shiny.
Clip and image credits Walt Disney Studios: http://movies.disney.com/moana
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