Independent Computer Consultant – How to Sell Clients on Managed Services

To be a successful Independent Computer Consultant in today’s economy, you need to be giving your small business clients more of what they want, which is:

- Greater reliability from their systems

- Higher productivity

- Faster response when they have a problem

- Minimal unexpected downtime

- Predictable and affordable support costs

If you’re in the habit of charging hourly rates to support your customers, you probably know by now that it’s a very inefficient way to meet the above needs, and a very difficult way for you to be generating a reliable, steady income.

The best way to ensure that you give your small business client everything they want, and maximize your own profitability at the same time is through offering a Managed Service Plan at a flat, monthly rate. Your plan should include round the clock system monitoring and remote computer support, both which can be provided through very low cost or even free support utilities.

With system monitoring, you can get instantly alerted 24×7 via email or SMS when potential problems arise, such as:

- Failed backups

- Failed AntiVirus updates

- Hard Disks running low on space

- Windows System Service failures

- Overutilization of system processes

- Firewall hack attempts or multiple unauthorized login attempts

- Event Log errors or alerts

- and more…

By monitoring for these types of events, you’ll be able to catch potential problems early, or prevent them all together and therefore better satisfy all of the needs that your customers have. And because you provide these services for a flat-monthly fee, you’ll be able to create a stable income that you can rely on month after month.

But when so many small businesses have become completely accustomed to paying hourly rates to have their computer consultant come running whenever a problem arises, how do you convince them to switch to your Managed Service model, which on the surface might appear to cost more than they’re currently paying.

It’s easy enough to show a business owner that just one major issue over the course of a year can easily wipe out any savings they thought they were getting by paying low, hourly rates. A single hard drive crash (which might have been caught early and prevented through monitoring) and discovering that the backup hasn’t worked in days (again, could have been caught early), can cost a small business customer very substantial fees to repair, on top of potentially devastating financial and productivity losses due to lost and unrecoverable data.

A single incident like this can easily cost far more than a full year of your low cost, managed services.

But the reality is, unless a problem is actually occurring now, or unless one had occurred recently and is still fresh in the customer’s memory, then they might have a hard time accepting that a truly serious problem is very likely to occur in their future unless they take steps to prevent it.

So how do you convince them to move to your managed service?

You offer them a free 30-day trial to your monitoring service! “Let’s see just how healthy your network really is.”

Very simply, offer to install your monitoring software on their server for 30 days. There are several very inexpensive monitoring applications available to you that will take up very little server processing overhead and provide you with many great options, such as a web-based monitoring dashboard that can easily identify at a glance any problems on the system.

Give your potential customer full access to their dashboard so they can see for themselves on a daily basis where their problems might be. I can assure you that unless a qualified computer consultant maintains the system regularly (which almost never occurs on the hourly-support model), that the monitoring dashboard will identify multiple problems that require attention, and should continue to identify new problems throughout the course of the month.

By providing this simple proof that their network is not nearly as healthy as they might have hoped or expected is generally evidence enough that regular monitoring is a necessary and valuable support option.

Once your 30-day trial completes, you will not find a better opportunity to continue maintaining this business as a new Managed Service customer for your computer consulting business. It’s at this point that your prospective customer is primed and ready for you to reel them in and turn them into one of your loyal, long-term satisfied customers.

To ensure that you make the most of this opportunity, you’re going to want to use proven, tried and true sales techniques that can essentally guarantee that the sale is made… IF presented properly. To learn these techniques, and to obtain proven marketing materials to help you make the sale, visit the author’s website.