MSP staff

MSPs: Why your techs ask low level questions – and how to stop them

Paul GreenUncategorized

‘Boss! We've run out of milk! We can't make coffee! What should we do?’

Have you ever wondered why your MSP's technicians ask you questions like this? Like, ‘Where’s the printer paper kept?’ or ‘Where do I find the configuration for X system update?’

Low level questions are ones where actually the answers are very obvious, e.g. ‘Go to a shop and buy some milk’, or ‘The printer paper’s in the cupboard right behind you’ or ‘The configuration’s in the documentation system FOR GOODNESS' SAKE!’.

Now, annoying as this is, your techs are not actually doing it to be annoying (probably).

One reason they’re doing it is because, to them, you are mummy/daddy. Your own kids do this to you, right? Well, you're also a parent figure to your staff. In fact, even if your staff are a little bit older than you, you can still be in that kind of parent-child relationship with them

The other reason they ask low level questions is there's a little part of their brain - subconsciously - that thinks if they ask you a question, it shows that they are working hard. Because they’re involving you in their work.

The problem is that all these questions create an enormous amount of mental burden for you. 

And isn’t that one of the biggest problems for us as business owners? The mental burden of having to be involved in so many different things that our staff are working on?

Well, here’s the answer. Next time you get asked one of these low level questions, all you need to do is say the following words:

'What do you think is the answer to that?'

Got that? Let’s give it a try right now.

Tech: ‘Hey boss, we’ve run out of milk, what should we do?’
You: ‘What do you think is the answer to that?’ 

Tech: ‘Hey boss, where's the printer paper?’
You: ‘What do you think is the answer to that?’

Tech: ‘Hey boss, where do I find the configuration for that?’ 
You: ‘What do you think is the answer to that?’

Essentially, what you do is take the mental burden of the question they have asked, and throw it back to them. 

I promise you, if you do this every single day, every single week for the next 2, 3, 4 weeks, there will come a point when your staff stop asking you low level questions. 

Why? Because they never get an answer back. What they get instead is their own question reflected back to them.

Now, don't get me wrong. There are some high level questions that you should always be involved in. 

But your challenge as the business owner is to identify and consistently push back on all those low level questions that you really don’t want to be burdened with.

I’m always after real-life low level question examples (might even try and find a prize for the best one) - share yours with me in my MSP Marketing Facebook group .