As someone who has been in the IT space in one form or another since 1999 (when I took my first part-time job at Bay State Computer Repair), I’ve witnessed first-hand the industry’s incredible transformation. People think that technology is the only thing that evolves, but they’re wrong. Those savvy MSP owners, the ones who are the most successful, know how to evolve right along with it as a value-focused entrepreneur.
Having said that, there’s something that’s been bugging me lately about the industry: even though myself and a lot of my colleagues continually preach that you shouldn’t be selling your services and should instead be communicating the value that those services can offer, this isn’t always the case.
Even though a lot of MSPs claim that they’re doing it – are they really? I’ve taken a look at plenty of MSP websites that claim they will “align your technology and your business goals” or help “you grow your business along with their IT services.” But what does that actually mean? Is there a legitimate sentiment behind it, or is it just something that sounds good?
At the same time, I still see many MSPs struggling to generate leads. Even more of them have terrible closing rates. So what, at that point, is the problem?
At the end of the day, many MSPs view themselves as just that – Managed Services Providers. They believe that they’re someone who can do little more than package up a bundle of services and manage them on another business’s behalf.
And while the MSP model certainly provides more value than the break/fix model that came before it, MSPs have now gotten very good at delivering on it – to the point that in any single market, there could be hundreds of MSPs offering essentially the same service. When this situation arises, regardless of how great that service happens to be, you end up becoming a commodity, and it’s time to evolve yet again.
Nobody wants to be a commodity – that’s how you end up having people choose to work with you (or not) based exclusively on price. Anyone who has ever made it practically all of the way through the sales funnel with a prospect, only to have that prospect go with a competitor solely based on a cheaper monthly package, can tell you just how frustrating this is.
What is the next evolution for the MSP? Well, you need to stop thinking of yourself as an MSP entirely. You need to see yourself for what you really are – a value-focused entrepreneur.
What is a value-focused entrepreneur?
At the most basic level, a value-focused entrepreneur is someone who vows to over-deliver so much value to their customers that the fees they’re paying are less than the increase in profits that the customer will see as a direct result.
This is difficult, so it’s easy to understand why most MSPs prefer to simply resell a vendor’s program. They don’t want to go through the effort of digging deep, learning new skills, or putting the work in that is required to solve real business problems and deliver tangible return on investment to their customers.
An #MSP can’t stand out from the competition by doing the same things everyone else is doing. To deliver exceptional value, you need to behave like a value-focused #entrepreneur.
A value-focused entrepreneur, on the other hand, embraces unconventional thinking at every opportunity. When all the other MSPs are taking the conventional path, the value-focused entrepreneurs are thinking outside the box.
If you want to offer exceptional value, you need to think of new and innovative ways to solve the very real problems that people are facing. That’s not just how you keep people coming back for more – it’s also how you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
A value-focused entrepreneur treats their customers’ businesses as if they were their own. Value-focused entrepreneurs know that the moment they learn how to consistently deliver immense and measurable ROI to their clients will be the exact same moment that their own business sees explosive growth. If someone can pay you $2 and get $5 in return, the word will get out about you, and sales and marketing will never be an issue again.
Value-focused entrepreneurship is hard, but that’s okay
If all of this feels like something of a shift from the way you’re used to doing things, that’s because it likely is. It will require you to change not only your perspective on the industry, but the way you look at your business, as well.
However, if you want big results, you can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over again. You certainly can’t keep doing the same thing everyone else is, either. That’s not how you stand out – that’s how you get lost in a sea of similar MSPs that are indistinguishable from one another.
If this idea is something that you’re ready to embrace, I’m more than ready to help. For the entirety of 2022, I’ll be personally working with a select group of MSPs that are serious about overhauling not only their marketing, but their value delivery model as well. Feel free to review our training library, or schedule your one-on-one strategy call to see if value-focused entrepreneurship is the right move for you.
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