Without Marketing, There’s Zero Leads And Zero Hope For Growth
Living in the small coastal town of Hartlepool in North East England, I believe I bring a unique perspective of running an MSP from “across the pond.” My IT journey began when I left high school at the age of 16. Classroom education was never really for me, so I went into an apprenticeship and worked my way up from the bottom.
I ran three different businesses, including owning my own wedding DJ service with a staff of eight. As an IT contractor, I followed the work around the UK and even lived in a for 20 months! I made a lot of mistakes in business and lost a lot of money, mainly because I had a bad habit of jumping in feet first without first listening, learning and following a plan.
I wasn’t about to make those mistakes again when I started MSC IT Solutions in 2016. Unfortunately, I fell into the all-too-common mistake of doing ZERO MARKETING! Without spending a dime on marketing, every bit of work came from word of mouth and referrals. Because I ignored marketing, I picked up maybe one new client a year and a smattering of project work. Nothing predictable. No new leads. No wonder growth was stagnant.
My First Rapid Implementation Workshop And A Truckload Of Excuses
In November 2018, I flew over the pond to Nashville, Tennessee. With literally no marketing and a mess of a CRM, I was focused on using this workshop as a springboard toward new business growth. Little did I know about the shit storm that was brewing back home in England!
While I was away from my business, a member of my staff made a complete mess of a critical project. He realized he was in over his head and immediately gave his notice. In order to fix the problems and repair my client relationship, I had to fall back into a tech role, which caused much of the marketing I was anxious to start to fall by the wayside.
Lessons learned from my first Rapid Implementation Workshop:
#1 – Dig deeper into new hire references to ensure they can do what they say.
#2 – Always create a detailed plan for the team and check in multiple times if away.
#3 – BEFORE wearing the sales and marketing hat, ensure tech and operations are handled.
While I failed at implementing marketing after the workshop, I was committed to improving processes and procedures, holding myself and my team accountable and generally moving the business forward at a faster pace than before.
Rapid Implementation Workshop #2… Right In My Backyard!
While visiting friends in Nashville, I popped into the Technology Marketing Toolkit office to visit Debi, Mike and Jeff and spotted “RIW London” written on a whiteboard. What!? They’re coming to ME! Not only was Robin’s workshop coming to London, I found out my girlfriend and I were going to have a baby just one month before! (Was I wrong for looking forward to a few full nights of peaceful sleep in a hotel?)
The news of the workshop and the baby stirred up a whole new focus within me. Six months of accountability calls chipped away and chipped away, and I got into the right frame of mind, started making plans and getting extremely organized.
Because I had been through Rapid once before, I felt like a nerd who did much of his work beforehand. I had my list ready, content created, Done-For-You Website near completion and a team I trusted.
But one question still loomed large…
NOTE: For more information about Rapid Implementation Workshop click here.
Would This “American Marketing” Work In The UK?
Initially I had my doubts if Robin’s copy and her Americanized marketing would even speak to my target audience. Other IT business owners in the workshop felt the same way. We all wondered, “Will this message and tone work in the UK?” Would people be receptive to it? Would they actually get offended by it? I was even wondering if I should rewrite it all to make it more “Englishized.”
Another doubt of mine: if the marketing did work, could we even HANDLE the business? That’s right, I had a fear of failure AND a fear of success! Clearly, I was overthinking everything. I figured I needed to trust the process and “just do it.”
5 Leads, 3 New Customers And £29,440 – All From 5 MINUTES Of Work!
In the class, we started off with the 9-Word E-mail and the Cross-Sell Campaign. From 221 e-mails sent to prospects and clients – which took me all of FIVE MINUTES in our Infusionsoft CRM – we gained five leads, three new customers, £4,500 of hardware sales, a £1,000 mini-project and £1,995 in MRR (12-month total value of £29,440). That’s a complete transformation of our business in the time it takes to eat proper fish and chips! NOTE: Get the exact e-mail Mark used by clicking here.
I Became An Implementation Dynamo!
Taking everything from my time in London, I headed back to my office with big plans. I committed myself to stop making excuses, clear my diary of pointless tasks and implement like crazy. I worked through the weekly calls, created and tweaked my unique selling proposition, finalized my 8 Reasons To Choose MSC IT Solution, added new testimonials and pushed our Done-For-You Website LIVE (a huge improvement from the old site we threw together a few years back).
Turning Quarterly Business Reviews Into Profit Centers
Before Robin, our quarterly business reviews (QBRs) were not very effective, and they certainly weren’t quarterly. Because we didn’t follow a process, our random business reviews rarely resulted in new revenue. By following Robin’s sales playbook called Sales-A-Palooza and understanding the psychology in the Chris Voss interviews, our quarterly business reviews have become far more productive and profitable. By utilizing the 9-Word E-mail and Cross-Sell Campaigns, the resulting QBRs netted £29,440.
Taking A Few Aspirin For An Impending Headache Of Pandemic Proportions
As soon as I returned from the Rapid Implementation Workshop, I started preparing our first direct mail campaign, Robin’s Aspirin Campaign. We got everything printed, got our appointment setters ready and orchestrated the nightmare that was collecting aspirin packets. Note to you lazy Americans …the UK does not sell aspirin in single-serve packets. We had to order LARGE bottles of aspirin and parse them out into our own little packets. What a pain!
Our first batch consisted of 26 letters. Within three hours, our appointment setter made 26 follow-up calls, and we got THREE first-time appointments! WIN! And then life as we knew it came to a screeching halt…
As Fear And Doubt Spread Worldwide, My Mindset Remained Strong
God, I’ve learned to hate the word “pivot.” And the phrase “new normal.” And pretty much anything associated with this damn virus. That’s because, just as it has in America, it has crushed England businesses. At the time, all of our customers consisted of secondary schools. Before we could even prepare, our ENTIRE VERTICAL had shut down! No lessons. No exams. No additional sales or revenue opportunities.
All income apart from our existing contract revenue stopped cold. At the time, we weren’t sure of the extent of the closures and how many businesses the lockdown would affect. Unfortunately, we were forced to furlough four of our employees. But fortunately, while businesses around us have been decimated, I am THANKFUL my mindset is still strong and MSC IT Solutions has continued to GROW during this lockdown!
Introducing The Most Powerful Technology To Grow Your Business In A Lockdown
Maybe it was a lack of sales confidence. Perhaps I didn’t have a proven sales script. Maybe it was an underlying fear. But after attending Robin’s Las Vegas Roadshow last year and her virtual Boot Camp this year, I did something I hadn’t done in a while: I picked up my phone and started calling prospects, leads and clients.
Yes, while we often hide behind e-mail and social media, our PHONES are still among the most effective technologies available to us to ramp up sales. Because most businesses in the UK were shut down and people were at home, I utilized Robin’s sales scripts to make some calls. I made less than 10 calls to contacts outside our vertical to add £179,800 to our income this year already – £3,000 in project work, £116,800 in hardware sales and an estimated £5,000 in monthly recurring revenue from one of the large UK investment banks!
Adding £302K In Revenue While Watching Our Core Client Base Shut Down Overnight!
I always said, being a small business I would never have time to do any marketing. I always said the “American stuff” wouldn’t work in the UK. How WRONG I was! My whole mindset has changed, and even the lockdown has been positive for us. How? Because we entered into it with a positive outlook and looked for positive outcomes. In just three months and during a pandemic that locked down our entire client base, we have:
- Gained £11K in new monthly recurring revenue – Over DOUBLING our previous MRR!
- Added £10K in project work
- Brought in £160K in hardware sales
That’s £302K in additional revenue this year while our core client base shut down overnight! Thanks for bringing the Technology Marketing Toolkit team to London! Without that experience, I’m not sure where my business would be today.