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How To Keep Your MSP Marketing Funnel Full

Posted On February 4th, 2016

By: Robin Robins,
Author and Founder of the Technology Marketing Toolkit System

I recently received an e-mail from a client who is teetering on the brink of closing the doors of his IT consulting business and getting a day job. His savings have dried up and he’s maxed out every credit card he has. Now, he’s desperate and calling us for help.

Of course we’ll do everything possible to help him, but now that he’s let it go so far in the red before doing something, it’s going to take a herculean effort on his part (and sheer magic on ours) to start the heart pumping again…which begs the question, why did he wait until now to get serious about keeping the funnel full? Read full article and comment →

These Quick Tips Will INSTANTLY Increase the Number of Qualified Leads Your Web Site Generates

Posted On February 4th, 2016

Attention All VARs, MSPs, and System Integrators Who Want To Generate Leads Online…

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

Before I give you these quick tips, let it be known that developing a web marketing machine is an ongoing effort that requires a commitment to testing and refining your strategy, message, offer, and graphics, as well as traffic sources. BUT, sometimes simple changes can result in BIG increases in conversions (leads) and sales.

For example, on my current lead generation page:

http://www.technology-marketing-tool-kit.com/freecdoffer.php

I discovered that putting a picture of the free thing—whether it’s a report, CD, or ebook—nearly tripled conversion. Same traffic, same offer, same marketing costs, but now 3 times as many leads. If you are offering a free report, CD, teleseminar, seminar, or other offer, make sure you put a graphic of the “free thing.”

Here’s another quick tip…

Use squeeze pages when doing ANY online OR offline marketing. What is a squeeze page? It is a page similar to the one above that requires the visitor to provide some information about themselves to get access to the rest of the web site. Take a look at this page:

https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com//event

This is an example of a squeeze page. Before someone can enter the site to learn more about the seminars I’m conducting, they have to provide their contact information. If they have already done this once, we simply display the main sales letter page for the event so they don’t have to opt-in every single time they visit the page. This will create a segmented “hot list” of very interested to semi-interested prospects that you can follow up with.

For example, let’s suppose you are doing a sales letter to a cold list and you provide a web site as one of the ways to respond. If you drive them to a squeeze page, you are creating a hot list for your telemarketers or sales people to follow up with first – after all, these people actually took action on your direct mail piece. This allows you to focus your time and money on those who have given you a shy “yes” instead of the masses who didn’t respond at all.

Here’s another quick tip…

Use unique URLs to track response. For example, to promote my seminars, I’m sending six to eight direct mail campaigns to a specific list. The problem is, it gets difficult to know which piece of mail had the most impact. To solve this and track the results more effectively, I’ve set up various URLs that are tied to a particular piece so I can track response.

For example, I’m using the URL www.sellmoresolutions.com for ONE specific piece of direct mail I’m sending. By using this URL, I can see exactly how many unique visits and conversions I’m getting from that one piece of mail because I’m not using it anywhere else in my marketing and promotion. Another URL I’m using is www.technologymarketingplan.com. These sites all go to the same squeeze page, but have allowed me to track exactly how many responses each piece is generating.

If you are doing Yellow Pages ads, newspaper ads, direct mail, and other advertising, I suggest that you set up unique URLs and phone numbers to track response; otherwise, it will all get mixed in together and you won’t know which pieces of advertising media generated the highest quantity and quality of leads.

Dedicated to your success,

Robin

How Can You Possibly Expect To Sell Anything When You Don’t Know THIS…

Posted On February 4th, 2016

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

There is an old saying that says you can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. This is a great saying to live by, especially if you are a business owner or sales person whose bank account, lifestyle, and financial security is dependant on your ability to sell something. As sales people, we know we’re supposed to listen to our customers and ask questions so we can fully understand their wants and needs. Nothing new there; BUT, how many people actually do?

As a marketing consultant and sales copywriter, one of the most important things I have to do before writing any type of promotion is truly understand the target customer. In order to effectively persuade someone to take action, I have to know what they want most, what they hate, what they think about, what motivates them, and what their priorities are. This is the art of true listening; the ability to understand the way your customer thinks without filtering or altering it with your own beliefs, agenda, or opinions.

This is not difficult, but it takes practice. Hearing what someone said and truly understanding what they meant or where their opinion came from is as different as night and day. But if you want to become a great salesperson or marketer, this is a skill you must master. Let me give you an example, and give you a set of powerful questions that will revolutionize the way you “listen” to your customers and prospects…

IT managers have a much different agenda than a business owner. The IT manager wants to protect his turf. In most cases, he is very ego driven and doesn’t want to look bad to the boss or anyone else for that matter. He is a bit of a control freak (which, in truth, is not a bad trait for someone responsible for protecting a company’s data and operations). He needs to feel assured that you aren’t going to make him obsolete. This may be completely illogical from your point of view, but he’s the one writing the check.

You may think it’s obvious that you are there to make their job easier and to make them more productive. However, people don’t think logically, they think emotionally. Plus, the IT manager who feels this way is NOT going to verbalize this to you or anyone else. They’ll shoot a million holes in your proposal before they’ll admit they feel threatened by you. That being the case, you have to communicate in advance (through your marketing) how you are going to make them a hero in their organization, and then you have to be able to prove that through testimonials, guarantees, and other proof positive to your claim.

On the other hand, the business owner doesn’t have a clue about all the options, acronyms, and technical terms you are spouting off. As a matter of fact, it makes him a fearful buyer because he doesn’t know enough to determine whether or not you are giving him a good recommendation or not. Just the opposite of the IT manager–they want you to take control so they don’t have to concern themselves with anything technical. He doesn’t want to know the technical details. He simply is trying to figure out if he can trust you to do a good job, alleviate his problems, simplify his life, improve his business, and not overcharge him. His biggest concerns are making money, cash flow, customers, and avoiding business disasters.

Can you see how you would need a different marketing message to both of these individuals, even if they are in the same company? Most business owners don’t spend enough time truly looking at the world through their customers’ eyes and end up paying the price of this ignorance: starvation.

Years ago I did some work for an MRI imaging center. They wanted to find out how they could persuade more people to choose their state-of-the-art open MRI center over some of the older, better established facilities. They told me how new the facility was, how caring the staff was, how accurate the reports were, and how they would even come and pick up the patients at their home. They had tried running several full-page, very expensive ads in local magazines in an effort to get the word out about their new facility and the various benefits I just mentioned.

However, these ads were full of the reasons why they thought someone should be interested in their facility. Plus, they didn’t facilitate the natural buying process of their customers. After studying and understanding how patients choose MRI centers, I quickly discovered two things; first, most patients do not even realize they have a choice of MRI centers (they typically go where the doctor tells them to), and two, the second biggest concern was the fear of being in a very small, closed space. This is why their ads had zero pulling power…they didn’t educate the end buyer (the patient) that they had a choice of imaging centers, and they didn’t drive home hard enough the fact that they had an open MRI, which meant no more small, scary, claustrophobic tunnels to crawl in. But it doesn’t end there…

Upon even further study of where they were getting their BEST patients, I discovered that chiropractors treating accident victims were their best source of new business. After talking with several of their chiropractor customers (make a note of this; I actually picked up the phone and interviewed several chiropractors about why they were using this particular imaging center), I came to discover that they used this MRI imaging center because the reads (meaning the actual images and diagnosis) were more detailed than the ones they received from other MRI imaging centers, and therefore gave them a much better chance of getting their patients’ insurance company to pay for the treatment. Apparently, many insurance companies deny payment for chiropractic care unless it is deemed necessary based on the reads from the imaging center. One of the biggest frustrations for a chiropractor is not being able to deliver a full treatment plan to their patient because some insurance adjuster in a cubical with no medical experience is making the decision that chiropractic care is not necessary for their patient.

Now, without knowing the rest of the story, can you guess who I recommended they target and what the core message should be? For the slow group, here it is:

We targeted chiropractors with the following headline:

“Finally, A Proven Way to Stop IMEs from Interfering With Your Practice and Denying Payment for the Complete Treatment Plans Your Patients Need”

We built an entire campaign around a premise that included partnering with personal injury attorneys and using seminars and free reports to educate the doctors as to how they can best help their patients by sending them to this particular imaging center. Instant success. One of the first seminars they conducted brought in over 20 chiropractors–all good, viable customers for their center. Can you see that once you truly understand the customer, the message, and the benefits, the USP (unique selling proposition) becomes obvious?

So now, here’s your homework. Below are 12 questions you need the answers to about your target market BEFORE you start marketing to them. These questions will vary with the individual (business owners, IT manager, office managers, etc.) and the vertical market. Without the answers to these questions, you’re flying blind and will only get customers by chance or luck.

  1. What are your customers’ biggest frustrations, pains, and aggravations?
  2. What are they afraid of?
  3. Who (or what) are they currently using or buying from now?
  4. What do they like about this situation? What don’t they like?
  5. What do they secretly want?
  6. Who (or what) are they mad at?
  7. What trends are happening in their industry?
  8. What’s most important to them when looking for your product or service? In other words, what are the buying criteria for your product or service?
  9. What problems or frustrations have they had with other companies in your industry? Hint: they are going to expect you to be the same unless you can prove otherwise in your marketing.
  10. What events, situations, regulations, or dilemmas occur to prompt them to seek out your services? (Example: most companies installing a practice management or new accounting software package need to upgrade their network).
  11. What other companies are selling similar products and services to them successfully, and how are they doing it?

And finally, question 12 is a question you should already know the answer to, but probably don’t: What originally prompted your current customers to buy from you?

Once you know what your customer desires most (or wants to avoid most) your job is to make a good argument in your marketing materials as to how your product or service will help them get exactly that.

The Real Underlying Reason Why You Continue to Struggle to Attract New Clients, Make More Money, and Grow Your Business

Posted On February 4th, 2016

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

We like to think that the facts can convince people to change… We like to think that people are essentially ‘rational’ — that is, they’ll act in their self-interest if they have accurate information. We believe that ‘knowledge is power’ and that the ‘truth will set you free.’

But nine out of ten heart patients didn’t change even when their doctors informed them about what they had to do to prolong their lives. Ex-convicts knew how hard their time could be if they were arrested again, but it didn’t make a difference.

That’s because we take the facts and fit them into the frames we already have.  If the facts don’t fit, we’re likely to challenge whether they’re really facts or to dismiss the information and persist somehow in believing what we want to believe.” – Excerpt from the book “Change or Die” by Alan Deutschman

Just recently, I read one of the most fascinating books on belief systems and change: Change or Die. If there is anything in your life that you are struggling to change, I highly recommend it.

Alan Deutschman is a senior writer at Fast Company magazine and has interviewed some of the most successful business icons of our time. He created this book to reveal how  some people can change in even the most hopeless situations while others—who have the knowledge and information to change—don’t. Whether it’s heart patients who know they will die very soon if they don’t change or business owners trapped in unsuccessful businesses that keep them in a cycle of failure, the way to change is the same — and it starts and ends with belief systems.

Take my consulting business as an example. Most people buy my program looking for a “fix” to their marketing problem. What they don’t realize is that, in order for my clients to be truly successful, they have to change their well-entrenched negative habits and beliefs that got them to where they are in the first place. A better sales letter or web site won’t fix that.

Unless I can get them to embrace true change in their daily habits, what they believe, and how they use their time, the results won’t follow, or they will be slow and miniscule. That is why my selling starts after I make the sale—I have to sell them on the fact that success will come. I have to use client success stories to constantly reinforce that the methods and strategies work.

Otherwise, the average person will do exactly what Deutschman outlines in his book:

“We take the facts and fit them into the frames we already have. If the facts don’t fit, we’re likely to challenge whether they’re really facts or to dismiss the information and persist somehow in believing what we want to believe.”

If someone doesn’t believe direct mail can possibly work—they will find a way to prove it doesn’t. Or, if they completely lack the discipline to control their time, their ability to focus on a project, lean something new, or to develop the habit of steadfastness that is required to build a marketing system in their business, they will fail. It doesn’t matter what marketing “guru” they subscribe to.

And like it (or believe it) or not, that really is the true key to someone having success with my program. A better web site or postcard won’t change the belief that “selling is evil” or “asking for money is wrong” OR “I couldn’t send THAT letter to my clients.”  It won’t fix someone who can’t or won’t invest some time into researching and understanding their clients. And my program doesn’t automatically alter your schedule and free up buckets of time and space to get the strategies implemented.

I can give a client a surefire, guaranteed formula for selling managed services, but if they don’t truly believe in what they are selling or fear the sale in some way, they won’t use the formula, or worse yet—they’ll cherry pick what they feel comfortable with, leave out or change what they don’t like, and then blame the formula for not working.

Just like the 9 out of 10 heart patients who fail to get healthier, they would rather stay in denial than actually do what it takes to get better.

And it’s not because they don’t know what to do…it’s because their beliefs, fears, and bad habits are so entrenched that more information—no matter how proven or powerful it is—won’t alter the patterns they’ve anchored themselves to.

Dedicated to your success,

Robin

What Would You Do If You Found Out Your Sales Guy Did This?

Posted On February 4th, 2016

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

I had a very interesting call with a new client the other day. I won’t name names and you’ll see why in a minute…

His senior sales rep, who had been working for him for years, went off the deep end, broke into the office after hours to have a party with a couple of strippers–liquor everywhere–and then stole a company van for his getaway car until the cops showed up. (My client was awoken in the middle of the night when the security company called to say someone had broken into the office. He had no idea who it was at that point.)

When the sales guy was arrested, his boss (my client) found out that this sales guy was bi-polar and had stopped taking his medication. His condition was completely unknown to my client and came as a complete shock.

Obviously this is a pretty misfortunate scenario and one that most IT business owners wouldn’t have to deal with — BUT, it proves a very important point I’ve been driving home for years about automating your sales and marketing system so that it is not 100% reliant on a PERSON to get it done.

This client had a situation that is similar to 99% of the IT business owners I work with – the operations of the business (particularly the sales and marketing part) has absolutely no systems, processes, or metrics in place and only gets done if there is a particular person doing it. No one else knows anyone else’s job, how they do it, the processes and communications they use, and so on.

To make matters even worse, this owner didn’t even have a central database of his customers. Each sales rep (including the one who recently had a meltdown) is their own independent island responsible for managing their own database, their own activities, sales pitch, marketing materials, and daily activities.

This is an incredibly dangerous place for you as the business owner because each sales person holds all the power in marketing and selling YOUR services to YOUR customers. If they leave, everything they’ve created and developed on YOUR DIME walks out the door with them. Had this owner taken time to enforce documentation and development of universal systems with the sales force, this disaster would not have been as bad.

Naturally you are going to have to find top people to run your organization. I’m not suggesting that systems will erase the need for that. But when there is no formal sales process, training, or marketing system in place, you are really starting from anunnecessary disadvantage when hiring new people or replacing those in the current position. If this client had his sales system documented, it would not only be easier to replace this person, but it would also make any replacement’s ramp-up to success much faster because they are simply plugging into an already proven system instead of having to figure it all out from scratch.

Here’s another reason why this is dangerous…it makes you, the owner, incredibly dependant on your sales staff’s ability and willingness to do a good job. If they suddenly lose their motivation, what do you do? What if all your new business flow is dependent on that person networking and making cold calls…when they become ineffective, the flow slows down or stops; whereas if you had a SYSTEM in place for building loyalty with existing customers and cultivating new opportunities, their dip in effectiveness would be minimized.

Can you imagine Ray Kroc, founder of the McDonald’s franchise, depending on the employees he hired to do a good job? Never would have happened. But because he systematized everything, he was able to build one of the most successful and profitable businesses in our history; all run by teenage kids.

So here’s a suggestion…

Get your butt to one of my final, half-day Client Attraction and Marketing Blueprint seminars so I can SHOW you what an auto-pilot marketing system looks like in YOUR exact IT services business.

I’ll give you precise case studies and examples that are specific to your business – not theoretical, “pie-in-the-sky” fluff that is just too vague. I’ll take the mystery out of marketing your business and show you how to “can” and “clone” your sales and marketing process so it requires very little effort to attract pre-sold, pre-qualified clients on a regular basis.

Go here and register NOW: www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com/event

You’ll see, firsthand, why so many computer consultants have eagerly sent me all those raving-fan testimonials.

Dedicated to your success,

Robin

Your Daring Escape From The Prison You Call Your Business

Posted On February 4th, 2016

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

When a client purchases a Toolkit, I send them the “escape from prison” letter to congratulate them on the smart decision they have just made and to encourage them to actually use it.

It’s a true story and it goes like this…

Years ago a friend of mine was sentenced to serve 1 month in prison for knocking a guy out in a bar fight. Fortunately he was sent home after 12 days, and the “prison” he was kept in was minimum security and more like a county lock-up than a real hard-core prison. However, the fact that his freedom was taken away from him was a devastating experience.

It Was Devastating

My friend’s freedom was taken away from him without his consent. I am convinced he was innocent and simply defending himself against a stupid bully who (rightfully) got his teeth knocked in for picking the wrong guy to mess with. But the results were the same–he was forced to serve time. It was a tremendous blow to his self esteem and one of the most emotionally scarring events of his life.

However, millions of people hold themselves captive for YEARS in self-made mental prisons created entirely by their own self-imposed limitations and fears.

These prisons are not made of steel and concrete. They are made of excuses, procrastination, complaining, self-pity, and negative thinking. Many people willfully sentence themselves to “hard times” behind the bars of these prisons by not taking responsibility for their lot in life. Instead, they blame others, the economy, their customers, their education, their market, and choices they “had” to make in their life (or any other outside factor) for their lack of success.

Here’s A Letter From YOUR Competition…
And You’re Worried?

The other day we received an order from a new client accompanied by a LONG letter stating that they are highly skeptical of my system, feel it is VERY expensive, and clearly asserting that they will happily take me up on my money-back offer if it doesn’t make them rich. Well guess what–I can already tell you it won’t, and I might as well just refund him now.

He may feel like he’s paid a lot of money for it, but what he doesn’t realize is that his comments (which were about 2 pages long explaining why his business is stagnant, why he’s not growing, and subsequently, broke) say more about his limitations in making a lot of money than anything about my program. How is he ever going to sell his services at a premium rate if he thinks $1,500 is a LOT of money? Truth is, he needs to spend more, not less, on coaching, books, seminars, and other educational material to deal with the crippling negative beliefs he has about money and success.

Additionally, the Toolkit doesn’t work through osmosis–you don’t put it under your pillow at night and wake up the next morning rich. You have to actually do some work. It is a shared responsibility to make your business more successful. Amazingly, some people are actually put off by the fact that my system requires some effort on their behalf and actually tell me that is why they don’t buy it. Apparently they are holding out for the marketing fairy to show up and do it all for them.

Whether they realize this or not, it’s nothing short of a miracle that the average computer consultant can buy my program, send out a few letters and see results. For all I know, this guy has done a poor job supporting his clients, has done nothing to establish his presence or authority, has no accolades or accomplishments to verify his expertise, no USP, and I can almost guarantee that he doesn’t have any client testimonials worth the paper they are printed on. Heck, he might even be ugly, smell bad, and dress like a homeless person sleeping in his van–yet, he’s laying the entire responsibility of his success on the Toolkit.

This is why those who get the best results from my program are already successful–as the biblical saying goes, “To those who have, more will be given.” BUT, I still believe it is MY responsibility to help this person to the best of my ability. That is my life’s calling. However, I will say that unlike George Bush, I don’t think it’s possible to have “no child left behind.” Truth is, some of ‘em aren’t coming no matter what you do.

So, to celebrate freedom this month in ALL aspects of our lives, businesses, and, of course, in our country, here is a list of things that will most certainly keep you locked into a self-made prison of poverty, scarcity, difficulty, and bad luck. We’ve all indulged in these behaviors at some point…but you don’t drown by falling into water, you drown by staying there:

  • Indulging in destructive, negative thoughts and limiting beliefs.
  • Failure to clearly define what you want (financially or otherwise).
  • Failure to create a definite set of plans to acquire what you want.
  • Failure to frequently review and re-evaluate your plans.
  • Procrastination, with or without cause.
  • The habit of blaming circumstances or outside factors for your failure, lack of progress, or unfavorable circumstances.
  • The habit of accepting and believing that your unfavorable circumstances, failure, or lack of progress are out of your control and cannot be changed.
  • Lack of interest and action in controlling your time.
  • Weakness of desire in sticking to your plan of action.
  • “Softening” situations (it’s not that bad, it can wait until tomorrow, I can’t handle more clients anyway).
  • Allowing interruptions.
  • Tolerating bad behavior from clients, vendors, employees.
  • Wasting time on low-leverage activities (secretarial work, running errands, constantly checking e-mail).
  • Lack of interest in disciplining yourself to focus.
  • Willingness–even eagerness–to quit at the first sign of defeat, problems, or difficulty.

Happy 4th!

Want to See How Other Small Computer Consultants are Commanding Higher than Average Rates
While Attracting More Clients?

Then it’s critical for you to join me at an upcoming Client Attraction and Marketing Blueprint Seminar.

You’ll learn:

  • How other SMB consultants are doubling the number of qualified leads and new clients they have using an “auto-pilot” client attraction marketing system that doesn’t require a sales team or large marketing budget to work.Click here to register now
  • How to avoid wasting thousands of dollars and your precious time on marketing campaigns that don’t work. I’ll reveal the exact marketing media that has been proven time and time again to work best when marketing IT services.
  • How to position yourself as the most “in demand” consultant in your area with the highest fees and still get more business than cheaper competitors.
  • The 3 critical characteristics you must develop to unlock a flood of new sales and business opportunities; these have nothing to do with your marketing, the type of clients you serve, the way you price your services, or your competition.Click here to register now
  • Auto-pilot marketing systems that will cut the time and effort of selling in half while virtually eliminating cheap clients. This is price-shopper pest control for your business!
  • How to get every ad, sales letter, brochure marketing campaign, website – and even your business card – to generate two to three times as many leads and sales as it currently is.
  • What type of marketing media is hands down the BEST for promoting your computer consulting services, and which ones will waste your time, drain your bank account, and leave you disappointed and frustrated.

This seminar is unconditionally guaranteed to give you specific, usable marketing strategies you can implement into your business and see results in your bank account within 6 weeks or less.

You will see actual campaigns and strategies that other small computer consultants used to double or triple their annual revenue, launch a profitable managed services practice, and transform the way they do business.

Click here to register now

Seating is limited! The last 2 events SOLD OUT. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out, click here now to register.

What President Garfield’s Story of “Margins” Can Teach You About Making More Money and Enjoying More Success in Your Computer Consulting Business

Posted On February 4th, 2016

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

Are you familiar with the late, U.S. President Garfield’s story on margins?

James Garfield was born in a log cabin to poor, uneducated parents, yet he went on to become a scholar, a Civil War hero, a U.S. congressman for 18 years and, eventually, the 20th President of the United States.

When he was a young boy, Garfield had a rival student at school who consistently received higher marks than he. This puzzled and frustrated him because he knew that the other boy was no more talented, educated, or smarter than himself. Then one night he discovered the boy’s secret.

Garfield had put out his lamp and was getting ready for bed when he looked out his window across campus and noticed that his rival student was still up studying. He watched him every night after that and noticed that this process continued; his rival was putting in several additional minutes of study every night.

Garfield decided that it was by this small margin that his rival was beating him and decided to not only match his rival’s extra study time, but to make sure he added an extra 15 minutes more every night. At the end of the school year, Garfield found himself ahead by a small margin.

As in all things in life, the margin between success and failure is often exceedingly small. It’s not uncommon for the average athlete or the average entertainer to win by a very small margin. That’s because it’s not just a matter of having natural talents and abilities, but rather what you do to develop those abilities and how you put them to use.

Success in business is just like that

How is it that one small computer consulting firm can double or triple its revenue when others in the same area, marketing to the same customers, using the same vendors, remain stagnant or even decline?

Go to any event in the IT industry two years in a row and talk to the same business owners you spoke to at the previous year’s event. Why do most report only a tiny increase in growth, clients, profits, and success year after year and continue to complain about the same problems, while only a small few report exponential gains?

Why do so many computer consultants settle – even resign themselves – to owning a “job” that commands them to work 60+ hours a week without breaks, significant rewards, or the promise of a big payout?

That’s because success in business – which is the ability to get things done, to persuade others, and to develop a master plan and execute that plan – is in direct proportion to the owner’s ability to invest that little extra marginal time and effort into mastering the key skills every business owner must learn to be a success.

Obviously one of those skills is selling and marketing. Truth be told, it’s the “Achilles heel” of most smart, hard-working, small business owners in the IT industry. It seems that no other aspect of running a profitable, thriving business stumps them more.

And if you are reading this, you would probably agree that your lack of expertise in marketing IS significantly harming your income, profitability, and overall success in business to some degree.

But I’ve got some great news that is actually a “secret” most don’t know about marketing…

You don’t actually have to be a marketing master to generate significant gains in your business; you only have to bemarginally better than your competition.

Do you know the old joke about two men walking through the woods who stumble upon a bear? Realizing the immediate danger they are in, the one man starts to run only to notice his friend is bent over tying his shoes. He yells to the other man, “What are you doing? Why are you tying your shoes instead of running?” The other man replies, “I’m tying my shoes because I don’t have to outrun the bear – I only have to outrun YOU.”

The same is true in marketing your business. You don’t have to be a Zen master at marketing to win – you only have to be marginally better than the competition.

Just imagine being able to be only 5% or 10% better than your competition at attracting new customers and closing sales. Imagine being only marginally better at marketing online and creating web sites that really sell. Imagine knowing only a handful of “tricks” for attracting new clients with direct mail, networking, and partnering that your competition wasn’t even aware of.

Just think about what that would do to your income! The effect would be astounding.

Quite honestly, I don’t like to tell my clients this little “secret” because I truly want them to master marketing. I want them to know what I know and invest serious time into studying the “art” of persuasion. But truth be told, they only need to make a few changes to see results; that’s because most of their competitors are so severely lacking when it comes to marketing.

So, if you would like to learn a few valuable tricks and key “secrets” to marketing, then you must join me at an upcomingClient Attraction and Marketing Blueprint Seminar.

During this event I’m not going to be able to turn you into a marketing master – BUT, I will teach you a handful of proven, field-tested strategies that are easy to use and incredibly cheap to implement. Some won’t cost you anything.

You’ll learn:

  • How other SMB consultants are doubling the number of qualified leads and new clients they have using an “auto-pilot” client attraction marketing system that doesn’t require a sales team or large marketing budget to work.Click here to register now
  • How to avoid wasting thousands of dollars and your precious time on marketing campaigns that don’t work. I’ll reveal the exact marketing media that has been proven time and time again to work best when marketing IT services.
  • How to position yourself as the most “in demand” consultant in your area with the highest fees and still get more business than cheaper competitors.
  • The 3 critical characteristics you must develop to unlock a flood of new sales and business opportunities; these have nothing to do with your marketing, the type of clients you serve, the way you price your services, or your competition.Click here to register now
  • Auto-pilot marketing systems that will cut the time and effort of selling in half while virtually eliminating cheap clients. This is price-shopper pest control for your business!
  • How to get every ad, sales letter, brochure marketing campaign, website – and even your business card – to generate two to three times as many leads and sales as it currently is.
  • What type of marketing media is hands down the BEST for promoting your computer consulting services, and which ones will waste your time, drain your bank account, and leave you disappointed and frustrated.

This seminar is unconditionally guaranteed to give you specific, usable marketing strategies you can implement into your business and see results in your bank account within 6 weeks or less.

You will see actual campaigns and strategies that other small computer consultants used to double or triple their annual revenue, launch a profitable managed services practice, and transform the way they do business.

Click here to register now

Seating is limited! The last 2 events SOLD OUT. If you want to make sure you don’t miss out, click here now to register.

 

Why Prospects are Ignoring Your Sales Letters, Web Site, and Ads and What You Can Do to Turn Things Around FAST

Posted On February 4th, 2016

By Robin Robins, President, Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc.
www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

Although I’ve harped on this before, I continually get marketing campaigns submitted to me from computer consulting firms for critique that contain zero benefits or reasons why a customer should pay attention, let alone respond or buy something.

In most cases, I can clearly tell that they spent hours, possibly even days, trying to come up with some cute slogan or picture to capture the readers attention and get a response. Big, HUGE waste of time. Cute slogans with “hidden” meanings or inside jokes do NOT sell, and slogans should NOT be confused with a USP (unique selling proposition) or benefits. Some slogans can represent or be congruent with a USP and convey benefits (like Wal-Mart’s Always Low Prices. Always), but the vast majority simply do not.

So what exactly is a unique selling proposition and how do you get one?

Great question. First, your USP needs to answer the question, what is so special, advantageous, or beneficial about your products and services that makes you the obvious choice above all of your competitors? If you were face to face with a prospective customer and they asked you why they should give you their business over all of the other consultants and vendors offering the same products and services, what would you say?

If you have half a brain you are not going to try to be cute or clever in your answer. So why do that in a marketing campaign? If you HAVE a better service, then communicate specifically how or why and prove it with testimonials, case studies, and guarantees.

For most technology companies, clearly defining what they do better than their competitors is a hard thing to do. In most cases, they simply say “better service”. Ok, but who else can (and does) promote that to their customers? If anybody and everybody can use your USP, it ain’t a USP because one of the obvious factors is uniqueness. In order for it to have any power, your USP has to favorably separate you from the competition.

There are only 5 ways you can do this:

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Process
  4. Service
  5. Marketing

Having a truly unique product is incredibly rare. Even if you happen to have a unique product, chances are it won’t be long before someone invents a faster/cheaper/newer/bigger/low carb version of it.

Differentiating yourself by lowest price is, in my opinion, the worst USP to have especially when you are in a small service business. Aside from the obvious fact that it prevents you from making healthy margins on your services, it attracts a lower-end client that is far more likely to complain, pay slow, shop you on price, and not appreciate your services. However, many small business owners are too lazy to go to work on finding, developing, and communicating a USP and are forced to compete on price without strategically choosing that as their USP.

Process and service offer far more opportunity for you to differentiate. Being able to deliver a better customer experience not only creates an environment for customer loyalty and referrals, but it also allows you to command higher rates.

Many of you know that I’ve conducted an extensive amount of research with small business owners and IT managers to find out what the “opportunity gap” is in selling technology services. To date, I’ve conducted hundreds of live telephone interviews to find out what annoys business owners and IT managers when buying technology products and services. Over and over again, the top 3 biggest complaints were:

  1. Slow response time or lack of responsiveness.
  2. They don’t fix their problems right or in a timely manner.
  3. Lack of follow through or service after the sale.

If I were building a unique selling proposition for a technology services business, you can bet that I would base it entirely on guaranteeing to solve these three problems or complaints. I would also make sure that I was engineering my business in such a way to make sure I could deliver.

This would explain why so many “technically” better consultants lose sales to their lesser qualified competition. So many business owners focus so much on the technical aspect of the services they are providing and overlook these other factors that determine the level of satisfaction their clients’ experience. For example, billing on time, accurately reporting in detail what you are billing your clients for, the friendliness of the technician, returning calls promptly, being able to be reached, following up, and even the manner in which you communicate with your clients all add up to an overall experience.

Finally, you can always use marketing – the type I teach – as a way of differentiating yourself from the competition. When everyone else’s advertising looks the same, you’ll stand out from the crowd simply by communicating differently to your prospects. Chances are your competition is not using testimonials, guarantees, proof, or other benefit-laden promises in their marketing.