MSP Marketing Blog

How To Make More Net Profits Without Adding More Customers

Posted by Robin Robins On May 2nd, 2013

At last month’s Boot Camp I opened up with a session on how to raise your rates and get paid more for the services you are already delivering. I personally believe I need to drive home on this point more with all clients, pressing them to answer the question: What can you do, offer or change that would allow you to substantially increase profits from each and every client you have? That’s a very smart question to think on when planning quarterly initiatives. Why? Most business owners are compulsively and disproportionately focused on getting more new customers and increasing top line revenue to the point of ignoring or neglecting other key goals and metrics that, arguably, are more important. Profit being one big one. Contrary to popular belief, more top line does NOT translate into more bottom line.

Of course, adding new customers is good and necessary, but it also adds to overhead and complexity. It often will require you to add more staff, which in turn further sucks up time in hiring, training and management, as well as infrastructure, office space, technology, business expenses, inventory, etc. So the smarter way to FIRST approach growing a business, in my humble opinion, is to look at ways to boost income without adding on “more.” For example, if an IT firm has 50 customers that are, on average, spending $800 per month (or $9,600 per year) with a GP margin of 50% ($240,000), bumping that spend by just $100 more per month at the same profit margin adds $30,000 in PROFIT to the business; and $100 per month is an easy goal to shoot for. Plus, these clients will be easier to sell provided, of course, the relationship is solid and the product/service offered is in alignment with what they want. Another example: The same business decides to find more clients who fit the profile of their top 20% of clients and to DROP the bottom 20%, thereby keeping the same number of customers, but instantly increasing the profitability of their business.

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Atlanta MSP Increases Net Profits By 2,968% In One Year With A Very Strategic, Aggressive Marketing Plan

Posted by Robin Robins On April 12th, 2013

That girl is on fire…” The lyrics to the Alicia Keys song resounded throughout the room as Jennifer Holmes, co-owner of MIS Solutions in Atlanta, took the stage to a standing ovation from 550 of her peers to be awarded the title of 2013 Spokesperson and winner of the “Better Your Best” competition at the annual IT Sales and Marketing Boot Camp in Nashville, TN. Not only was she named Spokesperson for Technology Marketing Toolkit, Inc., but she and husband Lliam Holmes were also awarded a brand new Lexus Sedan.

The competition was fierce with the average contestant almost doubling top line revenue and more than tripling bottom line profits in just one year’s time; but Jennifer managed to lock in the win by adding $487,605 in NEW revenue to her business in the last year alone, as well as multiple 5 and 6 figure managed services contracts with larger Atlanta corporations by implementing a very strategic and aggressive online and offline marketing plan that she detailed in her presentation.

When asked about her success Jennifer commented, “The key to our success was committing to becoming a serious student of Robin Robin’s Technology Marketing Toolkit. Like an award winning chocolate cake recipe, Robin gives you the exact recipe, a comprehensive ingredient list and the techniques (in order) to produce a true sales and marketing engine that delivers amazing results, reliably. Through her Producers Club Coaching Program, I’ve developed into a great marketer, salesperson and leader. It is my honor to serve as her 2013 Spokesperson and I’m excited to continue inspiring, mentoring and helping other IT business owners grow their business.” Read full article and comment →

“My Life, Every Day, Is A Big, Fat Fight.”

Posted by Robin Robins On April 1st, 2013

I heard Donald Trump say that once during the boardroom scene of a Celebrity Apprentice episode to a guy who was complaining about the stress of fighting, constantly, with the other contestants. He said to Trump (paraphrased), “You don’t tolerate this kind of fighting every day in your life, do you?” to which Trump quickly replied that indeed he did, and that every single day of his life is a “big, fat fight.” Boy is that ever true for any entrepreneur! Trump’s comment came to me as I was finishing the answer to John’s question in this month’s Q&A section about how I’ve overcome the various struggles in my business. John’s question reveals to me that he’s probably a startup that is having difficulty growing, and he thinks that once you overcome the early struggles it gets easier. I can assure you it does not. Like Trump said, every day brings a new, fresh fight of some kind. And once your business is successful, you’ve got a LOT more at stake. John Motazedi, our current Spokesperson and CEO of SNC Squared also came to mind. Many of you know he had his building flattened by a tornado in 2011 and lost thousands of dol­lars in recurring revenue contracts when several of his clients closed their doors after having the same fate handed to them. Over the last year I know of multiple, major set­backs he’s had to endure, some too crazy to even mention, that would have made most people want to give up—and no one would have blamed him. However, despite all of that, he’s gone on to dramatically increase the success and profitability of his business (something you’ll hear him speak about on stage at the upcoming Boot Camp). Every day for the last two years, John has had to get up and face a big, fat fight against problems and opposition that would cause others to crumble. I’m proud to have him as a Spokesperson for my organization because he’s made of the right stuff. Read full article and comment →

If I Were Buying What You Are Selling, Would I Buy It From You?

Posted by Robin Robins On March 1st, 2013

I have been getting a LOT of questions around the topic of creating a unique selling proposition. Confusion abounds. Therefore I thought I would take a moment to give a quick refresher on what it is, why you need it and how it’s used.

First, a quick history lesson: Rosser Reeves coined the phrase “unique selling point” back in the 1940s when researching why some advertising campaigns worked better than others.

Since then it has been used by various marketers and has morphed into “unique selling proposition,” which is now more commonly used. Ogilvy said you need a “big idea.” Trout says you need to “differentiate or die.” I talk about your value proposition and competitive advantage. Regardless of how you phrase it, the meaning is the same: What’s the single most compelling reason why a prospect should buy from YOU over all the other options, vendors and choices they have? The key word in unique selling proposition is, of course, unique. Since the answer to the above question should be unique to you and dependent on your abilities, systems, niche and offering, I cannot just give you a USP in a template. I can (and will) however give you some guidelines.

First, your services have to be FOR somebody specifically, not the masses. When I ask MSPs “What’s your target audience,” I’ll often hear, “Anyone between 5 and 100 PCs in the such-and-such area.” Bull. A 5-person company is an entirely different animal than a company with 100 employees. Totally different situation, needs, budgets, etc. You can’t niche the phone book. That doesn’t mean you must have a particular vertical to be successful. You can certainly have a variety of businesses as clients; but I would urge you to find the commonality of those clients be it size, income, pace of growth, service category, etc. Read full article and comment →

“If You Think Education Is Expensive, Try Ignorance.”

Posted by Robin Robins On September 25th, 2012

– Attributed to both Andy McIntyre and Derek Bok

I just got back from New York City where I spent two full days with some of the best and brightest minds in marketing, leadership, health, science and business at my friend Joe Polish’s $25K group (named for the annual membership fee).  Many people don’t know that I was the one that gave Joe the idea to start this group, a small fact for which I get little to no credit and certainly no membership price break.  Thinking back, I should have told him to call it the $10K group and would have saved myself 15 G’s.  All hindsight is 20-20.  the upside is that it keeps the wannabes out for the most part, which is, if you’re sharp, the first big take away from this month’s blog articles.

Speakers and attendees included Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize and author of the book “Abundance;” Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes media; Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post; Brendan Burchard, Dr. Hallowell, Eban Pagan, Tim Ferris, Hugh McCloud, Dr. Mark Hyman, Marc Goodman, Dan Sullivan and many other multi-millionaires running “ordinary” businesses that you wouldn’t know if I named them.  Lotsa brainpower in the room but no one had any special powers for building a business or securing great wealth – just the ability to discipline themselves to focus on doing the right things in business (aka marketing or revenue generation, however you want to define it).  Not too surprisingly, even those in the room who were scientists and doctors had a laser focus on marketing and positioning, many coming out with new books for the sole purpose of PR, positioning, lead generations, etc.  I think small business owners are often surprised at the amount of time and focus CEO’s of major, multi-million dollar companies dedicate to the topic of marketing (and their involvement), although they might call it something else. Read full article and comment →

Hitting The Snooze Button

Posted by Robin Robins On September 18th, 2012

Before every Producers Club meeting, we poll the Members to see what topics they want me to cover. For the last 3 meetings the #1 content request was, in some shape or form, about getting things done (specifically marketing) and time management. This is, admittedly, perplexing to me since once I’ve covered it, the strategies don’t change, so I’m left trying to spin up a new chicken dish that’s interesting and fresh, working with the same basic, somewhat boring foundation. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can get the Members to pay me $1,100 a month to leave their business for 3 days and fly to Nashville to watch a video of the LAST time-management presentation I did. Maybe I ought to test that…

Point is, I’m seeing increasing angst about getting things done, even though we have more software, conveniences and shortcuts than ever before. There are several reasons for this, but I think one of the big ones is the HABIT of constantly, consistently breaking commitments you make to yourself and others. In fact, most people start the day breaking the first commitment they made the night before: to get up on time. Why bother setting your alarm clock if you’re just going to hit the snooze button every morning? But this habit of hitting the snooze button is not just a funny anecdote; it’s a sad example of the way many people live their lives.  Read full article and comment →

The 12 Components A Successful Radio Ad Must Have

Posted by Robin Robins On September 7th, 2012

If you currently use radio advertising to get more clients to outsource their IT support to you or if radio is just something you are considering, check this out…

I recently interviewed Fred Catona, CEO of Bull Dozer Digital, on the “secret sauce” to making radio ads work for B-2-B marketing. During this call he revealed a the 12 components that any successful radio ad MUST have! These are valuable gems you don’t want to miss so here’s the recording for you to grab:

Click Here To Download Audio

Also, Fred has an awesome starter program on how to generate leads on radio for only $199 bucks
– you can get it here:

http://bulldozerdigital.com/robin.html

But at a minimum, listen to my interview to get the scoop on whether or not radio will work for you. Read full article and comment →

How To Steal Prime Clients Away From Your Competition, Even When Your Prices Are Higher

Posted by Robin Robins On August 29th, 2012

Consider this: your absolute BEST prospect is someone who is already paying money for outsourced IT support. They obviously have a need and have demonstrated a willingness to pay for the types of services you offer. The problem is they are paying someone besides YOU for the service and have an existing relationship in place. So the question then becomes, how do you drive a wedge between your prospect and their current IT support vendor so you have an opportunity to win the business?

I recently had my friend Randy Schwantz talk about at the recent Cloud Summit. This was rated the #1 BEST presentation there, so I wanted to share it with all my subscribers. In case you’re not familiar with Randy, he’s a best-selling author, speaker and sales trainer that specializes in helping service companies differentiate themselves and close more business. His sales method is unique because most traditional sales training will only teach you how to build relationships with the prospect; but they don’t teach you how to overcome the relationship the prospect already has with their current IT provider. If you cannot overcome that, you cannot make the sale. Too often, a salesperson will bring a quality proposal with winning ideas and fair pricing, but if not careful, the incumbent will get a “last look” to match the ideas, pricing and product innovations. Net result: They keep the client and you’ve just wasted a bunch of time. Read full article and comment →