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MSP Minute
May 19, 2021

Struggling with Indecisive Clients? Use This Easy Framework to Help Your Clients Make Better IT Decisions

Denes Purnhauser

Whether it’s a QBR gone awry or a proposal that fails to land the deal, communicating with clients can be challenging for a variety of reasons.

Struggling with Indecisive Clients? Use This Easy Framework to Help Your Clients Make Better IT Decisions

Often at the root of these problems is failing to provide clients with proper choices. Today’s MSP Minute will cover the top three choices Managed Service Providers can offer to help guide clients through their technology investment decision-making process with success.

This week we’re going to get into decision-making, and how to help clients make decisions. And it's kind of funny that we have all these good intentions with clients about their technology. We understand what they need, and what they use better than they do.

And for some reason, we still go to these QBRs where they don't want to participate. Or we get to the QBR and they express interest in a modernization project but nothing happens for weeks after you send them a proposal. 

Somehow the decision-making isn’t dialed in as much as it needs to be. Why is this? Well allow me to provide you with an analogy first.

The Power of Choices

I have four kids and we were struggling with one of our children a bit differently than the others. Our one child didn’t like to eat proper food. But after reading all of the parenting books, it was recommended to give kids just three options rather than too many. So often for lunch or dinner, we’ll say, “Do you want broccoli soup, cherry soup or carrot soup? Choose.”

We could’ve asked, “what kind of soup would you like today?” since it would be too hard for the child to decide as the question is open ended. By giving pointed options, it’s easier for our kid to make a decision because they feel like they have a choice.

And this should really be no different when you do a quarterly business review. You want to make sure that there are definitive outcomes to decisions. So what outcomes do you have when you’re striving for a standardized environment?

  1. Replace
    If you think about their devices and you have a discussion around asset renewals, the best thing that you can do with a device is to replace it if the client has the budget for it. However, if the device is needed for high-performance purposes or if it’s a critical piece of equipment, there shouldn’t be any other choice other than to replace that device if it’s not working well.

  2. Renew
    A device can be renewed if it’s still needed but the client doesn’t have the budget to replace it. Whether you expand the lifecycle, install additional memory, install additional RAM or get additional warranty coverage, renewals are a great way to still get a win-win out of this situation.

  3. Retire
    People have a tendency to be apprehensive about getting rid of things and clients can react the same way when you recommend to retire a device. No one likes to see a valuable asset go. However, you still have to make sure that you can retire a troubled device if it’s no longer in working condition because it creates unnecessary work for your team while being costly for your clients.

Despite being given these three options, clients still may try to postpone making a decision simply because they don’t have time for it. However, this typically leads to devices being left out of warranty and having to pick up the pieces as a result. As a result, your clients will end up regretting having not made a decision in the first place.

So what I'm advocating here is to give clients these three options: replace, renew or retire. Nothing else. If you’re strict on that and any type of asset replacement conversation is needed in your next QBR, you can explain to them why these three options result in a win-win decision.