Guest Column | July 2, 2020

Surviving The Bumpy Road Of The MSP New Normal: Part 2

By Dede Haas, CA-AM, Channel Sales Strategist, DLH Services, LLC

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Though it has been four months since the pandemic caused stay at home orders and lockdowns, many managed service providers are still grappling with how to overcome these hurdles to take care of their clients and themselves.

I sat down with Victor Cora Nazario, COO of SOAR Community Network, to discuss what MSPs should consider as they make their way down the bumpy road of the ‘new normal’ of customer care and business survival.

This is part two of our conversation. Click here for part one.

DEDE HAAS: Okay, how do you Mr. MSP, keep your technicians engaged?

VICTOR CORA NAZARIO: That’s a good one. That also doesn’t have to do necessarily with just technology, although it’s part of it. Technicians love technology, and they love their new gadgets, and they love to be trained in these things because they like to fix problems. You also need to think about developing them as leaders and understanding what their natural gifts and behaviors are because you’ll be amazed at the number of technicians that I know of that love marketing stuff, that are musicians because, as you know, being a musician involves logic too.

VICTOR CORA NAZARIO: Imagine you know all their gifts and all their talents and being able to engage them from that side, from their human side instead of just their technology brain side. You’ll create a more engaged workforce in the technicians because, you know, there are technicians that don’t want to supervise anybody and what happens a lot of times is that because you have a great technician, you make them a senior. And now that senior needs to supervise other people’s work, and they don’t like it. So, you need to understand these things.

DEDE HAAS: How do you make sure your clients don’t poach your technicians?

VICTOR CORA NAZARIO: I love this question because I have seen many MSP contracts as a virtual CIO for my clients where they say, “You know what, I don’t like this MSP, but I like Bob the technician that comes in every week. I want to hire Bob.” And I usually tell my clients, “You know, I think that’s going to break your relationship with the MSP if you try to hire Bob and then he doesn’t accept the position.” But they feel free to do that because in the contracts I have seen, MSPs don’t put a clause saying that if you try to hire one of my technicians and you hire them, you need to pay me this much, whatever that amount is. I’ve seen that missing a lot, and I think it is fair for MSPs to put that clause in their contract because they spent a lot of time recruiting these folks – and then you’re going to have a client like your technician - of course, they like your technician. You’re great at hiring people. You should get paid for that kind of work like a finder’s fee or something. So, I would suggest talking to your lawyers and figuring out how to put that clause in the MSP’s engagement with your client.

DEDE HAAS: Well, it’s also that you have spent time and money training your technicians.

VICTOR CORA NAZARIO: Yes, that is correct. When you think about it, if okay, you Dede, hire me, Victor, my company has 50 technicians. Do you know how much time it takes to get great technicians that are also good at customer service? And like you said, Dede, I must keep them up to date in terms of their certifications. Those classes at minimum, $5,000 a pop, giving them equipment. We spend a lot of time on them. If I say, “You know if you hire my technician you owe me a year of their salary.” I’m not trying to make money on that. I’m trying to prevent you from hiring my technician.

VICTOR CORA NAZARIO: We think that’s fair, and we think you should be upfront in the contract in explaining it to the client as well, so they understand. Any businessperson would understand that.

DEDE HAAS: Thank you, Victor.


About Dede Haas

Dede Haas, the founder of DLH Services, is a channel sales strategist and coach helping technology vendors create innovative and successful channel sales solutions and programs. More channel sales tips and informative stories can be found in her Channel Knowledge Nuggets newsletter.