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Tactics for selling MSP backup services

A sales approach that illustrates the potential of ransomware threats to disrupt small business operations could help managed service providers sell backup and recovery offerings.

Backup and disaster recovery are fairly typical offerings for managed service providers. MSP backup services, however,...

can prove challenging to sell, especially to smaller, budget-constrained companies.

Indeed, some organizations may question the need for such protection, discount ransomware threats or balk at the potential expense. It's a test of any MSP's sales and marketing skills. In this Ask the Expert, Mike Bloomfield, president at Tekie Geek, a managed IT service provider based in Staten Island, N.Y., outlines some techniques a service provider can use to build the case for MSP backup and recovery services. Bloomfield has been an ASCII Group member since 2016.

MSPs often find the most difficult component in selling backup/disaster recovery products and services is convincing potential clients that they are almost essential for the long-term safety of their business.

Emphasizing the disaster aspect of recovery can fall on deaf ears. A small business in Chicago is safe from most natural disasters, and large-scale fires haven't leveled the city for 147 years. MSPs can focus on the ransomware epidemic to sell backup services, but SMBs will raise objections. "I'm too small to be targeted by ransomware -- they're going after the big guys," and, "It's simply too expensive," are common responses.

Show clients what's at stake

To convince potential clients of the importance of backup recovery services, emphasize that SMBs are the target for ransomware, and they are easy targets because of this mentality. We need to show them how easy it is to be attacked. Implement a disaster demo kit so that you are able to control the narrative, and show them in real time how all it takes is one employee clicking on the wrong email and an entire business can become infected. Our in-house demo kit shows prospective clients how quickly real-world ransomware works and what it does to their files. We finalize the demo by showing them how, in minutes, we can restore and get their business back up and running by using a true continuity solution.

Sharing MSP backup stories

It's also important to share stories of SMBs that have experienced ransomware nightmares, as these are relatable. Work with your clients to put together case studies based on previous disasters and recovery efforts. By giving prospective clients a real-world example from a fellow business owner they are familiar with, it helps to drive the point home and show this issue is real.

Do not share personal details of victims' stories unless they have given you permission, but describe as much as you can.  One story that we share to demonstrate how dangerous untrained employees can be is of an employee and boss who fell for a phishing email. They believed the email, which was sent from a business partner asking for the employee's email and password, was suspicious. They called their business partner who was down the hall in the same corporate suite over to look at it. The business partner admitted that he did not send the email and asked for the employee to click on the link and fill out the information so they could see what was in the email attachment. Their email account was compromised, and the phishing emails were spread to all of their contacts. When they thought it couldn't get any worse, they discovered they were locked out of their Office 365 account for two days.

Effective MSP backup opens doors

If your MSP can create a model that conveys the dangers of ransomware, the fallibility of the everyday employee and the necessity of effective backup and disaster recovery services, more opportunities will open to sell your other services to these SMBs.

For more TechTarget content on related topics, see our article on the channel's effort to defend customers from ransomware threats and this expert column on pricing business continuity offerings.

This was last published in December 2018

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