On Facebook, I saw a post from an MSP asking how to convince a client they NEED the managed services plan as he had proposed it. Apparently, the client came back insisting they didn’t need certain parts of the services he included and demanded a revised agreement with carveouts. Of course, the majority of the advice was idiotic at best to downright dangerous (cave to the client’s demands to get the deal and work on them later to upgrade).
But NONE of the comments got to the heart of the matter – the REAL problem that needed to be fixed, which was not to have a better plan, pick a different client, etc. (The saying “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be truer when you seek FREE advice from strangers and potential competitors on social media. Even more true, there’s nothing more expensive than bad advice.) The REAL problem that NOBODY broached was that he had a TRUST problem. Simply, the prospect didn’t trust him enough to take his advice as provided.
For over 15 years, I’ve sold various forms of membership that contain various types of bundled services. I have never once had someone come back and say, “I don’t need all of that,” and proceed to ask me if they could parcel out a few things here and there to remove what they felt was unnecessary – and if I did, it would be a short conversation. No.
Requests like this reveal one major truth: that prospect does NOT trust you to provide accurate advice. If they did, they wouldn’t question your recommendations. That’s why the foundation of what we teach our MSP clients is how to build celebrity, authority and trust with your chosen marketplace (the Trifecta). When you have all three, then selling, attracting clients, charging premium fees, securing referrals, etc., ALL become easier.
That’s because NOTHING is more POWERFUL in marketing than earned trust. It’s also getting harder by the minute to get it, given nobody trusts anyone anymore. Every vendor is seen as a potential enemy, holding back information and telling us what we want to hear to get the deal done, whether it’s good for us or not. In the guru world, there’s a TON of people selling marketing and business advice who aren’t running successful growth companies, sales teams or marketing plans like the ones they sell YOU on. I understand why so many people view us with a very skeptical eye – and frankly, I can’t blame them one bit. They’ve had the proverbial football pulled away at the last minute one too many times by a “Lucy” when they’re crossing their heart that THIS time will be different.
Salespeople start in a hole of lack of trust, as do “gurus” and advice givers like yours truly. It’s unfair to assume ALL are bad, but that doesn’t change the fact, and ignoring it won’t make it go away either. If you are a salesperson, you have to find ways to reposition yourself as something totally other than a salesperson, selling your advice and status first, building trust before you start peddling what you have to sell on your wagon. Most salespeople get what they deserve because they are unwilling to become the expert they need to become and do the things they need to do in order to better position themselves in the eyes of the marketplace. That IS the problem with 99% of the sales training out there – they teach you how to be a better SALESPERSON, not how to totally and completely change the game so you don’t appear to be a salesperson at all.
And remember this: how you do anything is how you do everything. If you want to earn and keep trust, you cannot let your guard down for a single moment and use trust-based marketing strategies to get the prospect, only to turn around and behave like a salesperson. One slip and any progress you made on the trust dial drops right back down to zero. A single promise unfulfilled, one incongruent comment or action, a little chink in the armor, and that prospect is ready to jump up and say, “A-HA! Caught you!” This is an area where you can’t be “a little better” or “a little pregnant.” You have to be all-in or nothing when it comes to earning and KEEPING trust.
Do you want more leads, more clients, more profits now but don’t know where to start? Click here and watch a quick video about the three biggest problems IT Service Businesses face and how to solve them.