In the early days of my managed services business it was rare for us to walk in to a new customer and sign them to a managed services contract. It was much more common for us to engage them first on a break/fix level. Even on a break/fix engagement though we would do a simple network assessment and install our agent on the client’s network.
By having our agents on the devices we were able to identify problem areas which did several things.
1. Showcased our technical ability
2. Generated additional break/fix revenue
3. Allowed us to demonstrate the level of service provided under a managed services contract
4. Kept initial engagement surprises to a minimum
At the end of the month we generated all the monthly reports they would have received if they were a managed services client and it gave me an opportunity for another sit down with the decision makers within that organization. Even if I didn’t get a managed services contract, 9 times out of 10 I did get some type of monitoring and maintenance contract. Remember, any subscription based service you can sell a break/fix client makes them “sticky” and much less likely to call another provider in the event of a problem.
Your new clients will be impressed and appreciative of this extra attention at the beginning of your relationship, it will help you discover potentially disastrous issues early in the engagement, it will generate additional break/fix revenue as well as some initial recurring revenue and get you one step further in the conversation about a managed services contract.