Many times I’ve heard managed service providers claim to be the trusted advisor to their customers. This has been said so often that I wonder if we’ve lost sight of what the phrase really means. Have we diluted its true meaning?
In the context of existing customers, trusted advisor may or may not be reality. This means, existing managed services customers fall into two categories: those who view the MSP as a trusted advisor and those who do not. Why would an existing client not view the MSP as a trusted advisor? A) The client once did hold the MSP in this regard but no longer does, or B), the client never trusted the MSP but went ahead with the relationship anyway.
If You Are Trusted, You Don’t Need To Say It!
The trusted advisor is a status between the MSP and the customer. It is a relationship which hopefully is cultivated and earned on an ongoing basis. Constantly being grown.
It is also a status which does not need to be proclaimed. If someone trusts you, you shouldn’t need to keep repeating it. The trust is born out in the actions and behavior of the parties.
The problem with the trusted advisor status is that it is difficult to transfer to a new prospect. Yes, it is possible for an existing customer to impart some of the trust they have with their MSP to someone who isn’t a client, but this is not always easy. The prospect utilmately has to arrive at their own level of trust by their own path.
This is why I think MSPs should strive to become the trustworthy advisor. The trustworthy advisor is trusted by both the existing client and the prospect. The trustworthy MSP’s reputation is known by the actions of the client. When the client places management and control of data and sensitive infrastructure in the hands of the MSP, that is an act of trust.
Trustworthiness, while it cannot be transferred, it can be demonstrated to others. If you witness someone trusting another person, you may be more inclined to trust in that person. MSPs need to develop transparent practices which show the trust their customers place in them, primarily for the benefit of prospects. This is how new clients quickly develop trust for the MSP.
Trust Doesn’t Come Quickly
Trust is also something which will not come immediately. Trust is developed and demands time for it to grown. It is for this simple reason that MSPs need to learn how to create realistic sales pipelines. An MSP pipeline is very different from that of a VAR, where trust is not required in order to transact business.
MSPs need to be patient and budget their resources carefully, taking in consideration the time required to develop trust with the customer. This trust will come, but it won’t be rushed, and cannot be tricked.
In the end, the more clients trust an MSP the more that trustworthiness will become self evident to everyone paying attention. This should be the ultimate goal of MSP.
Content provided by: MSPAlliance