Talking Prospects Down the “Conversation Path”

Talking Prospects Down the “Conversation Path”

Conversation is the best asset for companies. The conversation sets the ground rules, it establishes the brand, and it guides the prospect toward your company. All of this is achieved through an honest and crafted conversation. The “conversation path” is a way for marketers to collect information, respond to their observations, and to make the connection. Whatever stage of the 7 Step Sales Process for IT Solutions and Managed Services you are in – from prospecting to getting the referrals – talking prospects down the conversation path ensures control, context, and in many cases, a sale.

4 Landmarks on the Conversation Path

To establish a good rapport with prospects, the conversation path must include these 4 landmarks for a successful sale.

1.   Self-Reflection

Before you get started down any path, the inbound marketers and company must ask itself this one question: “So what, who cares?” It sounds abrupt, but it is honest. You must ask yourself what it is you hope to achieve out of the relationships with your prospects whom you hope will turn into customers and clients. Why should they care about your services? It is important for you to remember that the “who cares” part of this isn’t about why YOU need the sale, but why the prospect needs you and your services. What do you hope for the prospect to gain at this stage of the sales cycle so you can guide them closer to the sale and providing you with referrals?

2.   Creating the Content

At this landmark, you need to create the content that is exactly what your prospects are looking for. Here’s the catch: you will be creating a great deal of this online. Many face-to-face technology sales meetings have been taken out of the four walls of a building and put online. Regardless of where the conversation takes place, the need never changes. You just need to find a better way of putting your brand in front of prospects. The way you do that is with content. The content of your conversation must remind the prospects of what they need and provide a solution for that need. Solid SEO strategies can help you build the bridge at this stage. At this landmark, you create the urgency with action language. It’s time for the conversation to transform.

3.   The Big Reveal

The big reveal doesn’t come at the end of the conversation journey. Now is the time to present what you offer, provide context for the content, and fulfill the prospect’s needs. This may be in the form of brochures, but in the era of digital sales, it is your MSP website and landing page. This is where you reveal what you offer and why it is the only solution for the prospect’s needs. You aren’t here to talk about why you are the greatest option; that doesn’t work if you aren’t equipped to solve their problem. If you still aren’t sure what the problem is you are solving, it is time to restart the process. You must have a good understanding of the prospect’s needs and problems before the big reveal landmark can be successful.

4.   A Humble Close

Yes, being humble is part of the conversation path. This doesn’t mean that you have to downplay your importance or imply that you are inferior. In this stage of the path, being humble reminds you to stay grounded. You are reminding the prospect that you are honored to provide them with a service or solution. Stay grounded. This is achieved with personal email responses thanking prospects for their time, it is also achieved with special thank you activities. Thanking your prospects marks the end of the conversation journey.

It is time for your prospect to move into the buying process. If your conversation path doesn’t lead to the light at this phase, it is time to restart the conversation path again. Remember, the conversation path is the way to guide the prospect’s transition to the buying process. It isn’t a one-shot process and then you are done. The conversation path is a constant journey of understanding, creating and recreating content, and optimizing your brand and image online.


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Posted in: Sales

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The Importance of Making Sound Staffing and Vendor Partnership Decisions

The Importance of Making Sound Staffing and Vendor Partnership Decisions

In case you haven’t noticed, the Managed Services market size has been steadily growing for a while now. More specifically, the Managed Services Market growth is expected to top $240 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.8%. Part of that growth is being fueled by reduced operational costs and an increase in implementation of big data solutions.

Perhaps your organization hasn’t experienced the benefit of this explosion in growth yet. Perhaps you just aren’t quite sure how to seize this opportunity because you aren’t entirely certain what it is that’s holding you back from growing your managed services practice.

It doesn’t matter if you are new to the managed services model or are a long-established MSP; there are some issues all of us have faced at some point. For example, knowing when to work on the business versus working in the business is an important one. Figuring out how to market your business effectively is huge and you can save yourself a lot of time, stress, and money by figuring out how to do it well early on. You can read more about best practices for marketing managed services here.

With that said, two areas to focus on that will have the most direct impact on how effective your organization operates is staffing and vendor relationships.

The Importance of Making Sound Staffing Decisions

Let’s face it, staffing decisions can be some of the most stressful ones MSPs make for themselves. If you hire someone who turns out to be a bit of a dud, you now have to start the hiring process all over again – which costs time and money. Additionally, you have to figure out the most diplomatic way of terminating that first hire, or any hire really, so as to not waste critical company resources.

At the same time, be mindful of your staffing needs throughout the year because you never want to be caught short-staffed. Always being adequately staffed as necessary means you’ll be able to more effectively manage additional clients and sources of revenue.

When it comes to staffing, just remember it doesn’t have to be such a headache to find the best people to work with. If you ever feel like you haven’t found that perfect fit for your organization, outsourcing is always an option before making a more long-term investment in someone.

Forge Better Vendor Partnerships

It’d be nice if MSPs had the luxury of being incredibly picky in regards to vendors they choose to do business with. Unfortunately, that is not always the reality of the situation, so you make that lemonade we hear so much about. However, there are steps you can take to ensure vendors you decide to do business with are a better fit across the board.

The right vendors will help any great MSP grow, so before agreeing to any vendor relationship you need to make sure their way of doing business meshes well with your own. It’s no fun when you are constantly bumping heads with anyone, especially vendors you rely on for quality products and services.

Another key thing you’ll want in a good vendor is flexibility. This means flexibility in pricing and billing, as well as the flexibility to accommodate and work with you on unique requests. Vendors who show a willingness to say “yes” or are of the mindset they can figure anything out with you are incredibly valuable for any MSP.

So, if you are ready to take advantage of this growth explosion and increase revenue by being a trusted advisor to your clients, make sure your internal operations are solid first.


Want to learn more marketing and sales techniques to sell on value and increase your profitability during difficult economic times? Get The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!

Or sign up to grow your business with a FREE IT Business Builder Training and Resource Center Subscription.

Posted in: General Business

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