I incorporated Dorset Connects with a partner in 1997 in beautiful Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the mushroom capital of the world. Back then, we were 100% break-fix, and had no sales and no marketing. After losing our first longtime client to an MSP, we asked a serious question: Are we going to become an MSP and grow like the competitor who just drank our milkshake?
In an attempt to grow, we hired a sales representative. Since I had never done this before, it was truly the blind leading the vision-impaired! You see, the only sales management tool I’m familiar with is a two-by-four…and it’s not very effective. After nine full months of ZERO SALES and a negative year in terms of EBITDA, I had a major light-bulb moment: Our problem isn’t on the sales end of the equation…
IT’S THE MARKETING, STUPID!
I spoke with several of my peers with successful MSPs, and they all told me, “You have to go through Robin Robins’ program.” I remembered meeting Robin at an HTG conference many years ago. But back then, I felt I wasn’t ready and didn’t have the discipline to do it all myself, so I passed (a mistake I seriously regret). At this point, I was very close to $4 million in revenue with 20 employees, so I couldn’t use that excuse anymore and enrolled in the Accelerators Club with Keap CRM.
We also hired a part-time marketing assistant to go to the Rapid Implementation Workshop with me in Nashville. Enough of the “Random Acts of Marketing” we’d been doing…it was time to implement a proven marketing program with consistency.
By Introducing Our Unique TBR Tool, We Added $124,484 In Revenue
We started doing technology business reviews (TBRs) about three years ago. However, we were doing them haphazardly, with no consistency and little result. Since joining TMT and speaking with coaches and the Accountability Groups, we have seriously cleaned up our TBR process.
Here’s what changed: today we consistently conduct TBRs with all of our clients. Rather than review every ticket, we talk strategically. With every TBR today, we utilize a TBR cross-sell sheet. So, before the meeting, you check to see which products and services each client has and which ones they may need. For example, if they don’t have our phone system, we initiate a VoIP conversation.
By meeting consistently and utilizing our cross-sell sheet, we have added a total value of $124,484 in just a few months, including:
- $8,250 in new MRR ($99,000/year) from a co-managed IT client who upgraded to a monthly support plan.
- $19,615 for four new Azure Active Directory, MS 365 and SharePoint migrations.
- $5,869 in miscellaneous new projects.
Our Incentive-Based Referral Program (That We Stole) Brings In $2,640 In Annual Recurring Revenue
We are constantly getting new marketing ideas and strategies from our Accountability Group and other MSPs. Mark Elliott from 3i International implemented what he calls the 550 Club Referral Program. If anyone refers a prospect that turns into a proposal, that referrer gets $50.Then, if that proposal becomes a managed services client, we give the referrer an additional $500!
We printed attention-grabbing 550 Club cards that we hand out at cocktail parties. We also remind clients of our 550 Club program during TBRs. It’s an attractive incentive for people to proactively pursue referrals. For us, it’s already resulted in one new client worth $2,640 in ARR.
Boosting Our Credibility And Keeping The Conversation Going With Drip Tips
Too many MSP owners believe that drip marketing never turns into anything. But we got RESULTS from it! From the weekly Cybersecurity Tech Drip Tips e-mails we’ve been sending out, we got four new Security Awareness Training contracts valued at $1,344 a month ($16,128 a year)! In addition, we got one paid security vulnerability scan worth $1,250.
Our clients and prospects constantly tell us they really enjoy getting our security tips. Some even forward them to their boss. These drip marketing campaigns keep the conversation going and keep Dorset Connects top of mind.
How One Simple Workshop Exercise Brought Us A New Opportunity Worth $5,160
In the Rapid Implementation Workshop, Robin asked us to send her 9-Word E-mail to our clients. Thinking of our best cross-sell opportunity, we decided to send that e-mail to clients who don’t currently have VoIP with us. It worked! We signed one new VoIP contract worth $430 in MRR, or $5,160 a year! Plus, from this simple workshop exercise, we have several clients who are now considering our VoIP service.
Marketing Math WORKS… Our 100th Aspirin Letter Recipient Becomes A Client!
With marketing, consistency is everything. If you continuously mail out Robin’s proven letters and continuously follow up via multiple phone calls and e-mails, you will see results. But when? Well, the law of averages is that approximately one out of every 100 recipients may become a client. For us, literally the 100th prospect to receive our Aspirin campaign became a client! Talk about the marketing math proving true: here’s letter #100…we should start seeing results now…and BOOM!
In addition to the lucky 100th prospect, we also signed on another client as a result of the Aspirin campaign. Those two new clients bring in $3,700 in new MRR!
As luck would have it, we recently learned that TMT has introduced a brand-spanking-new SDR training program. By helping members hire, coach and manage SDRs, I don’t have to use my ineffective two-by-four sales management tool. Because finding, training and retaining good SDRs is a common complaint among MSPs, this new program will prove invaluable.
Proving Our Operational Maturity Level With Multiple Credibility Enhancers
Since we joined TMT and realized how other MSPs were growing their businesses by enhancing their celebrity, authority and credibility, we wanted to follow in their footsteps. To show we are IT and cyber security experts, I was featured in the MSP Success magazine vanity article. Next, I wrote my own chapter in TMT’s cyber security and compliance book, which will be printed soon. We also strengthened our brand and reach by taking advantage of the Done-For-You “Robinized” website.
While authoring a book and being featured in a magazine article is valuable, you must put them both in front of interested prospects by presenting them in a Shock-And-Awe box.
How To Instantly Boost Your MRR By $7,895
At Boot Camp and throughout the Rapid Implementation Workshop, there was a persistent drumbeat to increase our prices. I guess that’s one thing we got right! For years, we’ve written a 2% increase into each contract. But with the introduction of TMT, we SUBSTANTIALLY increased our prices by at least 8%. Because of the crazy inflation, we felt we wouldn’t have much pushback. The INSTANT increase in MRR alone is $7,895 or $94,740 annualized! And, assuming the same spend on fixed-fee projects next year, we expect to see a revenue increase of $27,923.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: we also used this price-increase strategy to “Pumpkin Plan” our C- and D-level clients. Clients with a built-in aggravation factor saw price increases of 15% to 18%. My staff, our culture and our happiness are most important to our success. In fact, our client churn rate is at a low 3%. But because our pipeline remains full, we’re not worried about losing any clients that may cause unnecessary friction.
Step One Is Always Better Than Step Zero
Fifteen years ago, when I was under $1M in revenue, I didn’t have the time or the staff to work on my business rather than in my business. Is that you? Maybe you’re wearing a lot of hats. Maybe you’re doing tickets yourself. Here’s my advice to you: put a ticket on YOURSELF at the same time every day to spend ON your business and on your marketing.
If you put it off, you’ll be having this same conversation with yourself next year. Or, in my case, the year after that and the year after and the year after…until I finally broke the cycle. And if you don’t have time during the day, carve out an hour or two at night. Step one is way better than step zero. Just do it.
My Only Regret: Not Starting The TMT Plan Sooner!
Simply by going through the Rapid Implementation Workshop this year and finally embracing sales and marketing, I’ve had a whole mindset shift. There’s a mentality difference between the Rob Sparre pre-Robin and Rob Sparre mid-Robin. Case in point, I was recently at a TMT Roadshow in Newark when a prospect who had been dodging me for months called during a presentation. Right then, I remembered Robin telling us that all it takes is five minutes and they could call another MSP. While the old me would have returned that call within 24 hours, the new me TOOK THAT CALL RIGHT THEN.
In less than a year since beginning working with Technology Marketing Toolkit, we have accrued 17 qualified leads and five first-time appointments, brought in two new MRR clients and added $21,839 in new MRR!
To access all the campaign examples mentioned by this month’s Marketing Genius Of The Month, go to the Dashboard under the Marketing Strategy Brief resources and access them there.