IT Marketing Advice: You Should Have a Set-Up Fee on Your IT Agreements!
The Setup Fee Key
IT marketing needs to be employed when it comes to the onboarding of clients. The primary reason is what’s called a “client intake process” or “client intake protocol.” Think of it like a four-dimensional template. It’s a projection of the necessary steps a client must take over time to be on-boarded with your MSP.
The way you construct this protocol can simultaneously offset operational costs while providing you with bargaining points. Marketing people in both sales and outreach should be aware of several strategies which can be derived from “onboarding discounts.”
Basically, there are going to be aspects of setup which your company can absorb in order to secure a client. For the most part, you won’t get kickback on these things, so you’ll see revenue for them which curtail operational costs. But when you do, it’s no big deal because you’re already getting other clients to pay as is necessary. It just means you’ve got something which will make a client feel like you’re willing to work with them directly and that you’re reasonable as pertains to expenses.
Specifically, we’re talking about a setup fee here. It’s like a “lot fee” at a car dealer. You get the basic price “plus lot expenses.” They tack on a bevy of additional charges to the baseline price of the vehicle to try and offset their operational cost. The salesman also gets a bigger commission if he sells the car for more. But if you haggle a used car salesman, find a price, then stick to it with no additional fees tacked on, it’s very unlikely the salesman is going to neglect a sizable commission for a small percentage lost. He’ll just eat it and everybody wins. But not everybody has the perspicacity to demand a salesman drop such a fee. However in business, those in the acquisitions process, in the onboarding process, in the outreach process— in the position of working with your IT marketing team— are going to be just so savvy. When you’ve got a setup fee you can drop, it gives the illusion of negotiation. Really, you had planned for this negotiation exigency beforehand.
Additionally, charging a setup fee adds value to your services. It increases the professional air which silhouettes your operation and makes you more credible. Knowing as much, don’t be set in stone when you say you’ll drop the setup fee, but do perhaps suck in a little air, squint your eyebrows, and say something like: “Well… I suppose I could cancel that fee— let me just ask my boss,” then you see a passing intern named Gary, ask him how his weekend was, smile, nod, give him a fist-bump, turn back to the phone and say: “Good news! I got the authorization,” and save that customer some cash.
When your onboarding team is working with your marketing team, there can be other areas of charge and expense reduction that may be used so advantageously. So, the three things to take away from this are:
• Design an onboarding protocol
• Communicate between disparate departments
• Include things like setup fees which can yield revenue, but can be removed
Such negotiation can additionally work to surrogate other client demands. You can barter. Say the client says: “But I don’t want to pay this much a month,” you can say, “Well, I’m not allowed to cut down that price, but let me talk to my onboarding division; maybe we can cut your setup fee.” After the fee is cut, you can return to the client and divide the savings up over several months. Likely, you’ll have about equaled their request, depending on how large your setup fee really is.
You have to be strategic in business, especially today. Regulations are expansive, technology is changing, cybercrime threats are through the roof, and customers need the services you provide; but they’re more frightened than ever. Plus, the cost of services is in flux. Localized data centers are getting phased out in lieu of the cloud, which saves; but MSPs are forced to get clients into additional service categories to surrogate the equipment sales lost. IT marketing must have all the sales tools available to do this successfully.
David Walter is the Marketing Director at MSP SEO Factory, a company providing IT marketing to businesses in the United States. Their expertise is creating managed services marketing ideas and turning them into original, optimized blog posts. Their process involves in-depth brainstorming, thorough editing, and effective promotion of fresh and unique articles for their MSP Business clients. He has 16 years experience in marketing for the IT industry, as well as experience in direct MSP marketing, internet marketing, article writing. David speaks at trade shows, webinars and is a sales trainer for major IT companies. He is also a published author; his latest book is ‘Stratospheric Marketing Secrets’.