Not All Marketing Agencies Deliver The RESULTS You Are Chasing
Twenty-one years ago, Rishi Patel started Keeran Networks in the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. As the owner and a natural-born salesperson, he’s always been a strong closer. Problem was, as his responsibilities grew as the CEO, there was no lead generation system, leads were not always followed up on and sales were usually lost in the pipeline.
So, Rishi did what many IT business owners do when they need more leads and sales: he hired a marketing agency. Sure, they designed our company website and managed our pay-per-click Google Ads. Problem was, like most marketing agencies, they were mainly focused on driving traffic and getting clicks. Fuzzy, feel-good numbers that most marketing agencies push don’t work. Views, Likes, shares and traffic don’t add to your bottom line. Your business is only succeeding IF YOU ARE SELLING.
After Failing To Bring On A Single New Client For 9 Months, Something Had To Change
Rishi split ways with the marketing agency after Keeran Networks went nine straight months without onboarding a single new client. So, he hired me, Liam Scott, as their first Sales and Marketing Coordinator. My #1 role? To dust off the Technology Marketing Toolkit and start implementing what’s inside.
First order of business in my new job: attend Robin Robins’ Marketing Roadshow in Las Vegas, which gave me a whole new perspective on marketing. Then, just weeks later, we were on our way to Nashville to attend her Rapid Implementation Workshop in November.
Gaining A New Mindset And Losing Excuses
With most businesses only considering changing IT services providers every three to five years, we didn’t have a lot of people coming back to us full of regret and asking us to please take their business. What we did have was a giant bin of suspects and prospects growing colder and moldier by the day. Heck, we only had the “C” of our CRM, and that just wasn’t cutting it.
It was during the Rapid Implementation Workshop that we had a critical mindset shift. Going forward, this is how we were going to stake our place in the world: if we believe in ourselves, we must do far more than just WAIT for people to discover us. When you PROACTIVELY work to find new prospects and clients, you’ve actually seized responsibility for the outcome. At that point, all of your excuses vanish.
“Strategy First, Always”
Energized with new sales and marketing initiatives, we needed to reevaluate who we were specifically going to target, remind ourselves why we were the best ones to service them and how we could convince them to trust us. It was something we had always espoused as part of our technology offering: “Strategy first, always.” In adopting this philosophy, we had some defining moments.
Defining Moment #1: Targeting The RIGHT Audience – In the workshop, we had to answer 33 questions about who our ideal client was. What resulted was an ugly Frankenstein monster composed of little pieces of everyone. By trying to make ourselves a good fit for EVERYONE, we wound up attracting NO ONE. From that lesson, we finally identified and pinpointed the perfect target market that would serve us well for years.
Defining Moment #2: Crafting Our USP – When it came to our unique selling proposition (USP), we weren’t going to make the same mistake and create something based on our own assumptions. Instead, we asked our clients to tell us what they like about us in THEIR OWN WORDS. This gave us even better insights, and it’s much easier for people to trust real-life stories from our clients than our own marketing message.
Defining Moment #3: Gaining Momentum – When I first started implementing Robin’s marketing, I had a major mind block: “How do you keep going when you don’t initially see results?” We’ve all abandoned diets when we don’t drop weight the first few days. When I was at the Vegas Roadshow, it suddenly clicked after talking with many members who all went through the same experiences. Their advice: evaluate the results, adjust if needed, but stick with the marketing. Over time, it WILL pay off.
How Did We Add $18,000 In MRR And $45,000 In Projects In Just 3 Months?
Alberta is an oil-rich area in Canada. However, if you dig a thousand holes – even 10,000 holes – six feet straight down, you still wouldn’t see the first drop of oil. You need to survey the area, collect the data, have the right equipment, and then you keep working it, knowing you have the right foundation to justify drilling. Marketing works the same way: STRATEGIZE before you dig your oil wells, dig deep with solid EXECUTION and stick with it by RECONNECTING with your target market over and over again. Here’s what we accomplished in our first three months of the Rapid Implementation Program:
Website With A Plan – Before the Rapid Implementation Workshop, the few website leads we got went nowhere. Now, with new website forms and a plan, complete with a follow-up system, our website is bringing in leads and sales.
Answering Our Phones LIVE – During the workshop, another member called our offices to mystery shop us. (It wasn’t pretty.) Now we not only have a 24/7 answering service from a local Edmonton business, our phones are always answered within three rings, which makes a solid first impression!
Following Up With A Vengeance – Now we have an appointment setter who is able to execute our phone scripts consistently and follow up on our outbound campaigns we are delivering as well.
Sending Aspirin Across Canada – We have successfully sent out 400 Aspirin campaign packages, with more on deck in the upcoming weeks. This campaign is helping us get back in front of people who we previously would have ignored.
Great Clients Become Great Testimonials – Through the workshop, we learned how to confidently ask for testimonials from our clients as well as how to turn their words into a solid marketing piece.
Our First JV Partnership – An existing client now has an even stronger relationship with us! We are developing our first JV partnership with them to mutually grow each other’s business.
Enhanced Cyber Security Package – We are excited to soon roll out our new, enhanced cyber security package, but in a systematic way, utilizing all the tools and techniques we’ve learned. Now, rather than being terrified to juggle one more ball, our entire team is excited because we are prepared.
While all of these campaigns and marketing initiatives are building the foundation that will help generate more leads, sales and MRR, our recent success was the result of pushing people through the sales pipeline the right way. By constantly communicating with prospects; by following up by phone, e-mail and direct mail; and by offering a free network assessment, we have added four new clients and $18,000 in monthly recurring revenue! That takes us from $114,000 to $132,000 in just three months. Plus, those four clients brought along about $45,000 in projects!
“Make Hay While The Sun Shines”
The last couple of months have been unprecedented, to say the least. We all have had our lives turned upside down, whether it’s our kids away from school, stores and businesses closed to the public or even knowing or caring for someone who got sick. And while enduring all of these weekly and daily changes to our lives, you’re still responsible for growing your business, making payroll and rolling out more marketing to generate leads and sales. In that sense, we are ALL heroes.
At Keeran Networks, we believe in making hay while the sun shines and making the most of our opportunities every day. We have always focused on being a relationship-based company, not a price-based company. By building solid relationships based on trust and mutual respect with our clients and proactively providing solutions, they will want to work with you for the long term. They will be an advocate for you just as much as you are an advocate for them. On the other hand, MSPs who built their business to compete on price will be among the first to get cut when their clients start trimming expenses.