Revity Consulting





Want to Grow Your MSP? Get the Contract



cold calling

May 20, 2024 | Written by Tom Callinan

It’s hard to convince somebody to buy something that they don’t want. Revity works with dozens of MSPs across North America and our sales team, unfortunately, sees many MSPs trying to sell what the prospect doesn’t want to buy. Usually, it’s an overenthusiastic focus on security as the emphasized differentiating characteristic of the MSP. Combine this with the second issue we see too often, short contracts.


Companies are accustomed to signing agreements with terms of 3+ years.  Their building lease is probably five; their car leases are probably three; even their copier is on a five-year agreement. Why would you offer a managed IT agreement that has a term shorter than three years? You more than likely have a cancellation for performance clause in your agreement that provides comfort to the client that if you fail to perform, they can cancel the agreement so that eliminates the largest concern. Adding seats is certainly not an issue and should the objection of downsizing arise—it rarely does in the SMB space—you can always add language that provides for limited downsizing. Three years should be the minimum term on any contract you offer a client, working toward five years.


Once you have that multi-year agreement in place you have a lot of time to engage your client in the tech stack they truly need, even if they weren’t open to it at the beginning of the relationship.  Nobody else can sell to them because you have their entire IT infrastructure under agreement.  Therefore, what is included in the initial agreement should not prevent you from getting one in place.  That’s certainly not suggesting that you take any client at any price as that is a recipe for failure. What it suggests is that it will work out just fine if you start the relationship with your basic tech stack at a solid margin.


In addition to requiring three-to-five-year agreements, make certain your pricing model provides a strong margin for your company. Margin provides you the money you need to invest in great service for your clients as well as resources to grow the business. If you feel like you need to win on price, you’re probably not doing a great job on the discovery call. The discovery call is where you find pain with the prospect’s current approach with IT support as well as the time to demonstrate you are a highly competent provider that can address and remediate those pain points. There is no good outcome to selling as the low-priced option.


Once you get that multi-year solid margin agreement in place use quarterly technology reviews to develop a technology roadmap with your client. This is the time to educate your client on why a more robust security option is important to their business. The client decided to engage you as their IT support provider, so they trust you and the best/easiest prospect is one that is already doing business with you and that believes you are highly competent.  Now’s the time to continue to earn that trust by upgrading them to the security stack they need to fully protect the company. It’s also the opportunity to introduce a logical timeline for necessary project work.


Get the contract: Then, keep selling.