Salespeople do all sorts of stupid things that cause them to lose sales on a NORMAL day, but when the world is facing a crisis like the one we’re all in now with the coronavirus, these behaviors are unforgivable and need to end.
#1. Prospecting as though nothing is going on (click to watch video). Let’s consider what might be going on in your prospect’s world: in a record-breaking number of days, their business has been forced to shut down, thereby cutting off ALL or most of their income. IF they’re lucky enough to continue operating on some level, they’re scrambling to get people to work from home. If that’s not an option, they’re being forced to lay off loyal, hardworking staff in droves. Vendor bills and credit card debt is mounting. They might have a tidal wave of clients calling to cancel contracts and demand refunds. NOW, in the middle of all this, you call to sell them managed services. Do you REALLY think they’re going to be glad you called? That’s not to suggest you shouldn’t be marketing or closing sales now – you certainly should, and I have clients closing deals right now in the midst of all of this. However, you want to focus on delivering value and making generous offers to help them with free support, free services or at least free information. Click here to watch a session I just did on how to market your business during this crisis.
#2. Spamming (click to watch video). People don’t like spam at the best of times; when they’ve got a total and complete disaster on their hands, they’ll resent the ground you walk on if you start spamming them via e-mail or LinkedIn to sell IT support (see above regarding offers). With e-mail, don’t send out a broadcast to a list you’ve scraped or otherwise acquired where you don’t have a relationship of any kind. On LinkedIn, don’t do the “cut-and-paste” spam messages we’ve all gotten.
#3. Creating false scarcity and pressuring people to buy (click to watch video). Everyone’s stress levels are through the ROOF right now, and your amateurish sales pressure and deadlines to buy will only make them angrier. Instead, be generous with payment plans and offers. Don’t pressure people to buy – offer something of real value that will help them.
#4. Not following up, not returning calls, being slow to respond. This is a mistake salespeople make when the economy is good; when it’s tanking, you can NOT afford to let hot leads (or ANY leads) slip through the cracks. Money is going to be parked for a while and prospects are going to get a hell of a lot pickier about who they spend money with. To that end, they aren’t going to wait around for you to get back to them, nor are they going to tolerate slow responses, dropped balls, missed calls and the like; they’ll just call the next vendor that came up in their Google search – and believe me, there are a LOT of hungry salespeople out there who will be more than happy to follow up and provide excellent service and communication.
#5. Asking for referrals, reviews and other favors. Yes, you just saved a clients’ bacon by getting their entire office working remotely from home in record-breaking time. Yes, you deserve a HUGE thank-you and a pat on the back, and YES, the client should be beyond grateful. However, be careful about asking them for a review, a referral or a testimonial right NOW as “payback” for doing your job. Let the dust settle a bit. You can always round back to them later on when their world returns to some new normal and make your request.
#6. Offering to set them up to work from home for free (or some other free support), but then failing to detail what you need to get paid for. I DO think you should make generous offers to help people right now as a means of playing the long game and generating goodwill for future opportunities. However, be VERY careful about offering to do work for free.
Be VERY clear in your marketing and communication exactly what is free and what you need to get paid for. A rushed, tired, anxious prospect may not realize that “setting up their workforce remote” doesn’t also come with free, unlimited help-desk support and hardware. You also need to be careful about cyber security. If YOU set them up to work remote and one of their employees does something with a home PC that infects the network with ransomware or causes a compliance breach, YOUR neck is on the line. Just be sure to detail, on paper, exactly what is free, what your responsibilities are and what the client can expect.
Want to know more about how to preserve MRR and market your MSP business during this crisis? Click here to watch a FREE live cast for surviving and thriving during the COVID-19 outbreak.
There’s no doubt about it: Robin Robins has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery and low incomes. For over 18 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by over 10,000 IT services firms from around the world, from start-ups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com.