When your clients want to talk price, and you want to keep the conversation focused on value, one of the best ways to do that is by talking about the key metrics that your clients care about, and where you just happen to excel. So what are those metrics, and how are they measured?
What should you be measuring?
The base assumption here is that your value to your clients is rooted in your ability to either help them earn more revenue, to help them reduce their expenses, or to help them lower their risk. Starting with that allows you to identify some of the metrics that relate to each of these things, by identifying how you are contributing to your client.
For example, one of the biggest contributions you make to your clients’ revenue is by freeing their time to focus on what they do best. They know their business, and they’ve hired an MSP to think about their IT so that they don’t have to. Uptime is a key metric related to revenue, because your clients are able to work when they want to. If you are eliminating downtime, they have more time to pursue revenue-generating activities. Generating leads, for example, can be a grind and if you take your client from a position where they only put an hour a week into lead gen, and now they’ve got five hours, that’s a significant contribution you’ve made to helping them grow. If you ask your clients how much time they have for growth activities now compared with before you came on board, that frames the conversation back to value.
If you are saving them time by ensuring that their tech stack is always modern and always working, that time might have value that can be framed in terms of labor. Measures like labor hours, FTEs or total labor cost can all be used to measure your ability to help improve client efficiency. Yes, these are also time measures, but with the added bonus of building in labor costs, which of course are different depending on who is doing the work. Saving ten hours of your janitor’s time is quite a bit different than saving ten hours of your time.
Risk is another category that should be measured. Most small businesses struggle with volatile results – too much fluctuation in revenue or costs can make it difficult to manage cash flow, causing no end of headaches. Uptime, number of cybersecurity incidents, or the amount paid for ransomware (!) all can relate to what you’ve done for your clients. If you update their hardware and their performance lag is reduced, that’s further smoothing of their revenues. So yes, if your clients are in a perpetual cash flow battle and the things you do make it easier for them to make payroll and keep the lights on, that’s value.
We often don’t quantify the impact that stress has on us. In fact, small business owners probably assume that stress just comes with the territory. OK, it probably does, but if you are reducing their stress in some way, then you are providing value. Even if you can’t put a number to it, have the conversation, just to remind them that you’re helping make their life easier. Because, yeah, if you are helping them smooth out cash flows, have 100% uptime, and grow despite not finding any qualified applicants in months, you are definitely adding value.
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