Every MSP that has some kind of IT marketing budget allocation longs to see a return on that investment. Do your efforts generate new leads and customers or are you pumping money into something that just isn’t working? Once the leads start coming in, you need a pre-defined strategy for converting these into sales. When a potential customer contacts your office, providing them with a positive experience can help you close the sale. Many businesses mishandle these interactions, losing business leads faster than they come in.
Evaluating Your Marketing Efforts
Generating new business takes time, money, and planning. There are many potential channels for marketing your MSP business. From paid internet ads, SEO optimization, referral systems, and print media to name a few, you can reach many potential customers. Some effort must be put into evaluating which marketing channel is having the most successes, i.e. bringing the most customers to you.
Once the word is out, if you have successfully advertised your IT support services, expect customers to reach out to you. They may call you, email you, or fill out a web contact form on your website. Many potential customers prefer to call directly, where possible, because they get an immediate response versus waiting for an internet response that may or may not come. When the leads start turning into phone calls, are you there to answer the phone?
Converting Leads into Sales
Surprisingly, many MSP businesses, especially the smaller ones, don’t answer their business lines. The reasons vary, but often they are tied up in other work. Perhaps there’s no one assigned to the task. If your company is in the early stages, you might not have the budget for a full-time receptionist. This is a major problem because customers often don’t like leaving voicemails. They want their problem solved there and then, and they want to speak with someone knowledgeable. Where the need is pressing, they often just call someone else. When they opt to leave a voicemail message, they often do not get a timely callback.
Once your IT marketing efforts are producing customer calls, how you handle them makes all the difference. Leaving a positive impression by answering the phone as much as possible or responding timely to voicemail messages can seal the deal. There are many solutions to ensure that business is not being lost unnecessarily. Perhaps you could look into a part-time receptionist.
Maximizing the Phone Call
Say you do answer the phone and are there when your potential customer needs IT services. How do you handle the phone call? There are ways that you can maximize those few minutes that you have with the caller. Being friendly and professional goes a long way. Listening carefully to the caller’s needs and being able to sell your relevant services can help win a new customer right there. Learning effective communication and selling skills can boost your new business significantly.
You can also learn to ask the right questions when customers call. A clear understanding of their need, location, and how they found your services can help you best serve them. It also allows you to get a feel for how effective your marketing strategy is.
There is a lot that goes into IT marketing, but more than anything a definite strategy is needed. Understanding what channels are best for reaching your target market can save on advertising channels with low yields. Once the phone starts ringing, if you are not able to answer the phone, you lose out on potential business. Any business that is serious about converting leads into sales must plan to be there when the customer calls and provide them with a good first impression.