How Technical is too Technical in your MSP Conversations?

Be Different. Deliver Excellence.

Jul 09, 2019

Image Above: Drew explains newly improved ticketing process to other techs.

Do your customers and prospects use terms like “Managed Services Provider (MSP),” or do they use other language like “IT Help Desk?”

While referring to the same thing, many times the IT language we use as an MSP, don’t always match what our audiences’ use or understand.

So how do we know what IT terminology to use to engage in a conversation with a customer or prospect? After getting time with a qualified prospect, the next challenge is to retain them in meaningful conversations that help them understand why they need you as their outsourced technical team. For some MSPs, it’s easy to get consumed in the IT jargon you’re so passionate about providing! Whether presenting a quarterly business review to a current customer, or proposing your IT solution to a new MSP prospect, it’s important to speak to your audience in ways they can relate and understand.

Why is IT terminology important in our communications?

Getting into the weeds with IT terminology and acronyms with the wrong audience can confuse them, and you risk the chance they might miss the bigger picture, and you miss the sale.

Somehow, we have to find a balance of how we position ourselves as technology providers but speak in ways that are relatable to our audience. You still want to sound technically savvy to position yourself as an IT expert, but also don’t want to speak over any prospect or customer who might not follow.

How do you learn the IT terminology your audience is using?

Ask Questions to Let Your Audience Use Terms They Know

Let your customer or prospect lead the conversation and use terminology they are familiar with when it comes to IT. Instead of telling your audience your message (that they might fail to interpret), ask them questions to find ways to have them do the talking, and ultimately makes outsourcing IT their own idea.

Listen to Your Audiences’ Answers and Language

Instead of trying to get your audience to understand your own technical terminology, put yourself in their perspective. Listen to how your customers and prospects talk about IT, and what’s important to them. Take note of how they refer to IT so you can stay on the same page.

Reply with Your Audiences’ Terminology

When responding to your audience, use the same “technical / non-technical” terminology they use. Show them you are an active listener and validate their statements by using their same terminology. Most likely, the way they refer to an IT term, so might others.

Who are you talking with about managed services?

The questions and conversations you have with a CEO should be different than those you have with a Sales Manager, or Technical Director. Depending on who you are talking with, three audiences we have segmented to customize our message include: Executive, Sales and Technical personas.

Based on who you are talking to, a good way to lead your managed services conversations is to ask business implication questions. Depending on their role, you can both identify what is most important to them and continue the conversation based on their answers.

Don’t forget about your help desk and subscribers!

Technical conversations also flow into how your help desk interacts with end-user customers. While your sales and marketing teams are careful to use the right language with your prospects and customers, make sure your technicians also follow the same practice. Help your techs find ways to engage in conversations and not talk over the user when they have IT issues so you can ensure you are providing proper resolutions with a great help desk service experience.

Where are you sharing your managed services message(s)?

Your MSP message delivery, proposition and language is important to consider whether speaking with others, posting online via your website or social media, presenting or interviewing, or the many other interactions you’ll engage in with customers and prospects.

Speak IT with Your Audience and Not Over Them

At Collabrance, we love to talk nerdy and geek out on tech terminology! However, we understand “NOC NOC jokes,” don’t resonate with everyone. Be sure to think about who audience, and the best way to engage with them using terms you both understand. Adopting the terminology your audience is using will build for better conversations and more sales.

Register for our next Sales Simplicity Seminar to learn how to have more business conversations, and less technical ones, to grow your managed services business.

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Category: Business Practices

About The Author

Brittney Stepanek

Brittney Stepanek, Strategic Marketing Director for Collabrance, is responsible for helping build relationships and brand awareness through strategic marketing initiatives. Before working at Collabrance, Brittney joined GreatAmerica in 2012 doing marketing for the Office Equipment Group. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Iowa.