The best question to ask a brand new managed services client

I love working with smart people. It’s inspiring.

I worked with someone a while ago who really gets selling.

He understands how to get inside buyers’ heads and the concept of talking a buyer’s language and really – I mean – really – figuring out what they are looking for in a service.

Adrian Evans is an author (of Be a job magnet), headhunter and career coach and I helped him to build something rather awesome for one of his clients a few years back. I know it’s awesome, because it was going to be solving their problems and giving them something, which they don’t have today which will genuinely move them forwards as a business.

How do he was was building something which would move them forward as a business?

Because he has asked just the right question before we even started.

“How will you judge this?”

So simple, yet genius.

He has got his client to lay out to him their success criteria – and specifically how they will feel when it’s right, how their senior management will react to something and what they’re expecting from a deliverable in one simple question.

I love it and I will be using it myself in the days and weeks to come.

The emotional side of business

When contracts between clients and MSPs are created – there will be metrics / legals / specs and SLAs stipulated and that’s all as it should be.

What’s fascinating to me however, is that contract renewals are so often based on relationships and gut feelings.

How often does a client really pour over historical metrics to determine whether to sign for another 12 or 36 months?

Typically those decisions are made based on relationships – and how a business owner and their team have FELT about how the service has gone. They are constantly judging how you operate in the background. Mostly they won’t even realise they’re doing it too.

If you have an idea upfront, once a contract is signed, about how all the key players within your new client are likely to judge you – then you’ve a client for life. It’s just so empowering.

Typical answers to that key question

“I’d like to sleep better at night”.

“I would like you to take the pain away”.

“I need someone I can trust on my side”.

“I need to be operational 24×7”.

“I want an IT partner who I can get on with”.

Just that one answer, can hold so much more enlightenment than the 20 page managed services agreement – if you think to ask it.

Why not add it to your sales process today?