How you can really tell potential suppliers apart

With the staffing and recruiting continuing to grow as we emerge from the pandemic, life is exceptionally busy for MSPs and their teams. Subsequently, we know that your phone is constantly ringing and your email and LinkedIn inboxes are filled with outreach from potential suppliers. 

Of course you want to provide your clients with the best talent, quickly and efficiently. And of course you only want to work with the best suppliers. But when your calendar is full and the phone is ringing, it’s hard to even remember which potential suppliers are calling, let alone who really stands out. Most potential suppliers struggle with differentiation and are unable to tell you how they’re really different.

Plus, if you’re not even able to consider new suppliers right now, it becomes doubly stressful. Everyone says the same things and it’s hard to differentiate between prospective suppliers.

What’s the difference between MSP suppliers?  

So, what can you do? We talk to MSPs every day and in our conversations, we truly listen to what our clients want, are looking for, and appreciate (as well as what they don’t!) so that we can deliver above and beyond those expectations.  

Here are three important considerations to think about when trying to differentiate between (and prioritize) potential MSP suppliers:

1. Their Responsiveness

This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s incredibly important. A potential supplier’s responsiveness when they’re trying to earn your business had better be exceptional.

If you find it’s taking too long to hear back when you ask a question or ask for information while a prospective supplier should be putting on their A game to earn your business, how will they respond once they feel like they’re past the “hard part” and already have it? 

We get it. Vetting potential new suppliers can be a lot of work. And changing suppliers can be a bit of work too. But, underperforming or lackluster suppliers know this too — and they take advantage of it to sloppily earn and handle your business. 

What does this mean for your MSP? Frustrating supplier relationships and lackluster results. And so much of it can be tied back to the “small things” – like responsiveness — during your vetting process. 

2. Follow up

When potential suppliers are following up with you, are they providing what you want or answering your specific questions? Even better, are they providing you with what you need to make the right decision, even if you didn’t ask for it? 

Sign them up, quickly. They can be a game changer!

In our conversations with some of the largest and most-successful MSPs in America, we frequently hear about frustrations with their follow up from other potential suppliers. We hear a lot of, “Wow, I didn’t expect that” with a smile and genuine gratitude in the voices of our soon-to-be-new-clients. 

Rather than a mutual vetting process (after all, suppliers want to be sure they have a correct fit so everyone is successful), many prospective suppliers unfortunately move into their “pitch” rather than genuinely seeking information about your MSP and its needs. And rather than providing you with the information you need, they take your questions as another opportunity to hit their sales script and pummel you with marketing speak instead of useful information. 

These red flags are a major sign that can help you sort potential suppliers into the “100%, absolutely” pile and the “don’t call me again” pile. 

3. Honesty/Candor

Many MSPs thank us (repeatedly, in fact) for being honest, direct, and candid — both during the vetting process and once we’ve partnered and are providing them with talent. 

Unfortunately, many suppliers frequently overpromise and underdeliver. They overstate their capabilities and end up falling short — which leaves you facing your clients with egg on your face. 

Here at SSi People if we’re a fit for what you and your clients need, we’ll gladly share that fact with you. But if we’re not a fit, we will let you know that, too. We can often even refer you to someone who is a better fit! 

We’ll always give it to you straight, because whether we get to work together in the long-term or not, our job is to help and serve you. That means from the first time we connect through a call, email, or LinkedIn message, we’ve got your back. Any prospective supplier who doesn’t isn’t likely to be a successful one for your MSP.

Looking for a supplier who stands out from the pack? 

Here at SSi People, we prioritize people above all else. That means from our internal team to our consultants and especially our clients, we design processes, communicate, and deliver with your needs in mind. It’s a difference maker for sure, and one that we’re proud of because it means we’re delivering results for our clients. 

Contact us to learn how we can be a difference-maker for your MSP. 

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