Apart from being one of the classics of cinema, “The Godfather” has a lot to teach an MSP business about marketing. However you feel about organized crime, no one can deny the impact the film had on modern culture. Horses’ heads are much better left where they belong, but Vito Corleone had many of the right ideas about business if you leave out the gory details.
Decisive and clear leadership is the key to a successful team. If you can emulate Vito Corleone and the clarity he had in any of his dealings, you will see the rewards in a more cohesive and structured team, all working towards the same goal. He was always sure of how he wanted meetings to go and was clear about the outcome, always ensuring it was beneficial to the family. If you can have explicit goals and objectives, your team will know exactly what is expected of them and will be behind you all the way.
Customers are our lifeblood, so keeping them happy should be a priority. When an old friend comes to Corleone for help, he asks him why he went to the police first before coming to him. If you think of the police in this example as your competitors, you should be treating all of your customers well so that they come to you first if they have a problem, not another company. If you treat them well, and it is known that you will treat them better than other firms, then you can rely on them to keep doing business with you.
Delegation and Trust
If you run an MSP business, you cannot do everything yourself. It can be hard to give up the reins of something you have built from the ground up, but Corleone would never have managed his large empire were it not for the trust he had in his employees. Micromanaging wastes everybody’s time. You need to give precise instructions on behavior and job description, then allow them to work independently. You need to show you trust them and, in return, you will get a loyal and happy team working towards a common goal.
One of the undying themes of “The Godfather” is to keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Always keep an eye on your competitors; make sure you know what they are doing and how they are doing it. If you can establish what makes them successful, you will have more of an edge and an ability to retain your own customers, if you can make sure your products and services are superior. As Michael Corleone puts it, “It’s not personal, it’s strictly business.” Your competitors will have no qualms about trying to poach your customers. If you can be confident that your products and customer service are exemplary, then they are less likely to jump ship.
“The Godfather” was adept at using favors as a business tool and was well-known for his mantra, “You do a favor for me, I’ll do a favor for you.” He made sure to do favors for others, knowing he would be able to ask for them back in the future. Making sure you build goodwill with clients in the form of favors can help with both customer service and avoiding competitors stealing them away. If you can do all you can for them while they are with you, then they will feel indebted to you and are less likely to leave at the end of a contract.
If you would like to improve the results you are currently getting with your MSP business, you should try to implement one or more of these lessons. You can only benefit from the customers that believe and trust you more. If you keep an eye on your competitors so that you always remain competitive yourself, your company will go from strength to strength. Just try to keep on the right side of the law!