When computer business providers start laying out their marketing plans, normally their eyes are bigger than their stomachs when they pick the average size of the companies the will target.
I can see many of them counting their chickens before they hatch as they start drooling over the prospect of signing up two or three large businesses that have at least 50 computers on their network.
However, I think many of them might have forgotten a lesson that should have been learned on a fishing trip. You have to start small and catch some minnows or bait that you can use to lure in the Larger Fish!
Find Your Minnows First
If you want to lure in some large managed services customers then you will need something to attract them. Of course having some solid references is the golden key; but if they were vertical references then you would be ready to start trying to reel in the Big Fish.
Since every IT company is fighting over the larger opportunities then the logical place to start getting some lures would be the minnows or tiny companies. The Micro SMB market that has less than 5 employees is under-served and the ideal target to capture some minnows.
The best way to corner a few minnows to use as references would be to offer some computer services free of charge in exchange for giving a testimonial. If you can get 3 micro companies in the same industry to exchange a testimonial for some pro bono IT services then you would be on your way to building a vertical marketing strategy!
Don’t Forget About The Sales Cycle
While you’re focusing attention on getting your original small company references don’t entirely forget about your original target. The problem is that there is still a sales cycle or time line you have to go through before you can sign up larger businesses.
If you wait too long to begin marketing to the larger businesses then the two to six months wait time will just keep getting pushed further and further out before you have even started the sales cycle. The ideal situation is to start both initiatives at the same time, in essence you should conduct a marketing war on two fronts!
A Magic Trick
When you follow this path you will find that the larger companies begin looking for references when they come to the end of the sales cycle. If you have started by going after a few micro company references first then you will magically produce them at the right time!
John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years experience marketing for IT providers and var marketing to help them get more IT sales.