A Great 20-Minute Phone Call Is The Difference Between A New Client And A Dead Lead

When I was running my MSP, the 20-minute phone call was where my sales team slipped up the most. Like you, we had a good reputation, provided great service and our clients were willing to back up our claims with testimonials and references. What I learned after losing too many prospects to count was our process had holes. Big holes.  We weren’t getting prospects engaged enough to survive our sales process. A sales process we knew worked well… 

What’s so special about this phone call, you ask? 

This is your opportunity to show prospects why you’re someone they need

Your goal from this call is three-fold:  

  1. Educate the prospect about risk. Get them to think through their situation.  
  2. Learn some information about their needs.  
  3. Get them bought into your cybersecurity assessment. 

Phone call not worth the time? Let me clear up why you MUST have this call. 

About 10 years ago, my dad began having some issues with his heart. We went to several cardiologists to figure out what he wanted to do. Imagine if we walked into their office and were told, “you need our Heart Protect 2021 Pacemaker. It costs $31,000. We can have you scheduled for installation next week”. 

What would you do? I’d walk my dad out of the office and find a different cardiologist! 

Instead, each doctor sat us down and tried to understand my dad’s symptoms. When did he have shortness of breath? How far could he walk before he had to sit down? Was he able to get to a standing position without assistance? Where or if he felt pain? 

The doctors were recording my dad’s experience. They made us feel like they sincerely wanted to prescribe the exact treatment to cure his problem. In all cases, they recommended a stress test and only after they had some data, did they make their recommendation… a pacemaker. 

We never questioned any of them about the recommendation or the stress test. After the results were in, we knew they were suggesting a pacemaker (the right pacemaker) based on the results. 

This is exactly how you want your prospects to feel. You are the cardiologist recommending a diagnostic and then prescribing the cure. 

You want them to understand the severity of their situation both in terms of their business’ pain AND underlying symptoms. If you aren’t first getting them to see the need for an assessment by revisiting why they need change, you aren’t getting them to come to terms with the need to change. 

In this process, the doctor sits down is as important as your initial 20-minute call. 

How to make your initial call successful? 

  • Send a non-disclosure agreement. Let them know you take their data seriously and will be asking lots of questions about how their systems work so you can better understand their situation. 
  • Schedule a time for the meeting. Don’t call them and hope they have 20 minutes to talk. They’ll either be distracted or interrupted by your call. 
  • Explain how the assessment works and what the steps are.  
  • Assure them you will not harm, modify, or change anything on their network. 
  • Explain you will present a report that will reveal any gaps or vulnerabilities within their network, backups, etc. Be sure they know you ONLY deliver those results in a meeting and will NEVER email this (you will be discussing confidential information here). 
  • Set the expectation that you will prepare a plan outlining your prescription to resolve any uncovered issues. 
  • Ask if they have any concerns or questions. If not, move ahead with sending them a pen test or installing your assessment tool. 

You’ve got to get them to understand why they want a full assessment.  

How do you track all of their responses?  

Your diagnostic tool should have a section to collect this initial data. You will want these initial responses as part of your report readout. These are details you share with them in the report and a discussion you will have with them in the final meeting.  

Not sure how to improve your sales process? Check out https://www.galacticscan.com/audit/ 

After helping MSPs with thousands of assessments, we’ve identified a sales process that closes deals on average 83% of the time. This process works and it can be used with whatever tools you have. Some partners have been closing every single deal coming in their door with this process because it works (and I’m confident it will work for your company, too). 

The process goes like this: 

20-Minute Phone Call — Get your phone call scheduled. Follow the advice above to nail the call and get decision-makers interested in the readout meeting. During that initial call, schedule the readout within the next 5 business days (don’t schedule it for tomorrow even if you have the report ready. This will dilute the efforts of your report and make the assessment seem worthless). On the call, create anxiety. If they have problems on their network and aren’t squirming at least a little bit, you’re probably not hitting points home. 

Send A Simple Assessment Link — Show them how easy it is to work with you. The less work on their end or disruption of a workday, the better. Point out in the readout how simple it was to get someone to click a link and exfiltrate a bunch of sensitive information. 

Readout The Results — Relate the data they understand to vulnerabilities in their network.   

Follow Up — Always have a next step planned out. If you aren’t confirming appointments and showing them that you’re on top of things, you’re not selling why they should move to you (remember—switching IT support is a BIG painful deal for any business!). 

Worried that too many leads are getting stale? Grab a copy of 7 Critical Changes Every MSP Owner Must Know About Selling Managed Services With Audits.


T.C. Doyle is a writer, editor, and storyteller who has covered the technology industry for more than two decades. When he’s not in Silicon Valley or pursuing a story elsewhere around the globe, he can be found in Park City, Utah, where he resides with his wife and two sons.



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