MSP Marketing Blog

Close More MSP Sales And Unseat More Competitors By Becoming The LEAST RISKY Choice

Posted by Robin Robins On March 13th, 2019
RR CertificateOne of the most difficult things for our members to get their head around is the USP, or unique selling proposition.

Without one, you’re pushing a rope uphill, fighting price sensitivity and the high hurdle of replacing an incumbent provider who might actually be doing a decent to excellent job.

YOU are an unknown entity, unproven in your abilities, thereby a RISKY CHOICE to the client. After all, why would anyone incur the cost and time investment to replace a vendor that is doing a satisfactory job with a complete unknown?

They won’t unless the incumbent is doing a terrible job, in which case you’re playing vulture marketing, waiting for THEM to screw up and die so you can go pick the carcass.

The other alternative is to have something SO compelling, and offering such a big, significant benefit, that the client will make the leap.

ONE of the ways you can stand out from the competition and win more clients is NOT by being the BEST at what you do, but the least risky. We all know talk is cheap (unless it’s with an attorney).

Promises and hyperbole uttered by a salesperson are the cheapest talk of all. The bold prospects will say, “Put it in writing.”

But most don’t say anything; they just secretly decide to stay put with their current provider or call someone else; rarely will they verbalize their true concerns.

So how do you fight this? Read full article and comment →

What IS Marketing Supposed To Do Anyway?

Posted by Robin Robins On February 21st, 2019

MarketingFrom a Harvard Business Review article, “Why CMOs NEVER Last”:

Something is amiss in the relationship between chief executives and their marketing officers. Four-fifths of CEOs say they don’t trust or are unimpressed by their CMOs. Not surprisingly, CMOs have the briefest tenure in the C-suite, and their churn can mean serious internal business disruptions.

The articles goes on to argue this is mostly due to the job description and expectations being set up poorly.

I don’t entirely disagree; however, I have studied advertising and marketing and methinks the BIGGER issue is that marketers have drifted, forgetting that marketing is about SELLING THINGS – not followers, fans, likes, shares or hashtags.

To be clear, we HERE, in THIS community, are committed to the discipline of direct response marketing.

The key differentiator of it over all other forms of advertising and branding is MEASUREMENT: measurement of actual responses, leads and ULTIMATELY sales made, clients acquired.

Everything else is “fake news,” leading you to confuse activity with accomplishment. Read full article and comment →

It’s The Thought That Counts, Right?

Posted by Robin Robins On February 13th, 2019
It's the thought that counts, right

It’s The Thought That Counts, Right?

How many times have you been told by your Mum, “It’s the thought that counts,” as counsel after getting a worthless piece of crap for a gift?

Maybe that’s a good mantra to live by for casual gifts, but in business, it’s the worst piece of advice you can get, the worst excuse you can give.

Next month at our big annual Boot Camp (www.RobinsBigSeminar.com), 5 of our most successful members will present onstage what they did to secure an average increase in their business of $909,483 in 12 months, in addition to an 87% increase in bottom-line profits (click here to see who they are and to read their stories).

Not too shabby when you consider the average MSP never breaks the million-dollar mark in their business over their lifetime. Read full article and comment →

Fortune-Making Truths About Media, Money And Marketing Process For MSPs and IT Services Businesses

Posted by Robin Robins On February 6th, 2019

Direct Marketing MixHere’s a truth many small business owners DON’T want to embrace, much less give recognition to: the more marketing media you can use simultaneously, the more money you’ll make.

You’ll also be a LOT less FRAGILE and vulnerable to an economic downturn, a serious competitor, commoditization, media disruption (like what happened to fax broadcast) or other disruptions. I would encourage you to pause for a moment and let that sink in. Think on it long and hard.

I just gave you a million-dollar “secret.”

So why don’t more have it? Because everyone – and I do mean everyone – wants the postcard they can e-mail to drive in clients.

The “one thing” that is more important than everything else. Gimme an EASY BUTTON, for goodness’ sake!

But the reality is, no business gets rich depending on ONE media, ONE strategy, ONE anything. There is power and stability in diversity and complexity. Sure, you have to start somewhere, and often “one thing done” is better than doing nothing.

As quickly as you can, you have to move beyond simple to complex. From one-shot messaging to multiple media, all interwoven, all supporting the other, all driving toward the same outcome.

So let’s break this down… Read full article and comment →

Getting 10X The Revenue From Everything You Do

Posted by Robin Robins On January 23rd, 2019

Turn Up ProfitWhen I’m working with a client to plan their marketing action list, one of the things I always look to do is take a campaign they’re currently doing that IS working, and see how I can make it pay bigger. Unfortunately, most people don’t have this ability, simply because they never put their mind to it.

For example, when you meet with a prospect, do you ask for a referral? How about after they buy, in exchange for some gift or slight discount? What do you have to lose? When closing the sale, do you offer an upsell of some kind? A warranty on new equipment? A phone system? PREPAY for the year for a 5% discount? When you go to a trade show, do you also make a point of visiting with (prospecting) the other vendors when folks are in the session? Maybe they could be a good joint venture partner or a referral source. Maybe they could become a client for you too. You’re already there, so why not make the most of it? Meet with the hotel manager and staff. Walk around other events going on. In almost every case, whatever you’re doing can be PULSED if you simply sit and think about how to maximize the opportunity. Read full article and comment →

Using Marketing Math To Hit EVERY New Year’s Goal You Set For Yourself With Certainty

Posted by Robin Robins On January 9th, 2019

Of the four M’s of marketing – Market, Message, Media and Math – the one that many don’t like is the math. Marketing is, at its core, applied psychology plus math; you can get the psychology side really, really right (offers, message, USP, etc.) but totally and completely miss your mark if the numbers side of the equation doesn’t add up; and since the New Year is when most people are setting goals for themselves, you MUST know the MATH side of the equation or you’ll frustrate yourself (and your staff) by constantly falling short of goals – and it’s VERY demoralizing for a leader to constantly set goals they don’t hit. Not knowing marketing “math” also makes it impossible to manage new sales reps, because you won’t be able to work backwards from their goal to tell them how many activities (calls, connections, appointments, proposals, etc.) they will need to conduct to hit their quota; worse, you won’t know if they HIT or MISSED their quota until it’s too late to do anything about it.

Example: A client calls in and wants to know if sending 50 Bad Date letters a week is “good.” I can’t say if it is “good” or not without knowing his specific goals. If he wants to add $1 million to his business and the average client is worth $2,000 a month, then JUST sending 50 Bad Date letters a week is NOT a sufficient plan. At $2,000 a month, he’ll need approximately 42 clients. If his close rate is 30%, he’ll need 142 proposals generated; if 50% of all leads generated are not qualified, not ready to buy now and don’t move to an appointment, he’ll need 284 leads per year and about 7,100 prospects to target per quarter if we assume an average 1% response rate to the campaign each time it’s sent (284 ÷ .01 is 28,400, then divide again by 4 to assume we remarket to that same group every quarter with a different type of lead generation campaign and offer). Based on HIS SPECIFIC GOAL, he would have to send out 546 Bad Date letters per week to hit $1 million in net new business that year if that’s ALL he was doing AND if his goal was to add $1 million in revenue with an average price point of $2,000. Read full article and comment →

Where Does Your Marketing Become Counterproductive?

Posted by Robin Robins On December 26th, 2018

This is a discussion I had with a client, paraphrased, that I just had to share. It went something like this…

I’m signed up here but I have to tell ya, I really don’t like marketing and I have a lot of issues with it. I hate being “marketed” to. I screen all telemarketing calls and never call them back. I filter all promotional e-mails into the trash bin, and I use a free, throwaway e-mail anytime I sign up for something. I also hate using tacky gimmicks like charging $9.95. It’s TEN BUCKS! Or using deadlines and testimonials and big promises. It all seems so hokey to me. BUT I desperately need to grow my business and generate more sales. I’ve been doing this IT work for almost 30 years, I’ve never generated more than $300,000 in sales and I’m exhausted. If I don’t figure this out, it’s gonna kill me. I hope you can help.

Geez. Outside of that, Mrs. Lincoln, what didn’t you like about the play? I give the guy credit because he’s aware and willing to admit he needs help with the head trash holding him back. Further, I know there are a LOT of people who think and feel the way he does, but just won’t admit it OR they won’t allow themselves to see how it’s holding them back in business. Doing so would require them to change and actually DO marketing, which they simply cannot bring themselves to face. Read full article and comment →

How To Put More Jingle In Your Pocket By Staying In Touch With Your Clients

Posted by Robin Robins On December 12th, 2018

Money In Your PocketI have emphatically stated and long taught the importance of FREQUENT and MEANINGFUL communication with your clients as well as key strategic partners and centers of influence (association directors, sponsors, referral partners, etc.). Practically every business I know fails to do this effectively, some more than others. The best way to communicate, I believe, is a well-written MONTHLY newsletter that is printed and MAILED, but I’m constantly fighting the quarterly or biannual newsletter, or the desire to simply e-mail it to everyone. I DON’T recommend either of these approaches because 1) in order for it to be a publication clients look forward to getting, it must have frequency, and 2) e-mail is a very unreliable way to get your marketing out, with as many as 80% of recipients never seeing it, much less opening it and reading it. You also cannot replicate the feel of getting and opening the printed newsletter – and that TANGIBLE communication matters a great deal. Read full article and comment →

Why You Shouldn’t Fear “No” When Selling IT Solutions

Posted by Robin Robins On November 28th, 2018

Neon SignHere’s a question I received from a client that I get some version of FREQUENTLY:

“Once I get the contact on the phone, say the CEO, he or she will usually say, ‘Yes, I got your information and passed it on to my IT department.’ For me this is like being placed in the Bermuda Triangle, because the IT person usually never returns calls. I am sure they fear losing their job or getting in trouble. It is nearly impossible to get a call or e-mail back. I do try the recommended Robin Robins comeback, ‘Great, we deal with a lot of customers that have internal IT folks, but what we would like to talk to you about is a third-party validation of the security and stability of your computer network. We don’t always find something wrong, but often we’ll uncover a few areas that are not being secured or maintained as well as they should.’

I have had success with one prospect with this come­back but most of the time I feel they are so hesitant because they do not know who we are, even after dripping – there is probably a trust issue. I am hoping you can maybe advise or others can share their experience in handling this scenario. Thanks…” Read full article and comment →

How To Keep The “Hidden” Decision Maker From Cooking You Like A Thanksgiving Turkey

Posted by Robin Robins On November 14th, 2018

Wives Testimonial CoverOne of the most productive and useful things you can do to work on your marketing and sales for your IT business is NEGATIVE PREPARATION: think of every reason a prospect won’t buy – every obstacle, concern and issue that causes anxiety – then go to work in preparing your process to address it EARLY and, ultimately, address it, minimize it and hopefully eliminate it.

An excellent example of this is a new piece we’ve recently added to all Accelerators Club welcome kits to address a COMMON objection/hurdle we must overcome: the wife of the guy who comes to the seminar, signs up for Accelerators and then has to go home and tell her that he just spent a few thousand dollars on a marketing “seminar.” Often (but not always) the wife is not too happy about it. She may have experience with him buying other “self-help” programs, memberships and marketing only to come up with zeros, so her confidence in marketing and, candidly, her confidence in HIM is low. Therefore, she ONLY sees the money that won’t be going to a new remodeled kitchen, a new car, a vacation, etc. I appreciate their concern. They often don’t know anything about me, much less about marketing. They have no experience with my organization and they haven’t sat through the “pitch” to see what they are getting – and that’s EXACTLY why we need this piece and why YOU need a similar one as well for marketing to your MSP clients. Read full article and comment →