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Are YOU Going to Be There???

Posted On February 18th, 2010

We’ve been getting a ton of questions about my upcoming boot camp. I recorded the answer to a couple of the top questions and posted them for your viewing pleasure below…

If you’re not already signed up for my boot camp, then you better hurry on over to http://www.robinsbigseminar.com right away. As of this posting, we only have room for 54 more people in the room! Read full article and comment →

Computer Consultants: It’s All About the LIST!

Posted On February 16th, 2010

I think I get more questions about lists than just about any other marketing topic.  And quite honestly, it IS the single most important element in any marketing initiative.

But I seem to have a hard time getting people to understand that it’s not the list that you buy that will save you, but rather the list that you build.

As of today, I have over 15,000 warm prospects and customers on my list.  When I started out 8 years ago, I didn’t have 100.  BUT, I diligently groomed, mailed, and added to that list to make it what it is today — and now I can generate sales very easily because I have a ready-made, highly qualified, highly interested list to mail to.  How did I build it?  Entirely through joint ventures and other direct response advertising.

And I cannot urge you enough to make sure that you are passionate about building and communicating to your house list.  To that end, a few pointers… Read full article and comment →

Computer Consultants… How Does Your Worst Employee Story Stack Up to This One?

Posted On January 28th, 2010

Years ago, one of my clients relayed the following employee horror story relating to one of his top sales people.  My client, who was a tech company business owner, received a call late one night (actually early one morning!) from the local police.  The policeman he was speaking to let him know that they had responded to an alarm at my client’s place of business.  When they arrived, they found a few folks having a “party”.  They were in the process of arresting the person responsible and asked my client to come down and identify the person.

My client got out of bed, drove down to his office, and identified HIS TOP SALESPERSON as the ring-leader of this late-night party.

Following are the details of what happened that night…

It ends up that earlier that evening, my client’s TOP SALESPERSON (we’ll call him Bill….although, of course, that’s not his real name) stole a company van, drove downtown, and picked up two prostitutes and a couple cases of beer.  He then drove back to the office, opened it up and they got the party started.  Unfortunately for Bill, he got too drunk to even realize that he had set off the alarm.  When the police arrived to investigate the reason for the alarm, they found Bill and his new friends in the midst of their party! Read full article and comment →

Managed Services Providers… Get Off Your Duff & Implement MORE!

Posted On January 13th, 2010

New Years Resolution #7:  Get your online “presence” fixed

Okay, I DON’T like the word “presence” because it sounds like a meaningless fifty-cent word, but I don’t have a better one (yet) to describe all the elements that fall under your online marketing strategy.  Even though I’ve said over and over again how important it is to have a web site that sells, far too many members are still struggling with this and have web sites that look like a 12 year old designed them—not to mention the broken links and graphics. I’m not going to launch into a lesson here on web marketing because I’ve more than covered the basics in the Toolkit session on the subject, but I will say this: it used to be “okay” for a company to have a good web site…now it’s becoming critical.  I’m hearing from more members on how their web site is not only generating a significant portion of their new customers, but for those who DON’T have it figured out, how their LACK of a good web site, blog, Facebook page, etc. is actually hurting sales. Why? Because (like it or not) clients think that because you are a “technology” company, you should have a great web site, even though I know the two are entirely different specializations. Read full article and comment →

Top 8 New Years Resolutions for IT Marketers, Part II

Posted On January 6th, 2010

This is part 2 out of a 4 part series this month, highlighting my Top 8 New Years Resolutions for IT Marketers.

New Years Resolution #3:  Leverage MORE of your EXISTING assets.

To do this I suppose you need to recognize what your current assets are. That would be your current customers and (hopefully) the relationship you have with them. I would also include any unconverted leads you have (you ARE keeping those people in your database and marketing to them, right?)  Could be a marketing process or campaign that has worked in the past. Could be relationships you have with influencers in your market area, JV partners, your reputation, your location, etc.  Below is a forum posting I wanted to include here because 1) it will help me make the above point, and 2) it will help me make a point about the NEXT New Year’s Marketing Resolution.

First, here’s the post, modified slightly for space and readability:  My AT&T Yellow Page ads are up for renewal and I wanted to get some suggestions from you all! I ran the Warning ad last year under the heading “Computer Service and Repair” in one of the local books where we are located and got very few calls from it.  I was thinking about running the same ad again in the same book, but this time under two headings: Computer Service and Repair and Computers Networking. I’m also considering adding it in two other books to saturate the surrounding areas. One would be in the capital city area (much larger book and distribution) and the other book would be targeting South of us. The pricing for this is very expensive even after all of their “discounts” and was wondering how much of your budget you all dedicate to this type of advertising? Our existing ad costs $213 per month for ONE heading.

 Option 1: Renew our existing ad in the same book under TWO headings for the same cost ($213 per month). They’ll give me this deal if I commit to the advertising in the other books. I could also add the same ad to another small book for an additional $101 per month.

 Option 2: Total for the two small books = $315 per month.

 Option 3: I could also run the Warning ad in a new larger book under TWO headings for a cost of $741 for each heading, PER MONTH!

 Option 4: Try their NEW program for $33 PER CALL for each heading.

 Option 5: Run the ad in all 3 phone books for $315 per month plus $33 PER CALL for the large book.

 Option 6: Pay $315 per month for the two small books + $741 for one heading for a total of $1,056 per month.

 Option 7: Pay $315 per month for the two small books + $741×2 for one heading for a total of $1,797 per month.

Money is limited and we have just begun the following:

1. Mailed a newsletter to our existing clients.

2. Hired a telemarketing firm to scrub our list, qualify the leads and set up appointments for us.

3. Mail postcards to prospects.

4. Budgeted $1,000 for Google and Online PPC.

5. Implemented Call and Online tracking to see which of our ad campaigns are working best.

Money is limited, and I know we need to be listed in the phone books, but just didn’t know how much of our budget should consist of the books (in percentage). In the past, we have found that we get the best quality leads from our Google PPC ads…Thanks!

Okay, a few things. First… Read full article and comment →

Wanted: High-Performance VP of Marketing

Posted On December 23rd, 2009

Are you a results-focused, high-performance marketing genius who knows how to generate sales without excuses? Does hitting big goals, making big money and working with other “A” players excite you? Do you enjoy working in an environment where exceptionally high standards are expected? Do you have a high-level of confidence in your ability to develop and implement marketing plans, campaigns and strategies that secure big returns? Is your leadership style firm and goal-oriented yet able to motivate, train and engage your team to rally behind a clear and powerful mission?

For the versatile, experienced leader who answered “yes” to all of these questions, this is the opportunity for you. We are a small, fast-growing entrepreneurial marketing consulting firm that is in need of a “right hand” VP of Marketing who can help us capitalize on the enormous opportunities available to us. The best person for this position is someone who is high-energy, detail oriented and is never happy with anything less than outstanding results and incredible accomplishments. Those looking for an easy “9-5” job that are intimidated by big goals should NOT apply.

In this position you will work directly with me (Robin Robins, President) and the VP of Operations in developing and implementing strategic plans and marketing systems to achieve our company’s short and long term revenue objectives. We are one of the most unusual and successful niche marketers in our space and have an excellent reputation and well-established client base. A true “marketing rockstar” will find our marketing savvy, sharp and fast execution on ideas, and huge market potential to be a thrilling opportunity and a wonderful place to call “home.”

Success in this position will be measured in the following areas: Read full article and comment →

You submit a proposal to a client, but then you can’t get the prospect to call you back, much less buy.

Posted On October 10th, 2009

Root Cause: Chances are you didn’t qualify the prospect well enough, AND you made the mistake of using the proposal to close the sale instead of using it ONLY as a way to solidify on paper what you’ve already discussed and agreed to in person.

A lot of people request proposals as a nice way of saying, “I’m not interested.” They feel guilty saying that to your face, so they ask for a proposal instead. Once you’ve submitted it, they tell you the price was too high, they changed their minds, it’s not the right time, or they never return your calls. You should NEVER use a proposal to close a sale (the only exception is when selling to government agencies, which have a slightly different system for choosing vendors). A proposal should simply be a written agreement of the terms, pricing, and procedures you’ve already agreed to in person. It should be a small step towards you starting a project for a client. If you are struggling with this symptom, I suggest you re-listen to and start using the 10 questions I’ve created in the Speed Selling CD and workbook included in the Tool Kit. I can guarantee you will feel uncomfortable asking them at first, but once you overcome your fear, you’ll find it stops the tire kickers from wasting your time. Read full article and comment →

5 Ways To Raise Prices And Get More Money For The Services You Already Provide

Posted On October 1st, 2009

Here are 5 ways you can raise your prices and get paid MORE for the services you are already performing.

#1: Just raise ‘em. Pretty ingenious, huh? That’s why I get paid the big bucks. Just type up a simple letter explaining that on X date, your rates are going up. You don’t need to apologize or get a note from your mother. Just do it. The world will not come to an end and your clients will not gnash their teeth, scream, and cut themselves with rocks. In most cases, you will only get a mild response.

#2: Price increase alert with up-sell. In a letter or e-mail, you alert your clients that your rates are going up, but that they can save some money or lock in the current on-site rates if they sign up on a managed service agreement. Keep in mind there are several ways to announce a price increase while up-selling clients on to another service; this is only one example. You could also announce a price increase for on-site rates, but thanks to this new remote monitoring and support software, you can fix most problems remotely for the same rate they are used to paying. This would enable you to charge the same rate for remote repairs that you are charging for on-site services now, while increasing your on-site rates a few points.

Instead of locking in their current on site rates as the letter suggests, you could also offer to waive the set up fee for the managed services (yes, you have to have a set up fee in order to waive it. Creating a set up fee is a smart sales tactic that you should implement regardless of whether or not you increase your rates. It gives you bargaining power when selling managed services because you can “waive” it if they make a decision within a certain time frame). Read full article and comment →