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all roads lead to managed servicesIn the marketing game, all managed IT service companies are trying to acquire more leads for managed services. However, many continue to be highly disappointed when their direct mail, Google AdWords, and other campaigns fall short of accomplishing this.

Why is this happening? Companies of all sizes need managed IT service, right?

While it’s true that companies of all sizes would benefit from a robust managed IT services program, many people aren’t aware of just how much a managed services program will help them.

Here’s something to keep in mind: Businesses begin considering a change in IT service providers when technology starts to break down or when they need something new or better than what they have now. They begin to question their current service provider when response times get extended, a malware problem crops up once again, or when a security breach occurs. They make decisions based on something going wrong or the need to achieve something. How do we know this? We see it every day.

Win customers’ trust

One of our top clients is a local expert on security solutions from a specific vendor. He continues to receive lead after lead through his marketing for projects related to deployments, support, and expertise on all of this vendor’s solutions. However, many MSPs are reluctant to market their business this way. They continue to suffer from tunnel vision because they all want that big MSP contract.

MSP contracts need to be earned. You can’t assume that someone will just award it to you. I guess this is why I’m still a huge supporter of time and materials billing. It seems to work very well for one of our clients in the Green Bay region who continues to win business opportunity after business opportunity, simply because he continues to offer T&M billing. He told me: “Why should I go after a contract up front? All my competitors are doing that. I go in with no long-term contract and no monthly fee, and businesses simply eat this up.”

Another company preying on the market fixated on selling monthly service contracts is DisasterFree, run by Mark McManus in Southern California. Mark’s entire business is based on providing tools and services that give business owners and technology decision makers the visibility that they need to make sure their IT systems are tuned properly. Mark’s solution is $249 for the entire network. Mark will tell you he is not an MSP, but he currently has the highest closing average I have ever witnessed. Why? He isn’t focused entirely on that big monthly contract. Mark has shared with me that when he sold MSP services, the monthly contract was the biggest push back and objection he received.

How to win more managed services contracts

Still want to try to sell a lucrative MSP contract? Here are some tips to make sure your MSP marketing captures the right audience so you can eventually win the hearts and minds of your clients and prospects:

  • Know the needs of the market: Many Ulistic clients enjoy our market research service because we get into the weeds on what really bothers businesses and how technology can improve business processes and operations. In our experience to date, not one business said they wish they had a better MSP. Almost all of them complained about software not working, phones breaking down, and emails not being sent and received in a timely manner. Tip: Know what the market needs — ASK THEM!
  • Educate: Education is the top tool in your marketing arsenal. Use it to your advantage. When you’re armed with great market research from step one, you can educate the market and go after businesses with similar pain points. This is also a good opportunity to educate your future clients about things they might not be aware of, such as business continuity, disaster preparedness, cyber security, and much more. I recommend the use of Infusionsoft as a vehicle to educate your clients and prospects.
  • Appreciate the rank and file: We all have big dreams of sitting down face-to-face with the CEO of a company. Keep dreaming. CEOs are the hardest people to get in front of, and many invest thousands in defenses to stop people like you from wasting their time. The rank and file of a company has fewer defenses in place, so they are often the best entry point into a company. Why? They’re the ones who have the power to complain, recommend, and make suggestions.

Understand your customers

To summarize, focus on pain points by knowing what they are ahead of time. Never assume that just because you attended an IT conference or two that you know all there is to know about what challenges small businesses are struggling with. It pays to really invest the time to understand the needs of the marketplace. Once you master this and have an educational marketing strategy firmly in place, then you’re then ready to offer a managed IT services program.

Managed IT services are the answer to everything, but it’s not the first answer. Address a prospect’s concerns, make them happy, and then offer them your managed IT services program as a solid mechanism to prevent future technology challenges.

Stuck and not sure what to do next? Give me a call. I will be more than happy to have a complimentary discussion with you and answer any questions you may have. Simply visit to book a meeting.


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Stuart Crawford

Posted by Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is the CEO and Creative Director with Ulistic. Ulistic specializes in working with IT service companies globally helping them connect with their markets and achieve stratospheric success. Need help? Please feel free to reach out to Stuart and his team at Ulistic. Every day, they help managed IT services companies overcome many of the challenges they have with marketing. Learn more about Ulistic at or call 716-799-1999.

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