MSP QBR Guide: Think Like A Wealth Manager, Not A Day Trader
The best-performing MSPs typically perform quarterly business review (QBR) meetings with their customers. But what exactly should you cover during such a meeting?
To build and maintain your own MSP QBR guide, the best first step is to ignore the MSP market. Instead, focus on the financial services market — and the way financial advisors manage quarterly meetings with their high net worth clientele.
Think of it this way… During a QBR, do you want your financial advisor to act like:
- A day trader?
- A true wealth manager?
MSP QBR Guide: Beware The Day Trader Approach
Low-Value Day Traders: When a Day Trader meets with a customer in the financial services market, he might emphasize things like…
- “Our team managed a massive X number of stock trades for you this past quarter.”
- “Our team has the best set of tools available to monitor your investment balances in real-time.”
- “We continue to proactively rebalance your investments based on our real-time monitoring of the market.”
- “Here’s a PDF of your portfolio’s performance over the past quarter.”
Low-Value MSPs: The example statements above, of course, parallel many of the low-value discussions that some MSPs have during their QBR meetings with customers:
- “Our team managed and resolved X number of alerts and help desk tickets for you this quarter.”
- “Our team has the best set of IT tools available to monitor your network and devices in real-time.”
- “We continue to proactively troubleshoot and protect your infrastructure based on our real-time monitoring of your systems.”
- “Here’s a PDF of all the alerts, trouble tickets and issues we managed for you this past quarter.”
MSP QBR Guide: Embrace the Wealth Manager Approach
High Value Wealth Managers: In stark contrast, here’s how a Wealth Manager might frame quarterly meetings with her high net worth clientele:
- “Before we review your financial portfolio’s performance over the past quarter, let’s take a step back.”
- “First, has anything changed in terms of your overall long-term financial goals?”
- “Second, has anything changed in terms of your near-term financial goals?”
- “Are you planning or saving for any major purchases?”
- “Are there any major upcoming financial events I should know about — perhaps your daughter heading off to college, or a wedding or a big trip?”
- “Without prying too much, are there any health issues I should be aware of that may affect your finances?”
- “Has your overall net worth goal — and the year you plan to retire — remained the same or changed?”
High Value MSPs: The example questions above, of course, parallel many of the high-value discussions that MSPs have during their QBR meetings with customers.
Some example statements and questions to keep in mind:
- “Before we dive into a technology discussion, let’s take a step back.”
- “First, has anything changed in terms of your overall long-term business goals?”
- “Second, has anything changed in terms of your near-term business goals?”
- “Are you planning to take the business in any new directions?”
- “Are there any major upcoming business milestones I should be aware of — perhaps a new product launch, a new set of target customers, an office build out or another type of strategic business move?”
- “Without prying too much, are there any business challenges you’re facing as you manage day-to-day operations while also planning for those next moves?”
- “Have your overall business priorities for this year remained the same or changed?”
What You’re Discovering: Whether you’re a high value wealth manager or a high value MSP, the questions above allow you to develop a clearer picture of:
- Your customer’s near-term and long-term financial or business goals.
- Potential obstacles to those goals.
- The services you can potentially offer that (A) align with the customer’s goals, (B) help the customer to achieve those goals, and (C) minimize the customer’s risk on the journey to those goals.
Great MSPs and Wealth Managers Are Risk Management Experts
Take an even closer look at great MSPs and wealth managers, and you’ll discover that both groups are risk management experts. Some customers want more risk. Other customers want less risk. They all express varying degrees of acceptable risk.
It’s your job to determine each customer’s true tolerance for risk, and then deliver services that appropriately mitigate that risk.
Again, some sample QBR questions…
High Value Wealth Managers: They might ask customers…
- “What’s your tolerance for financial risk?”
- “How much money are you willing to risk — and potentially lose forever — in the stock market?”
- “What percentage of your financial portfolio has to be extremely low risk and protected from major losses?”
- “If you lose your job, how much money do you need to have –readily available — for emergency use?”
High Value MSPs: The examples above, yet again, parallel many of risk-oriented questions high-value MSPs might ask their customers:
- “What’s your tolerance for business, infrastructure, data and cyber risk?”
- “Which applications and data can you potentially lose forever and not really worry about?”
- “Which specific applications, data or pieces of the business have to be extremely well protected, secured and always online?”
- “If your business suffers a catastrophic event — a storm, a cyber attack, the death of a co-owner, etc. — which specific systems and business processes need to remain online and/or be restored first in order to ensure business continuity?”
Ask the Right Questions, Then Listen (And Listen Some More)
By now, you get the picture: Wealth managers and high-value MSPs ask probing questions to better understand their customers’ present financial/business health, overall goals and priorities toward meeting those goals. Those probing questions and resulting answers will reveal gaps, wants and needs that your MSP can fulfill.
Armed with the overview above, build a simple MSP QBR Guide that starts with questions — before rounding back to recap the services and value your MSP delivered the previous quarter.
Next, schedule QBR meetings with one-third of your customers each month — which ensures you have strategic face-time with every customer at least once per quarter. If you have 30 customers, that’s 10 QBR meetings per month or 2.5 per week. Surely, that’s time well spent for wealth advisors and MSPs alike.