Seek and You Will Find
MSP marketing that doesn’t design strategy around “asking” for the sale will miss out on a substantial quotient of profit. You might even say it’s unprofessional and lacking in competency to refrain from asking for the sale when the opportunity presents itself. The whole purpose of a marketing campaign is to acquire clients, isn’t it? Well, why wouldn’t you at least ask potential clients if they’d be interested?
There’s an instant which can change an entire relationship, and asking for the sale is that instant between buyer and seller. What’s an inquiry? What’s a question? It’s a transference of power. Suddenly, the professional salesman who was just a moment ago selling potential service is now asking the buyer for something. That puts the power in the hands of the buyer. They can agree or disagree. Now they’ve got a sort of responsibility, if you will. The key to getting that yes after you’ve shifted power is to give the prospect no reason to say no. To that end, here are several strategies to help give you the greatest sales advantage:
- Only use assumptive selling if appropriate – which is rarely
- Ask for the sale – don’t forget the “oblique” approach
- Individualize known effective closing techniques
There is a school of thought that says salespeople should “assume the sale.” This can be successful, but you could likely plot a curve that declines as the price increases. That is to say, the more expensive a service proposition is, the less effective an assumptive selling technique will be. This is because it seems manipulative, conniving, and underhanded. The only real way to get away with an assumptive sale at a higher financial level is through some form of good humor.
Imagine a smiling, congenial salesperson shaking a prospect’s hand and chuckling, “Don’t you worry, Client A. We’ll get you set up better than you could imagine,” or something to that effect. Getting to such a point with most clients at that level, however, is quite unlikely. So, as a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid this technique. Know what it is so you can keep yourself from tripping up.
A few examples of assumptive sales questions include: “When do you want us to implement our solution?” or “When is the best day for us to deliver that service?” or “Now…which of these choices were you planning to go with?”
Ask For the Sale
This was alluded to in the introduction. MSP marketing strategies should equip selling personnel with a variety of “asks” around which they can structure pitches. Here are some soft “asks” you might consider using:
- Provided we could give you this thing at this cost, is there any reason you wouldn’t choose us?
- From what I can see, what we do is a good fit for you. Would you agree?
- Tell you what: how about this [free option]; would it help you sign the contract now?
- Based on our discussion, I think X and Y would work for you. Would you like to go with either of these?
- Sign today, and I guarantee we can [accomplish client’s special request]. What do you say?
- So now what happens?
When you’re closing with a client, you don’t want to pressure them unduly. But, at the same time, you don’t want to leave off from any pressure whatsoever. The idea is to emphasize the positive and get the client thinking about benefits of your service.
Whatever you do, you don’t want to just memorize a number of pitches and try them out in a trial-and-error way. You’re going to have trial-and-error in sales, but what salespeople should do to diminish that is to individualize whatever kind of selling tactic they decide on so it reflects them personally. Train your marketing division to help sellers find their own “voice.” Authenticity in a sales pitch translates to a positive client perception of reliability.
Optimizing Your Marketing
MSP marketing has to deal with a longer sales cycle than other areas of business, so carefully plan your sales pitches and closing strategies. Also, don’t forget the sales ask!