The Deep and Wide Approach: An MSP Sales and Client Retention Strategy

The Deep and Wide Approach: An MSP Sales and Client Retention Strategy

While MSPs often deliver exceptional service, many struggle with the sales and onboarding process.

This is because, first and foremost, MSPs are service organizations. This is especially true for smaller MSPs, where the owner is sometimes the only one directly responsible for prospecting.

Because of this, we want to share with you a prospecting and retention-boosting strategy that will help your MSP get new clients and keep the old ones.

Building relationships with clients is, above all else, the most critical piece of any service-based business.

As a managed print services (MPS) provider, we take relationship-building very seriously. We’ve implemented a critical strategy that has allowed us to build new connections and retain old ones.

We refer to this strategy as the Deep and Wide Approach.

Going deep and wide means we don’t just connect with the head executive of a client organization we work with. Instead, we meet and develop relationships with multiple departments - AKA, the people actually using our products and service!

Print Partner has been cultivating relationships between MSPs across the country and our parent company, Green Office Partner. We know what it takes to build trust with your clients.

But, while we’d love to take the credit, the Deep and Wide Approach is not unique to our organization. It is a highly effective method of handling business relationships that have been implemented across all sorts of service-related industries.

An article from Engage Selling has applied the approach for themselves, breaking down their strategy into three categories:

  •  High: Go as high as you possibly can go in an organization where you are connecting with relevant decision-makers who can help solve a problem.

  • Wide: Connect with as many departments as you can possibly reach while staying tightly focused on your goals.

  • Deep: Foster multiple relationships at many levels within the customer’s organization so that a 3D picture emerges about their specific needs.

This article will discuss the benefits of the Deep and Wide Approach, how it’s helped us, and how it can help you if applied to the MSP world.

Why Going Deep and Wide Works in Print

This is our approach to building relationships with our new clients. And it works wonders.

Many B2B sales and service providers make the mistake of only building surface-level relationships. They meet with leadership, shake hands, and go on their merry way.

However, if you’re only creating surface-level relationships with clients, they’ll have a worse service experience, and you’ll have worse retention.

Here’s how going deep and wide has helped our business.

1. More Cohesive Service Structure

When developing a new relationship with a client, connecting with members throughout their business can be a massive boon for our service team.

While keeping a good relationship with the company owner is important, leadership is often too busy to collaborate with our team on print device issues, nor do they know much about the issues besides what they’re told.

That’s because they typically aren’t the ones using the print devices.

Connecting with staff that actually use the machines allows us to connect with the people most affected by the print issues.

They will often be the experts who can collaborate with us to get devices back up to speed. Since they use the machines daily, they’ll have an easier time articulating the issues to us than an executive would. 

This streamlines our service team’s work. Rather than starting from scratch, our informed internal resources from the client company can give us everything we need to know upfront.

In addition, developing relationships with the folks who use the machines the most also grants us the benefit of additional patience and understanding when support takes longer. 

We, in essence, get a “longer fuse” with less instances of escalation to their upper management indicating their frustration, which in turn hurts our brand with the customer. The longer the fuse, the better for all.

2. Improved Client Retention

Consider a business-client relationship where Green Office Partner only interacts with the company's CEO we provide print for.

Perhaps the CEO loves us. Maybe they go out to drink with our sales representative every Friday, and maybe they have no intention of ever leaving us.

This could be a tremendous and lucrative relationship for us… for now.

But what happens when the owner of the company steps down? Gets replaced? Leaves? Or, what happens when the company starts trying to save money and are looking to switch to a cheaper print provider, and they start putting pressure on the CEO?

If we only connected with top executives, our relationships would be extremely fragile Jenga towers, and the slightest breeze - a minute organizational change could make our carefully-constructed partnership come crashing down.

But with the Deep and Wide Approach, we don’t just meet with the CEO. We’ll meet with internal IT technicians, office personnel, etc., to get their voices heard. We want to ensure the entire company gets what they need from their print.

That way, our business relationship is rock-solid and not hanging on one individual.

When the company is looking for cost cuts, we’ll have leaders sticking up for us throughout the company. And if leadership changes, they’ll hear from their colleagues about our proactive approach to service.

For more tips on keeping your clients around, read: Top 4 Tips for Retaining Your MSP's Clients

Going Deep and Wide with Your MSP

Going deep and wide can be an effective strategy for any service-based business. It works for us, and it could work for your MSP.

For starters, establishing relationships with members throughout your client's company will make your technicians’ jobs 10x easier.

If you have contacts within different departments, your team has a direct link to first-hand sources that can direct your team during the troubleshooting portion. And building rapport with these employees will make your processes even more efficient.

And when your client’s company’s CEO retires? No sweat - if you have friends throughout the company, whom you’ve worked with, and who understand your MSP's value, they will vouch for you should new leaders consider changing service providers.

But how do you start creating deep and wide relationships with clients?

Start by going the extra mile. When possible, physically visit your prospect’s site during onboarding talks. Walk around to different departments. Shake hands, kiss babies, do whatever you have to do.

Consider sending your front-line or field engineers to those customer locations with strategically scheduled appointments to get your team connected with managers or other decision-makers at your customer location. Offer them a half-day of onsite Q&A with an engineer… 

One side benefit that could come from this is more project work! Or, you might discover there are some things that aren’t working for your customer that your team needs to resolve.

Stop trying to win over the CEO, and start trying to win over the business as a whole.

Begin building relationships deep and wide, and watch your MSP’s retention and service quality soar.

Print Partner and Relationship Building

In this article, we examined the benefits of the deep and wide approach, its benefits for us, and how it can benefit your organization.

But we’re trying to convey the main message that relationship-building is the cornerstone of good service and client retention.

You want to establish trust and provide your customers with as much value as possible.

Luckily, Print Partner can help you with that.

We work with hundreds of MSPs across the country to deliver managed print for their clients. Take the burden of print off of your shoulders, and leave it to our professionals.

We don’t offer IT services (and never will), and we’re committed to protecting your clients from competing print vendors that try to sell IT services on the side.

Plus, we’ll pay you! For each referral you send our way, you’ll earn at least $250, plus $1,000 per copier sold and 5% on their lifetime print allotment.

So if you want to deepen your business-client relationships while creating an additional revenue stream for your business, consider partnering with us, a Print Partner you can trust.

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