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Cold calling is a must because it generates a steady stream of new business. But many of the MSPs we talk to resist it. Instead, they rely on referrals to bring in prospects who already know and trust the brand.

While they’re advantageous, referrals have a significant drawback: They’re inconsistent and unreliable. Despite this, many MSPs prefer taking referrals over active cold calling because referrals don’t require an investment.

Don’t give up on cold calling

That’s where cold calling is different. Someone needs to sit down and call a list of leads. As a result, many MSPs put it off day after day, constantly telling themselves that they’ll get to it tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

To start working on cold calling, some MSPs will hire someone internally. While this direction will bring in business, it’s not a perfect solution. If they are a talented and consistent cold caller, the two biggest advantages a business will see are:

  • The full-time hire has more bandwidth than an outsourced third-party company the business could hire to perform the same task.
  • The business will begin to see new prospect opportunities.

Despite the advantages, there are multiple cons to the strategy:

  • Many hiring managers aren’t HR professionals. As a result, they have a tendency to hire for the things they know, then plan on training the individual how to cold call. This tactic is problematic if the manager isn’t skilled at cold calling.
  • The MSP will be on the hook for additional overhead. The new hire will need a salary, office space, office supplies, and benefits. These costs quickly add up.
  • The MSP might not need someone to cold call for a full 40 hours a week. The business can try to assign other duties, but this could distract them from the cold calling efforts.

Should my MSP outsource its cold calling?

Because of these risks, it makes more sense for some MSPs to hire an outside appointment setting firm that specializes in cold call opportunities. Of course, this isn’t always an easy answer either. Some firms fail to deliver good, consistent opportunities, and the business may not have the experienced sales staff necessary to represent your business appropriately.

When you have a skilled appointment setting firm working on your behalf, some of the advantages you’ll see are:

  • A consistent influx of leads. If the firm is working on your behalf each month, you’ll regularly receive new business opportunities.
  • Trained sales staff. The team working on your behalf at the firm are experienced professionals. You won’t need to invest any time getting them up to speed.
  • Additional resources. These firms can often provide additional support services. For example, if you need an extra sales coach to help you prepare for the unique sales scenario of a cold meeting, they can help.

To be completely fair, hiring an appointment setting firm can be costly to start, but they quickly pay for themselves. Most of the MSPs we work with recoup their investment within a year, and then see a revenue upswing as they receive a combination of new appointments and referrals from new clients. This influx of business can be difficult for some MSPs to manage if they don’t have the correct processes in place.

Cold calling is time-consuming, but it’s a worthwhile pursuit for your company’s financial health. When you reduce your dependence on referrals, you can grow in new directions at greater speeds. Better yet, the new clients you gain through cold calling activities will gradually increase the number of referrals coming to your door.

Photo: chainarong06 / Shutterstock

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Brad Stoller

Posted by Brad Stoller

Brad Stoller is the CEO/Founder of Creativity Counts, LLC. Brad’s in-depth understand of the frustrations that MSP owners and managers go through when trying to keep their businesses growing led him to create a new way. Brad formed Creativity Counts to help MSPs not only find targeted prospects, but also actually help them CLOSE new business through a combination of technology, human interaction, and positioning his clients as true experts in their communities. His company is all about disrupting the old way of costly sales programs and creating new and effective methods and strategies to really help MSP’s, not just giving them another lead generation program.

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