MSP Marketing Podcast episode 2

Episode 2: Two MRR services you could easily re-sell

Paul Green

Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 2: Two MRR services you could easily re-sell

In this week’s episode

  • MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) forms a CRITICAL part of your business, Paul tells you about two great services that could be an easy re-sell
  • It’s time to stop selling the same way to different people. Special guest Andy Edwards helps you to sell more effectively, by understanding the 4 main personality types. Every prospect fits into one of the types
  • Also in this episode, there’s a brilliant question answered about the type of video to put on your website… details of some free marketing lunches to help boost your business… and Paul explains how a good work / life balance is easily achievable

Show notes

Episode transcription

Voiceover: Made in the U.K. for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.

Paul Green: Here’s what’s coming up on this week’s show.

Andy Edwards: Be brief, be bright, be gone. Recognise those four different personality styles, and your sales will go up.

Paul Green: Plus, we’ll be looking at two monthly recurring revenue services that you really should be selling, and asking what kind of video content works best on your website?

Voiceover: Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.

Paul Green: Hi. This is Paul Green, and welcome to the show. Now, what I’m about to tell you I don’t want you to judge me on this. I’m not telling you this to boast. I’m not telling you this for any other reason than I want to help you to get away from your business a little bit more.

Paul Green: You see, my nine-year-old daughter, Matilda, and I, we’ve just been sitting down planning out what holidays do we want to have next year. Now, I am a single parent, and that means that for about 10 weeks of the year, she’s my problem and not the school’s problem. And I don’t mind that, really.

Paul Green: But for around about six to seven of those weeks next year, in 2020, I want to be on holiday. It’s been a longstanding goal of mine, actually, to not work at all in the six weeks of the U.K. summer holiday that we have every year. I don’t think we’ll do that next year, but the year after we’ll definitely do that and we’ll go somewhere like Sydney, or somewhere hot, and kind of go and live in another country just for six weeks.

Paul Green: The reason we were looking at holidays next year and the reason we’re doing it at this time, is partly because, obviously, you can get better deals if you book further ahead. But partly as well is, I want to lock into my diary: We are going away to these places, and these become like the building blocks that I put work around next year.

Paul Green: So, we’re looking at two to three weeks in Orlando at the start of August. It’s going to be very expensive, but it’s going to be worth it because she’s never been, and she’s of that age if we don’t do it now, in a couple of years time she might be a little bit too old to hang out with me for three weeks in Orlando.

Paul Green: We’re going to do that, and then off the back of the summer holidays we’re going to go to Pompeii. She has a real passion for seeing lots of ancient dead people, which is a bit weird, but we’re going to go to Pompeii, a bit of a European tour. We’ve got we’re going back to Cypress in there for next year, and we’ve probably got some visiting the south coast of the U.K. And there’s another holiday we have yet to decide.

Paul Green: I’m not telling you this to boast about, “Oh, look how many holidays I’m having.” This is all about putting life in perspective, and I love my work, I really love my work, and the work that I do with MSPs I do for fun first, and I do it for income second. If ever it switches around to the other way, that I’m doing it for the money, I will lose my passion for it.

Paul Green: I know, because I’ve been a business owner since 2005; and any of us that have had a business for a while, we know what it’s like to lose the passion. I realised a long time ago that you’ve got to put the life stuff in first, so we book many weekends ahead. We have so many trips, and shows, and events, and plays, and cinema events and all sorts of stuff, and they all go in. Things like Sports Day, parents’ evenings, and that whole, you know, “Daddy, can you come and see me in assembly?” That all goes in the diary.

Paul Green: The work stuff is very much secondary to the life stuff, and I believe that’s the balance that most business owners get wrong. Most business owners are there for the business, and actually it should be the other way around: that the point of the business is to be there for you. I see this in the IT world so much, because of course the very nature of running an MSP is that it’s a reactive job, isn’t it? You’re reacting to other people’s problems, and no matter how proactive you are, there’s always something broken.

Paul Green: But I think this is how you fall out of love of your business so quickly, when the business sucks the best of your life out of you. It happens to me now and again, but most days I get home and I’m looking forward to seeing my daughter, and we have some fun together. It might just be baking a cake, or just doing a little craft project, or even just sitting reading. Well, I read, she plays Minecraft, but you get the idea. The point is, we’re together. And I remember back earlier years in different businesses, when I was so tired because I’d done a twelve-hour day and I hadn’t had enough sleep the night before. I’d got home and, you know, I could barely look at my family I was so tired. I just wanted wine.

Paul Green: That’s not a great life. We have to go through that sometimes, for a short while, to get to where we want to be. Life is about life. Life is not about business. The curse of the business owner is that we forget that. We get the balance wrong. Not all of us, but many of us. I could see that I would ever so easily go back to that, because it’s fun growing a business and running a business, and you can throw yourself into it. But it’s not what life is about.

Paul Green: There’s a book that I’ve recommended to thousands of MSPs over the years, and it’s not a very well-written book but it’s got an interesting message. It’s called, The Five Regrets of Dying People. Just go and look it up on Amazon. To be honest, you don’t need to read the book. I’m going to give you the 30-second summary. That’s enough. The lady that wrote it is a palliative care nurse. She looked after so many people at the end of their lives in Australia, and she realised that their regrets could be grouped into some very same groups.

Paul Green: The one that hit me the most is, “I missed my children’s youth.” Apparently, no one misses their children as adults, but they miss their kids when they’re young. You get ones like, “I missed my partner’s company.” Not your business partner. No one misses their business partner at the end of their life. But, “I wish I’d done more of the stuff I wanted to do.” You get the idea. So, you’re not going to be on your deathbed and look back and wish that you’d fixed more servers, or you’d done more Windows 7 to Windows 10 updates. This is just stuff that has to be done, but it’s not the stuff that you look back and think, “Oh, yeah.”

Paul Green: In fact, this is why I called my book, Updating Servers Doesn’t Grow Your Business, and if you don’t have a copy of that book, just go onto the website. The link is in the show notes, and you can see that. So, a challenge for you then, and maybe it’s to sit down with your family, maybe it’s your kids, maybe even if it’s just you, to just sit down with you and say, “Well, what do I want to do next year? What holidays do I want to take? What events do I want to go to?” You know, “Oh, I’d love to have a four-day weekend in New York or Paris.” Or something like that.

Paul Green: Put it in the diary, make the work stuff work around it. Because when it’s in the diary and you’ve booked it and you’ve paid for it, or at least paid the deposit, it is then going to happen. That was a trick I discovered. That’s why we plan so far ahead. We put it in the diary, we book it with a travel counsellor person, we pay the deposit. It’s then in. I’m not going to break that. I’m not going to have anything work-wise that’s going to break that. And suddenly you’ve had an amazing, enormous year, and that’s because you prioritised the right stuff. Life stuff first, business stuff second.

Voiceover: Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green: The very best thing about running an MSP is, of course, the huge amounts of monthly recurring revenue. There are literally so very few businesses out there, outside of subscription businesses, that have just such enormous amounts of monthly recurring revenue. In the weeks ahead, I’m just going to drop in a whole load of different suppliers, many of them you’ll have heard of, some of them, perhaps, you’ll have looked at but not considered it. So, as I meet with MSPs and we talk about what they’re reselling, I will sort of share those with you.

Paul Green: I’ve got two for you today. They’re not obvious ones. They’re fairly small ones, but they fit into your product offering so that as you’re doing strategic reviews and you’re talking to people, when they say, “Oh, we’ve got a problem with XYZ,” or “We need this,” or “We want this,” you’ve got something that you can say, “Hey, do you know what? We might be able to help you with that.”

Paul Green: The first of them is something called, “ActivTrak,” and I’ll put the URL in the show notes. What this does is, this is a bit of software that goes onto their PC and it essentially monitors their activities. Now, it’s positioned as a tool for productivity. We can also see … and I think it’s kind of pretty obviously designed for monitoring what employees are doing. So, for someone who’s got problem employees, or perhaps they’re doing stuff on their computer that they really shouldn’t be … They shouldn’t be on Facebook, they shouldn’t be doing this, and your client would love to know what they’re doing. Or it’s maybe a performance issue. Then ActivTrak can be installed, and I’m told it’s very hard to detect that it’s running in the background unless you know specifically what it is that you’re going to look for. So, that’s the first one.

Paul Green: The second one is something called Now again, this isn’t a standard MSP offering, but even though you maybe have nothing to do with the web, you do computers, and as far as the clients are concerned computers and websites are the same things. So it’s a fairly sensible thing is to offer a series of low-impact, high margin tools that support websites, and Uptime Robot will give you an alert when someone’s website is down.

Paul Green: So, you could set this up in a number of different ways. There is a free plan. I believe there are premium plans, as well. You could set this up to notify the Helpdesk. You could set this up to just come into one of your systems and use some kind of automation to perhaps send that straight out to the client. I guess it depends on whether you’re involved in the serving of the files, or not.

Paul Green: But again, you know, it’s another five pounds per month per client. You get 10 clients on that, it’s another 50 pounds, 50 dollars, 100 dollars, whatever. And it’s money for nothing. You’re providing a service to them that they didn’t know existed. Yes, they could go and get this themselves, but how many of the clients actually do that. It’s a very small number.

Paul Green: You should be looking out for all sorts of stuff. Where is there something I could find, which is very low cost, there’s some good margin on that, and it’s very low impact on the business? And how could I resell that to my clients? Because do you know what? For many of them, I’m going to be doing them a massive favour.

Voiceover: Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green: This one’s for my listeners in the U.K., because they are physical events that I’m putting on around the U.K. Maybe we’ll go international with them at some point, but certainly for this year, they’re just within the United Kingdom.

Paul Green: There’s some free MSP marketing lunches. I’ve got a whole series of case studies, five case studies about growing your net profit. In one instance, it’s about growing your net profit by up to 200%. At these three-hour MSP marketing lunches, I show you some case studies, I play some videos, I reveal what other MSPs are doing and how powerful it is, and it’s a whole bunch of stuff that you can copy into your MSP.

Paul Green: In fact, it’s the results of a whole series of experiments that I’ve been doing with loads of MSPs over a period of time: I would say more than around about 150 marketing net profit growth experiments. A load of them didn’t produce results. I’m not going to tell you about those. I’m going to show you the ones that did work, and in three hours just basically give you a whole series of new tools very heavily geared around, “How do you get more clients?” Because that’s the single biggest question I get from MSPs. There’s also a whole load of stuff about selling more monthly recurring revenue, particularly using things like the profit matrix, using videos. All of that kind of stuff.

Paul Green: So, in the show notes you can see the link to go and have a look at this on my website. I’ve got events around the U.K. up until just before Christmas, and we will do some more next year as well in some different locations. Go and have a look at that, and if you’re in the U.K., I would love to buy you lunch. I’d love to meet with you, and show you more of about how you can grow the net profitability of your MSP.

Voiceover: The big interview.

Paul Green: So, have I got a real treat for you with this week’s guest, because a couple of weeks ago I met up with a very good friend of mine in London. His name is Andy Edwards.

Andy Edwards: I am a speaker, a trainer, and a coach, all that stuff you might expect of somebody like me. Recently, I’ve gotten into behavioural psychology, the idea that people are different and should be treated as such. I’m one of those people that hates the idea that we should all be treated the same.

Paul Green: From a sales and a marketing point of view, this is a very powerful concept. But you don’t have to learn 50 or 60 different types of people. You can actually narrow it down to four.

Paul Green: I had lunch with Andy. We sat in an outdoors restaurant just near Tower Bridge, actually. It was a very sunny day, it was very lovely, and I asked Andy about the mistakes that we make when we’re trying to sell to people. I said to him, “Surely one of the biggest mistakes that we make is believing that other people buy things, buy services, in the same way that we buy.”

Andy Edwards: It is a mistake. I suppose, at a point, we recognise that money has to exchange hands no matter what circumstances you’re in. Behavioural psychology suggests that if somebody is more extroverted than introverted, they will make a decision based on a little bit more intuition. Whereas somebody who is a little bit more introverted may base their decision a little bit more through their senses, on logical, pragmatic ideas.

Andy Edwards: Then you couple th at with the idea of some people are head first rather than heart first, and of course it’s the other way around. So, we get four basic positions: somebody whom I like to call the “red” style. Now this is somebody who wants to get things done, sort things out, at a pace, preferably their pace; and if you’ve got an issue, here’s a tissue. Off you go. That sort of person wants to do a deal. Give them a couple of options, let them feel in charge, let them get on with it, and be brief, be bright, be gone. And get out of there.

Andy Edwards: If you try that with their opposite type, this is what I call the “green” type, you will fail. They will run away. They’ll just nod, say “thank you very much,” and you’ll never hear from them again. With this sort of person, who is more introverted and more heart-based, the green style of person you need to make sure that they feel comfortable. So, bring up the idea that other people have done this, other people like them have done this, and bring out your testimonials. Those things will convince Mr. or Mrs. Green that you are genuine, you have their best interests at heart, and they want to deal with you.

Andy Edwards: Now we look at somebody who’s a bit like me. This is what I call the “yellow” style: extroverted and heart based, feeling based. This person wants to get on with you. Make sure that you them in the process, get them to tell their story. You could almost let them sell to themselves. Just ask them a few questions around what they’re going to be using your services and your products for, and they will literally talk themselves into what they’re looking for. Make sure that you team up with that sort of person, validate their ideas, get excited with them, and they’ll love you forever.

Andy Edwards: Do that with their opposite style, and you’ll never see them again. This is what I call the “blue” style: this is introverted and thinking. This person will take decisions at a slower pace. They may be a little bit more concerned about the detail behind what you’re suggesting. “Have you any proof? How do we know? Can I research that? What does it look like?” And will make sure that they’ve got all the information they need in order to make that decision. Recognise those four different personality styles, and your sales will go up.

Paul Green: But when you’re sitting down with a prospect, how do you, in that moment, differentiate between those different styles of people?

Andy Edwards: Are they talking? If they are, they’re probably extroverted. What are they talking about? Things? That’s head first. Feelings? That’s heart first. If they are listening more carefully, with more quizzical looks on their faces, then we’ve probably got somebody a little bit more introverted. Again, we can now look at, are they thinking about things that are process, proof, reliability? Or are they thinking about things that are more heart-based. You can work this out very easily if you just bear in mind, extroverted or introverted. Are they talking about things or people? That will lead you to one of the four personality styles.

Paul Green: Andy, thank you. Where can we learn a little bit more about you?

Andy Edwards: Check out my website. It’s:

Voiceover: Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast. Ask Paul anything.

Jamie: Hi. I’m Jamie Seviour from Geeking It Simple. My question would be, what sort of content should I put into a video for my website?

Paul Green: Great question, Jamie. Thank you very much for that. It’s a great question, because video is the number one engagement tool that you’ve got, actually on your website and also on your social media. There are lots of different videos that you could be using. In a future episode of the podcast, we’ll look at videos for social media. Sort of low-level, easy, cheap consumption videos, the kind of videos you can just knock those out. We’ll come on to those in the future.

Paul Green: In terms of what video should be going onto your website, that’s where you need to spend a little bit of time, a little bit of money. You see, what a video allows you to do is to massively differentiate yourself from all the other MSPs out there. There are too many MSPs, because anyone can be an MSP. There’s no barrier to entry. You can just set up in your bedroom and say, “Hey, it’s a tech support firm.”

Paul Green: So, you’re up against bedroom warriors, you’re up against super MSPs, you’re up against all of those kind of things. Quite often when I’m working with someone, I’ll look at their website, and I’ll look at their direct competitors’ websites, and they’re the same. They’ve got the same kind of cluttery, nothingness, meaningless language and words. They’ve got the same acronyms. They’re all partners of this vendor and that vendor. They’ve all got the same pictures of network cables, and technicians, stock photos, all of that kind of stuff.

Paul Green: Decision-makers, your owners and your managers that you want to reach: they don’t know a good MSP from a bad MSP, so they can’t make a cognitive decision about which MSP to choose. Because when you don’t know about something it’s impossible to compare, so they are making emotional decisions. They are picking or rejecting MSPs based on how they feel, so then when they go and look at all the websites and they look at five websites and they all seem the same, it just adds to the confusion. “Samey” kills sales.

Paul Green: So, this is why you need to differentiate as much as you can, and a video is the number one tool for doing that. Imagine if someone came into your website, and the very first thing they see is a video, a great big video, it takes up the top half of the home page and you hit them with 60-70 seconds of emotional content.

Paul Green: The best kind of content you can use is actually not you. We certainly don’t want to see technicians. We don’t want to see people under tables. We don’t want to see bum crack. We don’t want to see servers. We don’t want to see blinking lights. We don’t want to see network cables. We don’t want to see software. All of that stuff. Because that doesn’t affect people at an emotional level.

Paul Green: What we want to see: real people talking about real things that are relevant to the audience that you want to reach, and that relevance is the key to making your marketing incredibly powerful. The more relevant the content is, the better the response that you’ll get. So, what’s the most relevant real kind of video content? It’s actually your clients. This is where you should spend a little bit of money and spend some time.

Paul Green: You want to get a video person, not a geek, a tech who’s got very nice camera equipment, because it’s not about your tripod and your shutter rate, it’s about storytelling. So, you want to find a video person who is a storyteller first, and secondly is good at the technical side. Because once you understand the story you want to tell, the technical side becomes a lot easier. The story we want to tell is one, or maybe two, of your clients talking about you. This will be so powerful: to get your clients introducing your company.

Paul Green: They might be interviewed on screen. They wouldn’t be looking at the camera, they’d be looking off camera and they’d say things like, “Well, the thing I love most about working with (your company name) is how easy they are to work with, and how our IT just doesn’t go wrong anymore.” Even with that five second sentence, your client has just won you more clients, because it’s a very powerful psychological marketing principle and it’s called “social proof.”

Paul Green: You’ll have heard of this, where most people prefer to do what most other people are doing. The reason we act like this is because we’ve still got the programing that we had a hundred thousand years ago. And when we lived in caves, and there were dinosaurs that wanted to eat us, then it was more comfortable to be with other people. If you saw 20 people running, you just ran, because there was probably a saber-toothed tiger chasing you.

Paul Green: Now, we still have that programming today, so when we see another business owner or another manager just like us, and they are doing something, then we are more likely to want to do it. So, your clients introducing you will be more powerful than you introducing you, or someone else introducing you. Does that make sense?

Paul Green: If you work in a vertical, then obviously it’s got to be someone within that vertical. If you just work within the geographical area, then pick your best client, the one that you have the best relationship with, but also the one that people will have heard of. Obviously, you can introduce a bit of a celebrity factor. You know, if you’ve got those clients that other people have heard of, those are the logos that should go in on your website, and testimonials, all of that kind of stuff.

Paul Green: In summary, you want the 60-second video, your client or clients talking about how great you are. And not tech stuff at all, but emotional content. That influences people. That is the very best kind of video. In fact, the rest of the website is kind of gravy if you get the rest of that. Sure, there’s lots of things you need on your website, but that will absolutely, absolutely kill it.

Voiceover: How to contribute to the show.

Paul Green: Your questions, comments, bits of audio to stick in the show, even low-level abuse and criticism. You can send them all through to me. Just be polite. It’s I really would love to get your feedback. Go on. Drop me an email.

Voiceover: Coming up next week.

Scott Tyson: One key message I’d have for any sales guy or girl out there at the moment is, it’s not wrong, and it’s not dirty. It’s not an ugly word, that “close” word, you know? You can ask for the sale.

Paul Green: That’s Scott Tyson from Auvik Networks, and he’s going to be looking at a sales play book. It’s the process of systemising the sales that works the best in your MSP. We’re also going to be looking at why you really must fire a client for Christmas.

Voiceover: Made in the U.K. for MSPs around the world. Paul Green’s MSP marketing podcast.