Many in our industry draw a distinct line between our responsibilities and those of the client. Traditionally, this meant we focused on getting devices to customers and keeping them productive. We made sure their devices stayed running, maintained their network, kept their business apps accessible, and fixed issues as they arose. As cyberattacks have grown more numerous, many have expanded into the security realm, too.

This won’t change, and you will still need to do these. But increasingly, these are just table stakes. Top-performing MSPs and consultants look beyond these traditional services.

Let’s say you have a client who’s thinking about rolling out a new software solution for their business. Traditionally, your role might involve planning out the deployment, running the installer, making sure everything works, and remaining on call for troubleshooting.

Yet this one decision offers multiple revenue opportunities. You could start earlier in the process to help them vet the solution, choose the right one, and develop rollout plans to minimize customer disruption and risk. Plus, someone has to train them on the solution. Why should they hire a high-priced consultant to do this when you’re already right there? These sorts of business challenges would normally be handled by a chief information officer (CIO). When you think like one, you become their vCIO—and can charge accordingly while providing immense value.

1. Know your customers’ industries

If you have a niche you serve, start by reading industry publications and subscribing to a few. You don’t have to be glued to these, but they help you keep your ear to the ground.

However, this strategy alone is passive; you’ll want to be more active by attending industry conferences as well. When attending conferences, you get a few major benefits. First, you’ll soak up a lot of the industry jargon. You’ll know a lot of the jargon already just by selling to them, but I promise you’ll pick up new ideas and grow more confident speaking your customers’ language.

Second, you’ll gain new ideas on how to help people. You might hear everyone talking about a new product at a biomedical device conference and decide to start looking into supporting, deploying, and managing those devices as an option. You’ll hear a lot about new trends and can ask people what they think about them. Knowing these trends and helping customers achieve those goals positions you well for the future.

2. Know your customers’ goals

Next, focus on your existing customers. In quarterly business reviews, try to uncover what business objectives they want to achieve over the next few years. For example, your customer may be on their way to a major expansion, including opening a new location (or perhaps their workforce is going mostly remote).

You might find that offering zero-touch deployment—so their new devices get there fast, with the right applications and settings pre-loaded—becomes a unique selling point for you. You really can’t talk to customers enough. Don’t wait until the QBR either—even a 30-minute coffee meeting, or lunch once in a while, in a casual setting will give you ideas.


3. Align to customers’ needs

Finally, spend time connecting the dots between the needs you’ve gathered and the solutions you can potentially offer. Set aside brainstorming time with your team if it helps. Between following their industry’s news, going to conferences, and just talking to them, you’ll start to notice patterns.

For example, let’s say customers in your industry are settling on a specific piece of software, but you know you could improve performance for them by integrating this new solution with parts of their existing toolset. You could start approaching customers about the possibility of developing integrations between systems, and either build the skills on your team, hire a developer, or contract out to a third party and manage the project for them.

Or maybe you notice people are increasingly moving to the cloud, but a subset of your customers remain primarily on-premises. You could easily pitch customers on the possibility and remind them their peers have already moved. If you manage the process, you’ll set them up for the future and set yourself apart as the partner who’s preparing them for it.

If this information is helpful to you read our blog for more interesting and useful content, tips and guidelines on similar topics. Contact the team of COMPUTER 2000 Bulgaria now if you have a specific question. Our specialists will be assisting you with your query.

Content curated by the team of COMPUTER 2000 on the bases of marketing materials provided by our partners.

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