Whatever you’re selling and whatever industry you’re selling to, the basic principles of selling are always the same— match the product or service to the customer. Perhaps the biggest mistake commonly made in sales is asking for a sale when that match has not been made. Let’s look at how you understand and identify your target audience will boost your MSP business:
The rules of business are pretty clear— make more money than you spend. Any business that spends too much or fails to generate sufficient revenues isn’t a viable business and will eventually fail. That’s why it’s so important to understand clearly who your target audience is and what makes them tick.
In sales, it is important to understand your customer. The corporate sales nature of your MSP business has a distinct advantage over other areas of sales. For example, if you were selling new cars, it would be very difficult (impossible, actually) to accurately profile customers as they walk in off the street.
In fact, prejudging prospects based on the car they arrived in or how they’re dressed is a common basic mistake in automotive retailing. Some of the biggest customers can be those who happen to be passing on their way back from one of the industrial sites they own. Hard-working businesspeople don’t have time to dress when shopping for a truck.
Because you’re in B2B sales, you can invest time (and perhaps some money) in profiling prospects. You can find out how big they are, what markets they operate in, what technologies they might already be using, etc. If they’re existing customers, you should already have a wealth of knowledge about them.
Based on your profiling, you build up a picture of who you’re selling to. What business problems do they have and how can your service solve them? In fact, in some cases, you might be able to build quite a strong business case before you even meet a prospect for the first time. All you need to do is ask the right questions to confirm your business case is accurate or if you need to modify it slightly.
Common Problems and Solutions
As you profile your customers, you’ll begin to understand problems (and corresponding solutions) that may be common to many players in their market, niche, geographical location, or size of business. By building a general knowledge of these types of customers and the specific needs of each, you can leverage expertise to really support both the sale and the customer, and do so for the long term.
Matching Customers and Solutions
Over time, your selling becomes simply a case of fitting the right size block into the appropriate shape of hole. By understanding your customers, you avoid trying to force the square peg into the round hole. When your MSP business provides solutions that accurately answer the needs of each particular customer, you make it much easier for them to say yes when you ask for the sale. You also avoid the friction that can arise before and after the sale when the product or service doesn’t truly match the needs of the customer. And by helping to boost your customers’ revenues, costs, or both, you help them to thrive.