Go through the content in our Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) Infocenter to learn how to close deals with customers, leverage demos for sales, and sell BDR in an uncertain economy -- all helpful, practical, and useful topics. The next step, however, is to keep customers happy and wanting more. Customers want to see result and a return on their investment, which may be difficult to demonstrate if disaster hasn't reared its ugly head. How should managed services providers (MSPs) keep BDR customers happy, without being technical about it? It's a lot easier than you may think.

I try to live life around a simple principle that I learned a long time ago: keep it simple, stupid (KISS). Making things difficult on yourself isn't going to help you or others around you. For example, park your car a little farther away from your destination to avoid the 5-10 minute hassle of driving around for a "good" spot. In fact, if you take my advice, you'll kill two birds with one stone: parking and exercising.

Apply this concept to your business and see results immediately. Many of your customers have a basic goal in mind: finding IT support. Focus your decision-making process around that core objective. You may not be able to present BDR progress instantly, but you can keep your customers in the loop by informing them of new studies, products, and disaster recovery (DR) methods.

Be a partner with your customer, not just a person they call when things go south. Take a proactive role with your BDR customers, open them up to your knowledge. Explain why you're doing backups of their systems; reveal how often your conducting backups; and most importantly, inform them of the type of data being backed up. You don't want your customers asking: What have you done for me?