Wednesday, October 03, 2007

68 point checklist

About once every seven seconds I get asked about my company's monthly maintenance checklist.

Or the 68-point network audit.

Which we don't call "audit" any more because it makes people think of the tax man.

Bascially, here's the deal:

A couple of years ago I set up an autoresponder. This is when I first started pushing the documentation thing.

To download the latest version (68-Point Checklist version 2.0 - Updated in 2012), just go to the White Papers page at SMB Books. No credit card required. Instant download in PDF format.

Here's what you do:

- Market your free 68-point network health checkup
- Get people to sign up
- perform this spectacular FREE checkup
- Write a summary report based on the checklist (free disk space is . . . patch status is . . .)

Then STOP. Do not under any circumstances deliver this report to the prospect except in person. Period. Exclamation. I mean it.

This report will take you an hour to perform. Prepping the report will take you another hour. If you charge less than $120/hour you need to raise your rates.

So this report is worth at least $250 !!! Really. Your time is valuable.

Do not email this report.

Do not fedex this report.

Do not leave it at the front desk.

Do not do anything except meet with the prospect and go through the report. Plan an hour for this. Now it's a $360 report.

Probability of a sale when you follow this simple advice: 95%.

Probability of a sale when you email the report: 5%.

Probability of a sale when you fedex the report: 6%.

Probability of a sale when you leave this report at the front desk: 7%.


So this checklist has been the same for more than two years. In the meantime, Microsoft has released a product originally put together by Arlin Sorensen and his crowd called the Business and Technology Assessment toolkit. This is a spectacular way to get really good information on your clients. My favorite example is: "What are your annual sales?" That's not information you normally expect to get. But put it in the middle of a bunch of other questions and they just fill in the blank.

[ Sidebar: You're Drinking From a Firehose

If you're a registered or certified partner, Microsoft has sent you 9,478 copies of the Business and Technology Assessment toolkit. You didn't know this because you receive hundreds of CDs per month.

And while the toolkit kicks booty, Microsoft has made it difficult to download, install, use, and profit from.

- Thing One: You have to have InfoPath2007 installed before you can install the latest version of the Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit. InfoPath is a swell little program that has caught on like a McIntosh. Four per cent of you have it installed. No one not currently employed by Microsoft is using it.

- Thing Two: If you actually install and use the Toolkit, you can win great fun prizes! With two complete assessments, reported to Microsoft, you get a free Technet Subsciption. I recommend this for everyone on earth.

- Thing Three: with even more assessments you get a free SBS 2003 R2. For whatever reason, these are always box products. All you can do with it is to sell it on ebay. You didn't read that here.

- Thing Four: Beginning October 1st -- ooooooooooooooooooops -- You can't download the version that just works. You have to have internet connectivity and infopath. See thing one.

/sidebar ]

Anyway, so my little checklist might suck, but all you need is a really old version of Acrobat Reader.

Look it over. Don't give me any feedback. This is a "take it or leave it" product.

Free, of course.

[NOTE: This blog post revised October 2012 to reflect new location of the 68-Point Checklist.]


Still the best Quick-Start Guide to Managed Services: 

by Karl W. Palachuk 

Now only $39.95 at SMB Books!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Karl,

    I've been reading your Blog for a while now, great stuff!

    I tried sending an e-mail as you noted to the address you noted for the 68 point checklist I but haven't yet recieved an auto response in the past 24 hours.

    Just wanted to let you know


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