MSP Sales Interview with Pantheon Computers

Be Different. Deliver Excellence.

Jun 30, 2020

Video Above: Zach Wilcox from Collabrance, interviews Sean Dahlman from Pantheon Computers for his insights on sales best practices for MSPs.

How Sean Dahlman Achieved His Sales Goal Over 6 Months Early & In a Pandemic

What were the keys to hitting your MSP sales number halfway through the year? What was the secret sauce?

I adapted and changed, but my secret sauce is what I changed. See, the change isn't HOW I’m reaching my audience, but instead the change is WHAT type of message I’m delivering to my audience.

Your message must feel meaningful and sincere and not another sales call. Customers must feel like you're invested in their business, into their staff, and into their family.

Once prospects feel like you're reaching out to help, then they let their guard down and open you into their “new normal” and all the challenges they face in this transitional period of their business. Adjusting your message stops the “why are you calling me and trying to sell me something right now,” or the traditional hang-ups. A lot of tactics are still the same, but personalizing the message to what customers need now is imperative.

If sales reps watching this were to take one thing and implement it into their sales process tomorrow, what would you recommend they start with?

First, use this time to clean lists. You are as strong as your lists. Second, I see my peers trying to reinvent the wheel during this pandemic because the sales aren’t happening. Stop and change your message. Don’t change or waste time re-creating your processes! It’s not the process or your marketing strategy that needs to change. It’s your message!

How are you able to create a sense of urgency (especially during a time of uncertainty)?

My success comes from staying top of mind. With our prospect’s world changing by the minute, it’s now more important than ever to stay top of mind. Think about it, they’ve now had time to witness the vulnerabilities and daily challenges with working remotely, the response times, and the security of their data with their current support whether that’s internal or outsourced.

What are your competitors doing or not doing at this time? How do you stand out?

I think more than anything, today our prospects need to know we are here for them. The reality is we’re in the business of helping people. To one person that might be making sure they are setup to work from home efficiently. To someone else it may be just listening to how difficult working from home may be and sharing tips and tricks. To many of our business owners and operators, it often looks like sharing knowledge about what to do in the “new normal” of their business both operationally and financially. Ultimately our clients need to know that we are here for them.

Do you have any stories about a favorite deal?

Coming from AT&T prior to Pantheon I had to change my mindset. AT&T was an instant gratification type sale. They came into your doors and they walked out with a new device. What I was selling was tangible, they could hold it, see it, pick out the color, and pick out the case. Getting people to throw $1,000 towards a new phone was easy, and the sales process was done in the same day. Moving into a managed services sales process that takes months and sometimes even years was an adjustment. Not having the shiny object in their hands, and selling air or an insurance policy isn’t easy. Selling a service which most don’t upfront understand and is constantly changing is a challenge, but I think it’s why I love this so much. The challenge to connect all the dots to prospects, and the competition that’s out there trying to do the same thing drives me! So my favorite deals are the ones who say “no” at first and come back once they saw the cheap alternative didn’t work, or the customer who took over a year to say “yes” – these are my favorite deals because I didn’t give up, and knew we were the right partner for their business.

Any trophy fish on the wall at home?

I have a trophy WHALE on my wall, it’s called my 2020 sales quota hit before June during a pandemic!

Is there any specific sales methodology that you’re following?

I’ve went through Sales Training with CharTec and still lean on what I learned for discoveries and presentations. Ultimately, people need to know that we are here for them, and we’re willing to do whatever it takes to help them get through the pandemic.

Our entire team is looking for any way we can help our clients, whether that be a technological solution or a virtual shoulder to cry on (because we are practicing good social distancing!).

Simply put, we’re showing up every day with an open mind and an open heart, looking for any little way we can help people. We’re not thinking about what we do as technology solutions, instead we’re spending the time connecting with our clients. An invested partner to their business is the real methodology that works for me.

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About Sean Dahlman from Pantheon Computers

Most people don’t know I started my career as a bartender. Sales and Marketing came into my life later, after I realized my success wasn’t from making a stiff drink, but from building relationships and growing the brand from behind the bar. From then on, I was fascinated with building relationships from the ground up, finding ways to better their lives, and the positive change it brings out for people/organizations. I’m so lucky that I’ve been in Sales/Marketing and now business development for the past 20+ years, including Pantheon Computers over the last 2 years. When I work with small businesses, they tell me how appreciative and trustworthy I am and the peace of mind Pantheon Computers brings to their business. That’s my favorite part of what I do!

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About The Author

Zach Wilcox

Zach Wilcox, Strategic Business Advisor for Collabrance, is responsible for helping Managed Services Providers grow their business through customized coaching, training, and planning sessions. Zach graduated from Cornell College with a B.A. in Economics and Business.