MSP Business Tips: How to Ensure Vendors and Contractors Don’t Steal Your Customers

MSP businessYour MSP business will encounter many obstacles, but some can be anticipated and overcome. One of those is the likelihood that at some point, an organization with whom you work will try to take your clients out from under you. If you’ve got vendors providing wholesale technology, which you distribute to clients, you may come into situations where they must be sent onsite to correct an issue and then snake your client out from under you. Technical contractors who do specific work may do the same thing. You could lose a client as they adopt a strategy of piecemeal service acquisition.

There are a few ways around this. One is to design contracts which provide possible litigation in the event that a vendor or contractor steals one of your clients. You can similarly bind clients to your services. However, if you can induce loyalty in a more organic way, then you don’t have to rely so much on legal bindings to maintain your clients. Additionally, you’re not bound to provide services to troublesome clients. Sometimes, it’s best to let them go their own way. Following are several suggestions to help you maintain your clients and ensure the relationships remain lucrative:

  • Don’t just provide core services, ensure you add value as well
  • Ensure the business environment you operate in is win-win
  • Understand when the time is right to let a client go

Core and Value

Your MSP business should have value, which is immediately visible to clients and actually worthwhile for them. This will take a little work. It makes sense to incorporate such a strategy into your business model. If you’re actually providing clients a service that they can’t get through vendors or contractors, then you don’t have to worry about losing them because they find more value in the service providers they work with. Crunch the numbers and use case studies for further outward marketing as well, doubling down on this value.

A Win-Win Business Environment

When a business can see that working with you is saving them money or even transitively making them money, they’ll be winning by working with you. You’ll be winning by maintaining a positive business relationship with them. Both of these things will encourage more and better work between you and the client. They’ll want more technical things for which you’ve demonstrated potential value, and you’ll be able to provide them. This is an upward spiral of profitability and something to be sought with any client.

Knowing When to Let a Client Go

Some clients are in a position where working with you can’t help them how it should. Sometimes, striving to maintain the relationship is actually worse for both of you. In such scenarios, you’ve got to understand when it’s time to change things up. You’ve got to understand when you’ve got to cut your losses. There are situations where the value you provide will be eclipsed by vendors. If you’ve got the client contractually obligated, you may keep them, but this could become much more costly than rescinding efforts and pulling back. What makes sense is looking at the cost to you for providing them business. When you’re doing better in terms of profit, you can afford to take on more clients that require collaterally expensive service from you. But until you get to a certain point, pushing too hard against a battle that can’t be won only has negative results in the long run. Even larger organizations understand sometimes that it’s time to cut their losses. Look at competitors and balance your strategy in this regard carefully. There’s always a silver lining. Handle the situation right, and you could develop a positive reputation.

Healthy Client/MSP Relationships

An MSP business that focuses on providing value and facilitating a win-win situation is going to have more satisfied clients. Knowing when to cut clients will also help your MSP operate more optimally. When all else fails, contractual stipulations can help retain clients; but if you conduct your operations well enough, you won’t have to rely on these kinds of solutions. 


Matt Kozloski

As Vice President, Professional Services at Kelser Corporation, Matt encourages his IT services in CTteam to think of themselves as managed it services engineers in Connecticut, not just engineers. “There’s a part of consulting that’s art and can’t be exactly taught or explained. It’s empathizing with a customer’s situation, being responsive and responsible, and maintaining integrity along the way.” With every engagement, Matt pushes us all to think of what tangible business outcome our work will provide for our clients, and for their IT Support clients in Connecticut. As an experienced IT professional in Connecticut, he develop and deliver products and IT services in Connecticut that allow any organization to consume technology, realizing their full potential. Matt is a CISSP, VCDX certified professional.