How should I approach web-hosting companies?


0

My business is to do with Live-Chat support for business websites. I now have my website up and got good traffic, and excellent reviews from my closed beta program.

I am now trying to break into web-hosting business segment and offer them re-seller program in-turn for a life-time of my white-label service. I know there is competition (Liveperson, PHP Live, Whos On, Live Help messenger.....) in the market.

I tried contacting them but haven't had any real response so far.

Could somebody please tell me how to go on about approaching web-hosting companies and where to start?

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asked Jul 9 '11 at 18:55
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Julia
178 points
Top agency to build award-winning mobile apps: Utility NYC
  • Web hosting guys never answer phones and even occasionally when they do, they never reply back (personal experience). PS: Voted up by mistake. – Julia 8 years ago

6 Answers


4

You need to get them to understand how what you're offering is better for them than what they're currently doing.

Having a reseller program isn't enough. Are they using a live chat tool already? If so, will yours be easier for customers? More effective during the sales process? More efficient for support?

If they're not using live chat already, what are its main benefits (for the person making the purchase decision)?

Once you develop some answers to these questions, try to explain your answers in a very concise way. Pictures are great; maybe you can automatically mock up how their site would look with your live chat tool.

Also, it's possible your service is not sufficiently distinct from what's already out there. You're also targeting a tough segment, one that is well served with this sort of technology and highly reliability-sensitive because of how important support is to hosting customers. Are there other markets you could target more effectively, by providing a clearer benefit?

P.S. I have a Platform-as-a-Service startup, basically a next-generation hosting company. We're small and bootstrapped but really value our live chat support because our customers love love love it. Still, I'd not see much reason to switch (from SnapEngage), we even got a pretty decent coupon from Olark, but ignored it because what we have now works fine and we have bigger fish to fry.

answered Jul 10 '11 at 09:53
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Shimon Rura
216 points
  • Well., my live chat is integrated with Skype and Gtalk for the first time in industry and as it is based on Google cloud for reliability and Amazon CDN for fastest load times, 99.5% up-time and speed are SLA guaranteed. Plus I have exclusive features and functionality that wouldn't be possible for other providers to integrate. I have an excellent pitch but what I am looking for is to get my foot in the door to even start pitching them. – Julia 8 years ago

2

I've built dozens of web sites using a wide variety of hosting companies and the majority offer little to no customer service. Half the time I picture them sitting in their mom's basement in their underwear working on the next best coding breakthrough. These are generally people that do not play well with others. They want to be like Google and sit in a glass house with no phone number to call but get rich as the public discovers their brilliance.

That said, I've stumbled over several hosting companies that "get it" and strive to provide good customer service. You can usually spot these companies by the structure of their web sites. Instead of hiding their contact information is some dark corner of their site they make it prominent and easy to find. You can also preview their knowledge base and forum if offered. Pay close attention to answers provided and see if they appear on target. Often times the answers are generic or non-existant which is a red flag that they have little real interest in customer service.

Once you have narrowed the field to a list of companies that appear to value their customers then you can begin marketing yourself. Instead of saying, "Hey, this is really cool because we have features the others lack", be sure to present your service as a solution to their problem. A much better approach is, "We can cut your response time by a third and double your customer retention rate". Now you're talking on terms that hit home with them. Time is money.

answered Jul 11 '11 at 17:04
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Hondo69
309 points
  • I got a list of web hosting companies and tried contacting some by e-mail, Skype and phone and most of them has a bad reason " i don't like this kind of approach" and wouldn't explain why. Some of them has live chat solution that isn't really proactive as they say it is...(It just wont pop-up due to which I didn't even realize that these guys has a Live chat tool on their websites) I want to know how to get in touch with these guys without putting them off? – Julia 8 years ago

1

I think you are trying this from opposite end. What I think is if I am selling something good and genuine product, I can sell it to anybody whether he needs the product or if he doesn't needs the product I will create the need.

You are selling a chat application so its just not the Web Hosting companies which needs it more. Live chat application is used or can be used on any kind of website. You have a wide range of market the only thing which will limit you is your own view.

According to me you can make every person a client who owns a E-Commerce website. Web Hosting is one of them. Now I would suggest you to make a list of such types of E-Commerce website, for example:

1) Web hosting
2) Online Shopping Websites
3) Medical, Doctors website who can provide online consultation
4) Laywer firms
5) Gym Products websites

and so on.......... there is no limit till you limit yourself :)

Now that your list is ready don't go for searching websites of these types.

If I want to meet my friends at the week end I don't call them or search each of them I visit the club or pub where all my friends gather :)

So what I am suggesting you is find web forums for each type above. Signup there, become active member of each type forum. Help the members there, make a reputation for yourself there and while providing solutions to them provide the solution from your chat application point of view.

For example say its a forum of some shopping cart application like "Cube Cart ", now on this forum there will be many different type of E-Commerce website owners who will post their problems there (I am not talking about technical problems but each forum has "General Discussion" section where you can post on any topic, always see for these section in any forum) So there you can find someone asking that how can I increase my sale or improve support, there you can reply them with your product information. Here comes the reputation factor of your profile. When they will see your suggestion they will check your profile first and see how many post you have replied or created, then they will check your profile for Aim id or your website name from which they will decide whether to consider your suggestion or not (P.S Dont check my profile, I am new to this website and this is my 2nd post lol )

In this way you have to be member of forums of each type of market your product can gain. This process is slow (Rome was not build in a day) so be patient. You are running a business and businessman should always be patient :)

And by the way if you want to go for web hosting companies first, signup with WebHostingTalk.com. All webhosting companies provide Web hosting Control Panel like:

Cpanel, Plesk and lot more, so go to the official website of these control panel and from their get the link of their official forum and be a member there.

Also and dont get discourage if someone says you are already trying in a market which is already saturated. No market is saturated, today everyone has Television in their home but this doesn't mean television market is saturated.

Take a deep breathe and say ATTACK !!

answered Oct 8 '11 at 00:51
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Bandurao
11 points

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As has been said to an extent, you need to tell those companies why they need YOUR PRODUCT over what they currently have. If they have nothing at the moment why should they have your product?
Try to focus on statistics especially with those sites that doesn't have anything similar. You could possibly mention how your product will increase their customer service which reduces their cancellation rates.

answered Jul 15 '11 at 04:55
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Marc Towler
101 points

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just go with google app engine no downtime and customer support for enterprise level

answered Oct 8 '11 at 08:23
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Vishal
29 points

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I don't know the term in english, but in germany it is "open doors day". It is a day when companies let you visit them. You could try to go there.

If you use Xing (or similar platforms) you could try to see if you have contacts who have them as contact.

If you can get adresses out from them, send them brochures by snail mail or call them.

I would start with smaller companies, they are more personal.

Also you should try to get in touch with people from all the upcoming cloud/platform as a service provider, like cloudbees.com for example. They are all very responsive and read their twitter.

answered Jul 10 '11 at 05:54
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Christian
3,590 points

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