My Excuses Were Piling Up As Much As My Debt
I wasn’t like many of Robin’s clients who order the Toolkit and then plop it on a shelf. I read it thoroughly cover to cover. But a funny thing happens when you simply READ the Toolkit but don’t IMPLEMENT its contents: Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Eventually, the Toolkit started gathering dust. I even stopped reading Robin’s newsletters. For some reason, I felt I already knew it all. Believe me, I had a pile of excuses why the program wouldn’t work for me. Excuse #1: American marketing doesn’t work in the UK. Excuse #2: This type of marketing is too cheesy. Truth: My excuses were simply a way to cover up my OWN fears around something I didn’t understand — sales and marketing. History had already demonstrated clearly that I wasn’t good at marketing!
Then, about a year ago, my business had suffered some serious problems with staff, suppliers and myself, so it meant something drastic had to change. Around that time, one of Robin’s lumpy mail offers caught my attention again. It was an invitation to Robin’s Rapid Implementation Workshop.
Scared And Filled With Grief, I Took A Leap Of Faith Across The Pond
I knew I HAD to join, but everything was falling apart. My Mum-in-law had terminal cancer. Plus, I was seriously in debt and couldn’t see a way out. I was paralyzed with fear and going nowhere. Looking back, maybe it was the BEST time to join Rapid! The idea of spending more money I didn’t have and going to America at a time my family and Mum-in-law needed me was difficult. The day before I left for America, she passed away. I struggled with the decision to go. But something bigger was speaking to me, telling me I needed to do this and to put all of my focus and attention into excelling at this workshop. I would do it for my business, my team and of course, my Mum-in-law.
“Accountability Breeds Response-Ability.” – Stephen Covey
It can be quite lonely at the top. One of the most difficult things when you’re running a business is being at the top. You are accountable for just about everything — including yourself — with no one to bark at you except when things go wrong. I couldn’t believe what I could achieve by having an accountability group to keep me honest each week. It felt a little like being back at school where the teachers asked if you completed your homework and your peers had all done theirs. In the beginning, I didn’t have any of my “homework” done. It’s embarrassing when you find yourself without a USP or a defined target market… and you’ve been in business for 10 YEARS!
I didn’t want to let anyone in my accountability group down which kept me highly focused. Before I was crippled by fear and excuses. Now I WANT to get it done because I see great results. It also makes me want to spend more time focusing on tasks that drive success and growth.
Momentum Shifts Mindset. Mindset Creates Momentum.
I battle my mind on a daily basis which is normally a mixture of fears, self-worth and other deflections of character. This can easily plague my thinking into negativity and paralysis. Now I can see why Robin spends time discussing how important it is to get into the right mindset. And although I agreed it’s not easy to instantly change your thinking.
However, by applying the principles and actions required in this program, I was able to build momentum. Slowly and surely, I moved from a paralyzed state into a focused state where I was driven to achieve success. I have learned to reassure myself that I’m building a marketing machine that takes time but will eventually lead to my goals. I can tell you, I’ve already achieved far more than I thought I would thanks to these small shifts in thinking.
Momentum Builder #1:
Just One E-mail Opened The Floodgates
In one of Robin’s Rapid workshops, we sent out a template e-mail to our customers asking for testimonials. I honestly didn’t think I would get more than 3 customers telling me they were happy with our services. I couldn’t believe the responses I got! Learning that most of our clients loved us was a huge ego boost. From that one e-mail exercise alone, we now have over 30 qualified testimonials of very happy customers. We are very proud of these testimonials as they demonstrate our loyalty to our customers. I was really impressed when we learned how to turn ordinary testimonials into attractive marketing assets featuring powerful messages. Today, we include these newly formatted testimonials in our Shock-And-Awe Box that we send to prospective clients before meetings. Now that we have a clear target market, these testimonials become a competitive advantage to win new business.
Momentum Builder #2:
The 9-Word E-mail That Taught Me The Word “No”
Because I had neglected communicating with most of my client base for years, I cringed at the thought of sending Robin’s 9-Word E-mail. I figured the lack of response would highlight my poor marketing skills. However, I was pleasantly surprised when someone did respond because they weren’t happy with their current IT provider. We visited their business and conducted a site audit. Wow, this really DOES work!
I also remember Robin saying that your client base consists of WHO you invite to the party. Due to my own fears, I would typically invite anyone and everyone to the party and reduce my price to win the project. Rapid taught me how to have the confidence to walk away from the wrong customers. For this potential client, I decided to part ways because they wanted a cheap solution that simply wouldn’t work. I never knew how liberating it was to say “No” to new business when it’s the right thing to do.
Momentum Builder #3:
QBRs Moved 90% Of My Clients To Cyber Security Plans
I was looking forward to the QBRs because I had a good relationship with my clients. I find it far easier to sell when I know the client compared to new prospects. I used this e-mail template to open discussions to other services we have they weren’t taking advantage of as well as to learn more about their business. Armed with this knowledge, I could consider joining new partnerships that would deliver more value while also increasing our profits.
Among our new cross selling opportunities are: VOIP Services, ISPs, Business Continuity, MS SharePoint Services, Business Intelligence, Training, HAAS and Workstation Automation. Plus, we have successfully moved 90% of our clients to our new Cyber Security Plans, 25 clients to our Comprehensive Plan (increasing turnover by £750 per month) and 5 clients to our Hybrid Model (increasing turnover by £9,205 per month).
Momentum Builder #4:
Your List IS Your Business
Finally understanding the value of a quality list is one of the biggest improvements to our business. Before we went to Rapid, we cleaned our list the best we could. The list was reduced significantly to ensure we had only quality prospects, farm lists and clients. I also realized I needed a much better list management system than Autotask. We invested in Infusionsoft CRM for MSPs when I realized the value of segmenting my list for specific campaigns.
Momentum Builder #5:
A Mind Shift About My Ideal Clients
This one took me a while to understand: Why would I shut the door on all other verticals, opportunities and business out there? Then I finally got it: You can’t be all things to all people! It was time to become specialized to one single industry. I chose Financial Advisors because this was where I had the most experience and enjoyed working with these clients. They paid well, valued our business and our services aligned with their needs.
Slowly but surely, we have been firing our old clientele. This is tough for me because I hate losing business. However, my life has become far less stressful by dealing with clients I like. Before, I lived with negativity. Before, work seemed like a chore. Today, I’m passionate about my business because I just love my clients. When I talk about compliance, security and GDPR now, they are interested and will pay without resistance.
Momentum Builder #6:
A Robin-ized Website
I had no idea how much I needed to change my online marketing. My website, blogs, social media — everything had to change! Thankfully, Accelerators Club presented an opportunity for a done-for-you website, e-mail newsletter and more to help me implement an online presence quickly and with minimal issues.
Through Vertical Axion, my new website offers a ton of advantages over my previous website, including:
Target Market: Our new website specializes on a target market and target area.
Our 8 Reasons: Focuses on selling compliance, GDPR and security solutions
USP: Allows us to stand out to Financial Advisors in a sea of competing MSPs
Easy To Identify: On every page of our website, prospects easily see what we do, who we do it for, what makes us unique and how to get a hold of us
Calls To Action: We now have reports, newsletters, blogs, assessment options and other ways of enticing a prospect to learn more so we can start a process of drip marketing.
Analytics: Through Google Analytics we have call tracking and heat mapping software so we can learn about our visitors and know what’s working on our site.
In an effort to build as many marketing oil wells as possible, we also implemented the following: Both Online and Snail Mail Newsletters, Blog Marketing, E-mail Marketing, TechTip Postcards, Webinars, Phones Answered Live, Shock-And-Awe Box, Social Media Updates and more! Marketing is no longer something I fear because I don’t understand it. I’m anxious to keep learning and keep growing.
Accountability, Accelerate, Achieve
Before I discovered Robin, before I went through the experience of her Rapid Implementation Workshop, the word that best described my business was complacency. Today, I’m laser focused on marketing, sales and customer acquisition. With my mindset shift, today I strive to be 10 steps ahead of my competition as well as the marketing expert I always wanted to be. To sum up this mindset change, here’s my favorite quote for you to enjoy:
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” – Andy Grove, Former Chairman and CEO of Intel
Let’s all be paranoid together!