As you may guess from the name, CharTec Academy isn't exactly your traditional partner summit. Rather than share key milestones and promote their HaaS and BDR solutions directly to partners, CharTec CEO Alex Rogers -- along with a healthy number of event sponsors and guest speakers -- are aiming to promote better business practices for MSPs. And the top tip Rogers had for MSPs in his introductory presentation: Refine your offering and be exactly what your customer needs.

To hear Rogers tell it, every top MSP in every part of the world thinks they have the best marketing, the best staff, the best technology, and the best ability to cut out the technical speak and cut to the chase when it comes time to make the sales pitch. But there's a big gap between thinking you're the best and actually standing out from the crowd.

There are a few simple steps that Rogers suggested the MSPs in attendance follow to develop their business along those lines, but it really boils down to two concepts: Institute flat-rate pricing, and always be on the lookout for a customer need to fill.

Flat-rate pricing is absolutely key for an MSP, Rogers says, because tiered levels of service inevitably lead to customer confusion and frustration as they wonder what is and isn't included in their package. For the MSP, that can translate to headaches as customers dispute their bills month after month, pusihing the provider into giving services away for free.

Rogers' solution: simply include everything. From VoIP to BDR to break-fix repairs to Apple iPhone support to 24 by 7 help desk services to on-site calls to CharTec HaaS, send them one monthly bill for one monthly price. If it's something you do well.

If you can tell from your initial consultations that they're going to have some special cases -- like Apple machines that need expensive replacement parts -- simply tack an extra hundred or three onto their fee. And if you end up costing more on paper than some of the competition, well, as Rogers puts it, a Mercedes costs extra, too.

And then there's taking the "trusted advisor" relationship a step further. Rogers says that the best way for an MSP to grow their business is to simply be there with a solution for any problem the customer might have, even if they don't know they have it. That can range from domain registration to website design to project management to equipment rental, and beyond.

This is an especially handy approach when it comes to competing with cloud solutions like Google Apps that can potentially cut out the reseller: Google won't lend you a spare laptop while theirs is in the shop, after all.

Rogers says that by combining a comprehensive solution with an understandable, one-size-fits-all pricing scheme, he's built his own ARRC Technology managed services business to the size it is today. And he made no bones about the fact that he's more than willing to pursue any lead that the MSPs in attendance let slip through the cracks.

The other part of Rogers' keynote today today was on the importance of marketing and sales staff, and he briefly introduced a pair of new CharTec programs to help partners succeed along those lines. He didn't go into depth, but I'm hunting for details, so keep watching MSPmentor for updates.

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