Tim, a healthy 41-year-old, the owner and lead computer engineer of Holston IT, was suddenly and completely unavailable. In the wee hours of December 5th, 2011, Dr. Ben Scharfstein, who had just performed emergency surgery, gave us his summary statement: “Now I’ve seen a lot of miracles, but I just need to be straight with you. He’s probably not going to make it.” Five things helped us through this crisis:
- Our faith in God. We knew that God had a plan, for our good and His glory. We weren’t holding onto our faith; our faith was holding onto us.
- Family and friends. We were shocked and humbled by the outpouring of generosity toward us. We’ll spend the rest of our lives “paying it forward.”
- A great team. Extreme commitment from Andy and Logan, and plain hard work from everyone on our team, led one client to say that his support from Holston IT was “seamless” during Tim’s absence. That is amazing.
- Disability Insurance. If you don’t have this, you’re nuts. Call your financial advisor today. This is not a cost, it’s an investment that takes certain risks off the table. Our company could not have survived Tim’s absence without this support.
- Robin’s Marketing Strategies. We had been fans of Robin Robins for years, but not until after this crisis did we commit to joining her coaching group. We knew that aligning ourselves alongside 300 of the world’s most successful IT business owners would pay off. Wow, were we right.
Right away, I saw that I had a lot of head trash to clear out. I had such a negative perception of who a salesman is—and of course I didn’t want to become that! But I didn’t have to. I learned the key: When meeting with a potential client, I needed to focus on questions like “How can we best serve you? How can the skillset of our technical team help you achieve your business goals?”
As I focused on those questions, I realized that we had to shift our focus away from “break/fix” work toward monthly proactive service. Following Robin’s recipe, in just 9 months I grew the total of our monthly contracts from $3700 to $6700. Such contracts create happier clients—because now we are catching and fixing little problems before they become big problems which disrupt business flow. Thank you, Robin! Your guidance helped us steer our ship through this storm!