Can El Chapo Teach any MSP Marketing Lessons?

MSP MarketingI recently watched a novella on Netflix about the life of El Chapo. As soon as the flick started I realized there were many things I didn’t know about the famous drug lord and it captivated my interest.  

I started wondering if there were some important lesson that I could pick up from the film that would help an MSP Business learn how to grow their company.

After the first episode finished it was clear that some of his maverick business tactics could be applied in MSP marketing world!

Take Big Risks

One of the first instincts that El Chapo displays in the movie is his ability to take on a Risky Goal. Early in the first episode it was clear that while El Chapo was an underling in the Mexican drug cartel he had big ambition. He constructed one of the first tunnels under the Mexican American border and wanted his bosses to use it to get business from Escobar in Colombia… His Patron dismisses his grandiose plan and then humiliates him by sending him to pick up someone at the airport.

This is when El Chapo decides to head off to Colombia to get an audience with the King Pin cocaine dealer and attempt to strike a deal on his own. Ultimately the risk he takes by sticking his neck out pays off after he suffers through several adversities. The Escobar deal produces tons of cash for his family and lifts his stature from an underling in the drug cartel to the rank of Patron!
The ability to take risk is one area where many MSP Businesses struggle and could take a page out of the El Chapo book of strategy. In the book, The Breakthrough Company, the author makes the point that most businesses especially IT companies usually are risk averse. These companies almost always play it safe and very seldom take the big risk that both drug lords and breakthrough companies make. In El Chapo’s case he risked his life and many of the companies in the book risked all their resources on calculated bets to grow their business!

Don’t Take No for an Answer

During El Chapo’s journey solidifying this deal with Escobar he encountered many adversities that would take him off course and each would have ending both the venture and his life. When his first shipment arrives by plane in Cancun, one of his enemies has ratted him out to the local authorities who are at the landing site waiting to confiscate his cargo. As he watches the men pack up the cargo that he has risked his life for, he decides not to take ‘No’ for an answer.

He gets his men together and drives to the commander’s home and take him hostage until all his illicit cargo is loaded back on to the plane.
While I am not encouraging any MSP Business to get involved in any illegal marketing activity, I do believe there is another lesson in the heart of El Chapo that allows him to turn negative situations into victories. He was determined to win and would not accept defeat and would never take ‘No’ for an answer.

I firmly believe that having this attitude to not accept defeat is a fundamental character trait of salesmen. This attitude allows them to turn a No into a Yes by thinking outside of the box and coming up with one rebuttal after another. MSP business should learn from El Chapo determination and try to instill into all their sales and marketing staff.


Some readers might have been a little skeptical that any good MSP Business lessons could ever be gleaned from El Chapo. Hopefully these skeptics were surprised to learn that El Chapo was a successful risk taker and a determined salesman that would never take No for an answer. I believe any MSP can benefit by adopting these two marketing traits from El Chapo! Therefore, MSPs should set a big goal like becoming a national IT provider, take the necessary risk and become determined like El Chapo to never accept defeat!

About the Contributor

MSP MarketeingDavid Walter is the Marketing Director at MSP SEO Factory, a company providing IT marketing to businesses in the United States. Their expertise is creating managed services marketing ideas and turning them into original, optimized blog posts. Their process involves in-depth brainstorming, thorough editing, and effective promotion of fresh and unique articles for their MSP Business clients.

He has 16 years experience in marketing for the IT industry, as well as experience in direct MSP marketing, internet marketing, article writing. David speaks at trade shows, webinars and is a sales trainer for major IT companies. He is also a published author; his latest book is ‘Stratospheric Marketing Secrets’. In Addition he is a regular guest blog contributor to MSP Business Insights, MSP Tech Blog,MSP marketing and IT Marketing Pro.