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thin_wedgeWhen it comes to selling managed services, there are many things that you can use cold calling for, but one of the best uses is as a thin wedge.

Yeah, it’s sales jargon, but “the thin wedge” is one of those weird little “what are they talking about?” terms that everyone just seemed to start using. And, there is a right way to use the thin wedge — and a wrong way.

What is a thin wedge?

A thin wedge is something you use to keep a door open. That little block of wood that movers bring with them or that you find laying around at the entrance to most apartment buildings? That’s a thin wedge. You insert it between the door frame and the door, and it keeps the door wide open so you can move back and forth through the doorway freely.

A thin wedge could also be something you use to force a door open. You can use it like a lever and create enough space to sneak in.

In a cold calling capacity, think of it like this: You have a list of companies that you want to win business from, and you know they’re engaged with one of your competitors. You’re going to call those companies, and you have two ways to engage them.

  1. You convince them that the services you provide are fantastic.
  2. You convince them that the services they currently buy are not.

One of those pitches is the thin wedge that keeps the door open, and the other is the thin wedge that forces the door open.

Which one do you think most companies will be most receptive to?

The first one, of course.

The right way to use a thin wedge

When you’re approaching a company that’s engaged with a competitor, there are gentle ways to create doubt about the services they’re receiving. But, even if you know your competitor falls down in some very specific ways, pointing those failures out to someone who has a three-year agreement with them isn’t going to win you any deals. People who feel overwhelmed and foolish don’t make buying decisions. They struggle with the idea that they’re going to make yet another bad decision. Remember, a sales rep convinced them that this was the best choice. But it wasn’t. Once bitten, twice shy.

A better option is to approach your potential prospect and ask them what you might be able to do to win their business. You know they’re happy, and that’s great! Everyone is happy with their solution provider until they aren’t. It’s great to have someone else to call in case there’s ever an emergency, though, right? The absolute worst time to shop for a new IT service provider is when they really need a new IT service provider. After all, the cost of water goes up when your house is on fire. It’s much better for them to have a good relationship with a company they’ve had the opportunity to get to know a little bit — just in case. So why not get to know each other?

That’s your door-opening thin wedge. No bad-mouthing the competition. Nobody leaves the conversation feeling like they made a poor choice. They leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling, and you leave with a better understanding of what they bought, why they bought it, and how you’re going to slowly but surely win that business when it’s time for their contract to renew.

Want to learn a few more great things you can do on a cold call? We’re ready to share them with you in our webinar, How to Begin Cold Calling Today. Watch out webinar replay to learn seven reasons you should be cold calling, and as a bonus, we’ll share with you the anatomy of the perfect cold call process. I hope you’ll join us!

Photo Credit: David Wall via Used under CC 2.0 License.

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Carrie Simpson

Posted by Carrie Simpson

Carrie Simpson is the founder of Managed Sales Pros, a lead generation firm dedicated to providing new business opportunities for MSPs. Carrie teaches IT firms how to build, manage, and grow their sales pipelines. You can follow Carrie on Twitter @sales_pros and connect with her on LinkedIn. 

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