To Be Local or Not To Be Local? That’s An IT Question!
It’s generally understood that an MSP business will have more clients when said clients are sourced locally. For the most part, this is true, but at the same time, many MSP owners end up branching out beyond their locality for a variety of reasons, chief among them other MSP offices who become competitive. When another office opens up or there’s already an established MSP solution “on the block,” as it were, it becomes necessary to branch out beyond traditional ranges. Here’s the thing: this doesn’t doom you to losing any marketing battles.
Certainly, it’s true that many business owners both large and small prefer IT support to have close proximity to their offices. But such proximity isn’t actually necessary as many small businesses may suppose. In all honesty, it represents a sort of technological hangover from an earlier age when such needs were a requirement. But with IoT tech, cloud technology, and the proliferation of Internet solutions, those days have gone the way of the Dodo or the horse and buggy. That’s to say: they’re obsolete. Did you know that roughly 70-80% of all IT needs can be solved from a dedicated— and remote— help desk?
The Technological Angle
On-premises hardware can be primarily supported through remote means. Cloud computing is the new competitive facilitator in the modern age. Businesses that refrain from its use are like businesses that failed to upgrade from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles in the earlier part of the 20th century— the advantage is that great. That said, don’t expect such reasonable arguments to fall on listening ears. Because of the holdover attitude many businesses have from older times, they’re likely to be suspicious.
Your MSP business will have a better chance at sourcing such remote clients by turning their mind into another aspect of the issue. Pose a question to the tune of: “Does proximity indicate quality from a cost and services perspective?” This is a very reasonable question to ask. Proximity and service delivery aren’t “synonymous” to each other.
Certainly, rapid on-site delivery will be of greater expedience, but again, that doesn’t specify quality. Additionally, it will only encapsulate 20-30% of all issues, statistically. Again, proximity is no indicator of quality. Another statistical consideration is that process-oriented, customer-centric, competitively-priced and technologically advanced services providers aren’t likely to be a stone’s throw from a given business.
Communicating Quality in Service Delivery
The key here is to communicate that quality and proximity don’t go hand-in-hand, and what a business gains through MSP solutions that are nearby they are very likely to lose when it comes to quality. You can use an auto shop analogy if you like. Point out that in any given neighborhood, a mechanical repair solution is probably a stone’s throw away. Does this mean you always bring your car to that shop? Well, not if you know what’s good for your car! IT solutions are the mechanical movers and shakers of the business world, for the very real reason that modern technology solutions often act as a business’s engine.
Once you’ve managed to impart these realities, ask the potential client a final question which sums everything up. The points you’re looking to communicate are:
• Remote support serves 70-80% of tech issues to begin with
• Proximity doesn’t indicate quality
• Modern technology is trending toward remote solutions
• Remaining competitive predicates sourcing modern solutions
• Solidifying sales
When you’ve communicated these things, emphasize once more how counter-intuitive choosing support solutions based on proximity really is. In reality, all you’re doing is telling your clients the truth. But don’t totally bury your competition in the sand of reality. With sales, it’s important to give the competition at least one concession. That concession is the proximity you’re arguing against. You can do it in a backhanded way. Say something like: “Sure, they’re close; you can’t beat that. But rapid-response in the tech world isn’t the advantage it was in the old days!” Be savvy in your pitch, and you’re likely to see your MSP business land clients who may be far afield of your traditional service range.
Our MSP Business Contributor
Robert Naragon is the Founder and President of ITQue, Inc. (pronounced “i-teek”), an Managed IT Services based in San Jose and Campbell that provides IT Support in San Jose. ITQue provides a wide range to IT services to San Jose based companies. And ITQue provides managed services to help San Jose small and mid-sized businesses increase productivity and profitability with customized, flexible hybrid cloud and IT outsourcing solutions is San Jose. Prior to ITQue, he was the Founder and President of VistanetIT, Inc., also based in Campbell, a IT Outsourcing Provider to small and medium-sized businesses in San Jose.