Increasing interest rates, high levels of inflation and a bumpy stock market have followed us into 2023, and they may signal more trouble ahead. What can you do now to safeguard your business against a potentially turbulent year?
Economic uncertainty is hard on most businesses, but there are steps you can take to ensure that your MSP will have a steady stream of clients even in difficult times.
Invest in Marketing Before You Need it
Many businesses make the mistake of waiting until business is slow to get serious about their marketing plan. For many MSPs, referrals are a top source of new business. But if you rely too heavily on referrals for new clients, you might be unprepared if that method dries up. And if you wait until you’re desperate for new clients, your marketing messaging might come across as rushed or pushy, which tends to scare potential clients away.
That’s why you want to have alternative methods of bringing in new business before that ever happens. In terms of marketing, creating a funnel that can work round the clock to bring in new business is a great place to start.
You can also continue to engage your current clients and followers so that your business remains top of mind. Social media and email marketing can help you keep that connection alive, so that when they do have a potential referral, your business will be the first place they send them.
Put a Prospecting Plan into Place
A successful marketing plan is strategic. One vital component of that strategy is your prospecting plan.
A prospecting plan is your method for generating new leads. There are some basic steps that all prospecting plans have, including:
- Determining who your ideal client is
- Figuring out how to reach them
- Knowing what you’ll say or offer to them
Again, you want to have a prospecting plan in place before your leads dry up. You always want to aim for high quality clients that you can build a relationship with. If you wait until you’re in a difficult spot, you might be tempted to broaden your services and bring in more clients. This sounds like a decent strategy, but that approach can actually make it harder to find new clients. Your specialty is what will attract new business to you and set you apart from the competition, so make sure you’re aiming for the right clients.
Develop an Account Based Marketing (ABM) Strategy
Account based marketing creates campaigns specifically designed for your target accounts. Instead of using a more general idea of who your ideal client might be, your ABM strategy tailors your messaging for the actual clients you know you want.
ABM is more direct than your average marketing plan, so it’s essential that your sales and marketing teams are in total alignment. An ABM strategy can expedite the customer journey process, so your teams need to be ready to efficiently take these accounts from lead to client.
Once you know who your target accounts will be, it’s time to build a relationship with important contacts at those accounts. Build a rapport by interacting with them on social media, interviewing them for podcasts or articles, or attending their company events. The goal is to show that you already support and understand their business, and how you can help.
Finally, you can create case studies, landing pages or reports that are tailored to your target accounts, showing them real examples of what your MSP could do for them.
Sell to Your Current Customers
While you’re building your marketing plan and expanding your reach, don’t forget to nurture the leads most likely to buy: your current customers.
Increasing your customer retention by 5 percent can lead to a 25-95 percent increase in customer revenue. That is a very impressive ROI, and well worth pursuing. Your customers have already bought from you, and they’re more willing to buy from you again.
Continue to assess your customers’ needs and offer educational opportunities about important changes and new services that might benefit them.