January 22, 2016

The “Disclaimer” Backup Sell

By Chris Brunau

We all know the frustration. You’ve made it more than clear to a customer how important it is to put the right business continuity solution in place. You’ve priced the solution you’re offering reasonably. You’ve shown that the monthly cost of the solution is minuscule in comparison to the business risk the customer faces by either remaining unprotected or keeping their current inadequate backup in place.

Heck, you may even be so fearful for your customer that you lower your price more than you thought you would—just so that there’s no earthly reason for them to still refuse. But they still refuse. So there you are, missing out on an opportunity for long-term revenue, and your customer is going to be in big trouble if a pipe breaks or a storm hits causing costly downtime.

Saving the Sale with a Disclaimer

One technique you may want to consider at this point is the “disclaimer”. The disclaimer is a form you can pull out when it seems that your customer has made a “final” choice not to invest in an appropriate deployment. Basically, the “disclaimer” asks the customer to verify that you have presented information—and that they are making an informed decision not to buy it.

You’ve probably signed off on disclaimers like this yourself when you’ve declined collision insurance on a rental car or travel insurance on a plane ticket. This situation here is very analogous, because you are offering your customer a form of “insurance”—and they are declining it.

Asking a customer to sign a “disclaimer” accomplishes several things:

  • It emphasizes the importance of having the right backup. Nobody asks customers to sign a disclaimer for not buying a new printer or adopting Office 365. The fact that you ask for a disclaimer underscores just how seriously you take the issue of business protection.
  • It turns “no” into an actual decision. Research shows that most sales are lost to a customer’s hesitancy to make a “yes” decision, rather than to an actual explicit “no” decision. Framing “no” as a decision helps neutralize the comfort factor of simply not say “yes.”
  • It elevates your professional authority. A disclaimer lets a customer know you are concerned about your own exposure to something akin to malpractice liability. That frames your status as a technology advisor as being more akin to that of a doctor or a lawyer than a computer or car salesperson.
  • It creates one more opportunity to change the customer’s mind. Successful salespeople overcome objections. The disclaimer moment creates one more opportunity to do exactly that—without bullying or belittling the customer’s own thought-process in any way.

Using a disclaimer, in other words, makes it just a little harder for the customer to say “no”—and a lot easier to say “yes.”

Datto Partners! Grab the complimentary “disclaimer” on the Partner Portal under the Interactive Tools section. and have it at the ready the next time you’re discussing business continuity and disaster recovery with your client.

This article is part of a series in which Datto aims to promote the success of MSPs by encouraging MSPs to share successful sales techniques and best practices. This article is not and shall not be construed as legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. While some of Datto’s MSP Partners have used disclaimers, such as the one described above, Datto does not endorse or promote this technique.

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