New Year’s Resolution #1: Do A Better Job At Positioning Rather Than Prospecting.
If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Better question: If Robin constantly tells you the cornerstone to your marketing strategy should be positioning and attracting prospects to you rather than prospecting and chasing them down, but you don’t do it, does it mean it doesn’t work? Below is the cover of a book designed and authored by Genius League Member Chris Wiser, President of TechSquad. This is just one element that goes into Chris’s Shock-N-Awe box sent to new prospects BEFORE he meets with them. Genius League Member Jeff Johnson, President of CMIT Solutions in Sacramento has commented that since sending his book in a Shock-N-Awe box, the number of appointments that have been moved or cancelled have gone down dramatically.
Fellow Genius League Member Kishor Solanki, Triohm Solutions is picking up approximately 6-7 new clients a month for his EMR solution, a $20,000 sale. How’s he doing it? Speaking engagements and JVs with pharmaceutical companies that position him as the expert in the new government regulations and benefits surrounding electronic medical records. I could go on. Bottom line is this: the better a job you do at positioning yourself as the expert in a certain area, the easier it is for you to acquire clients who willingly pay top dollar for your expertise.
Some of the best ways to position yourself are:
- Write a book. Enough said. If you need help, search www.guru.com for a ghost writer or simply take one of the free reports in the Toolkit and use it as a soup starter. You can still hire a “book shepherd” to help you — that is a professional who will help you get your book written, formatted, printed and published. If you need help with the design & printing, go to my MasterMind website to look for our recommended vendors on self publishing and graphic design. The self publishers can provide you with recommendations for writers and editors as well as graphic design. Remember, it’s all in your head that this is difficult; it just takes a little thought on what to include and who you are going to sent it to — the free reports in the Toolkit have done the bulk of the work for you.
- Publish a weekly article in the newspaper or your own blog/newsletter. If you can’t get a writing gig for your local paper, you can certainly publish a weekly blog or a monthly newsletter. Just make sure it’s both interesting and valuable, not just a bunch of geek speak and techie articles you cut and paste just to fill space.
- Create an audio business card or get someone to interview you as an expert on a particular topic. I recently interviewed Genius League Member Nathan Viveiros on what to look for when outsourcing your IT support; an interview he’s now using to build credibility with new prospects. This is FAR more powerful than a flimsy business card and it properly positions him as the expert while simultaneously delivering value. This is underscored by the fact that Nate operates his business remotely and has recently figured out how to close BIG managed services deals over the phone without ever meeting the prospect— something many of his peers swore couldn’t be done.
- Public Speaking. I highly recommend you secure as many speaking engagements as possible, even if you have to create them on your own by conducting your own events and seminars. Seek out associations, non-profit groups and the Chamber. Many associations look for subject matter experts to add value to various meetings and programs they offer.
- Become “active” in your local community. Join various boards and committees and volunteer your time. This will lift your awareness and open doors to meet key decision makers and key influencers in your market area. If you target a niche like I do, partner with other key vendors and influencers in that niche, whether it be speaking at their events, offering support to their members, attending their events, etc.
New Year’s Resolution #2: Use More “Creative And Honest Theft.”
I recently received a letter sent to me by Master Mind Member Leah Hazenfield, Customer Account Manager at ProfessionalTelecommunications Services, Inc. who wrote:
“Robin, I hope this made it into your hands. We’re in a different primary industry, but your methods are easily adaptable! Here are a few examples we’ve used to generate recurring revenue that were unheard of in our industry. Maintenance and support never used to sell well in telephony. Guess what? We’ve broken the mold using some of your methods and creative selling strategies. If you want to do business with us, you have to pay us to have our unmatched servicesat your beck and call! Thanks for the boost from you and the TMT staff!”
Well done, Leah. One of the biggest road blocks to success is negative beliefs about how a certain thing can’t be done because it’s never been done before, it’s not how everyone else does it in our industry, our customers are “different” and won’t respond to that, etc. As a business owner, you have to be smarter than that. Drive through windows were invented by Ray Kroc in the 1930s and have since been adapted by all different kinds of businesses, including wedding chapels. As an entrepreneur and marketer, make sure you keep your eyes and ears open for marketing and business strategies OUTSIDE the IT industry that you can apply in your own.
* For the record, honest theft is when you take another person’s idea or strategy and instead of copying it verbatim, use the concept or idea creatively in your own business. I’ve seen a number of members steal various web sites and content from both us and some of our more savvy marketing clients. Don’t do that. It IS stealing and it is illegal.
Next time, I’ll reveal my #3 and #4 New Years Resolutions for IT Marketers!