Fire your clients.
That’s abrupt, isn’t it? But it absolutely needs to be said. You can’t just be constantly barreling forward taking on whatever business comes your way. Why? Because you are worth more than that.
Sure, that sounds like a pep talk from a high school guidance counsellor. But if you aren’t worth more than that, then what are you doing in this industry?
My good friend, Stuart Selbst, who’s been working in the industry for only God knows how long, and is now the COO of Vorex, could not agree more.
“Everybody wants a deal of some type, and that’s all fine and dandy,” he says. “But you have an expertise. Whether you’re a marketing expert or an MSP or whatever – you have an expertise and you should charge for that.”
And those clients who don’t want to pay what you’re asking?
“The tools you provide and the support you provide help them do their job better and be more productive. If they can’t see that, get rid of them!”
Stuart has taken this policy as his mantra and followed to it to success in his past endeavors, and is now applying it at Vorex. They provide a professional services automation tool that’s perfect for MSPs, and he knows it. It’s about integrating everything you need to track your business and project long-term growth, including time tracking, sales tracking, HR management, and a finance module. It is all about pushing the message that you need to be running a more productive company and really track and grow your business.
“We’re having an intro debate about being a low-price leader or charging more to get the right types of clients. I’m all about that because of what we do and how it enhances someone’s business. [We] go a little higher because we have more benefits than our competitors. If you’re not willing to pay our price, thanks, have a nice day, you can go to our competitor.”
It takes confidence in your own expertise and brand to be able to do that, And you’ve got to understand the message that you’re selling, not just the technology, but it’s an absolute must if you’re going to move beyond always trying to make ends meet. because times are changing.
“Everyone knows how to do the technical work, and they know the reason why another company needs to have the technical work done,” says Stuart. “But their messaging, marketing, the way they speak to a potential customer – they’re not able to get their point across.”
And what is the point you should be trying to get across?
“It’s a business advisor role,” says Stuart. “It’s always been a business advisor role and it’s always going to be a business advisor role from now until the end of time. It has nothing to do with technology or computers or servers or cloud.”
You’ve got to embrace your expertise in knowing what companies needs out of technology and be confident in selling that knowledge. Know that your expertise makes it worthwhile to hire you! And that means only accepting business from those who understand that’s what you’re offering.
- Fire the clients that aren’t profitable
- Fire the clients that take up too much of your time
- Fire the clients that aren’t willing to pay your price
“You’ve got to be able to walk away from business,” says Stuart. “If it’s not right today, it’s not going to be right six months from now, and you guys are going to be pissed at each other stuck in a contract. And who loses? The customer’s staff. That’s because they’re not going to get the right support. So be prepared to fire the wrong clients.”