While James Bond was willing to go head to head with any villain, he never did so without spying on them first. He would always infiltrate his enemy and discover their secrets before taking any action to use his famous license to kill!
Could MSPs learn an important marketing lesson from Bond’s clandestine approach? If so, then how could an IT provider implement their own espionage campaign? What critical advantage could be gained by spying on competitors?
Why Spying is Needed
If James Bond went up against any of the super villains in his movies without first spying on them and learning their weakness, then he would never have become the famous 007. This is because these henchmen would have easily destroyed the British agent if he tried to fight them without any leverage. The same can be said for the average MSP that starts marketing their business by blindly submitting proposals against their competitors.
If IT companies don’t understand the ins and outs of their competition’s pricing models and value proposition, then they really don’t have a prays chance of ever winning and vanishing the villains. The reason this is so dangerous is that it handicaps the IT company’s ability to sell against the competitor by poking holes in their offer. This means that they must sell strictly off the face value of their proposal versus the bad guys.
Going in blind is extremely risky because often the evil competition will make promises in their sales process they don’t back up in their agreements or their contracts have deceptive language. If you don’t know your nemesis’ modus operandi, then they will be able to deceive your prospects and get away with their nefarious scheme.
How to Effectively Spy
Most MSPs are probably shaking their heads and saying that they need to know their competitors’ pricing and value propositions is a no-brainer, but the million-dollar question is how can you spy on the competition without getting in the trouble?
First, you can have someone call your competitors from another phone number and ask an unsuspecting salesperson to simply divulge all the top-secret information. The best ploy to use is to tell the salesperson that your company is already going to decide and so you need all the information over the phone. This tactic is required because otherwise the salesperson would insist on making an appointment to visit your business and this would unravel the ploy.
If this doesn’t work, then you can get a little more aggressive with your espionage by attempting to poach one of the competitor’s sales people and entice them to bring all your enemies pricing and contract information.
The most elaborate scheme for spying is to contact one of your most loyal customers and let them know that you would like their help to conduct “market research” on the competition. If they agree, then you just need them to call your list of competitors and set appointments to acquire proposals. If you really want to go full out James Bond, then you can set up some video equipment to record your competitor’s sales presentations. Either way, you will still end up with all your competitors marketing materials, proposals and agreements.
You must spy on your competitors if you want to gain the upper hand in head-to-head MSP marketing battles. Remember that there are three primary ways to get top secret pricing and contract information from your IT competitors: by making a fake phone call, poaching their salesmen or enlisting the aid of a trusted client to conduct the espionage on your behalf. If you take the time to reconnoiter the secrets of your competitors, then it becomes a license to kill!