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MARKETING FIREWORKS: Using Ego Appeal in Marketing Your MSP

I’ve often said marketing is simply psychology plus math…a “manipulation” of emotions and focus with an intent to get a prospective client to buy from you.

Most people cringe at the thought of using any type of emotional appeal in their advertising, yet it’s been proven over and over again that all human beings make their buying decisions based on an emotion or feeling, NOT just facts.

Therefore, if you refuse to use emotion in your marketing copy and sales strategy, stubbornly insisting on sticking to a LOGICAL argument laden with facts, you will be suppressing your response and overall success.

I had a client once change the name of their managed services plan from “Silver, Gold and Platinum” to “Home Business, Economy and Premier” and describe the “Economy” service as one for those businesses that are not as financially stable and secure as they’d like to be but still want quality IT support, and the “Premier” service designed exclusively for successful CEOs of fast-growing companies that need IT handled…who want “first class, white glove” service and wouldn’t settle for anything less.

INSTANTLY (and changing no other aspect of his pitch) he had prospects skipping OVER the “Home Business” service and only considering the other two; PLUS he more than doubled the number of businesses that took the high-end plan.

Again, no change in what’s included or the pricing. It shocked the heck out of him, but didn’t surprise me in the least.

Question for you: Are you relying too much on facts and logic to make a sale?

How might you build more emotional juice into your marketing and your sales presentation?

For example, let’s take technical network audits. I know some tiptoe around this when presenting the report to the prospect, afraid of what they feel is “fear-mongering” or talking bad about the competition.

Nuts. You MUST make mountains out of molehills. Worse yet, many don’t even conduct such an audit, citing it’s “too much work” or unnecessary. Crazy.

You’re getting ONE CHANCE to make a solid case for why they need managed services…and why they need it from you. You have cheaper and more aggressive competitors vying for the business.

There are a million reasons why they WON’T buy now. Why only have ONE pillar holding up the roof? Why not build the Parthenon?

Interested in working with us to learn how to use this and other ideas that will make your marketing more effective, attracting your ideal leads and consistently making your phone ring? Claim your free gift, “The Ultimate Marketing System For MSPs and IT Services Starter Kit.” Click Here Now.

When It Comes TO MSP Sales, No Guts, No Glory (Or Money)

WinnerLast year I started a book club with my team where we all read and/or listen to an educational program and get together on Friday morning to discuss and look for practical applications of the ideas. One of our first books was Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount and it’s still top of mind a year later for underscoring one very critical point: if you want to be successful in sales, you MUST prospect.

I find a lot of salespeople (and members) obsess over the “no” and “not interested” responses they get when following up on marketing campaigns.

What should I say?  What do I do?  What am I doing wrong?

They allow the criticism to shut them down, reducing them to a timid, frightened, quivering pulp, thereby making them even more ineffective on the phone due to the stench of uncertainty and fear rolling off them.

When I question them about their numbers (how many did they call, how many did they actually reach and what percentage gave them the one-finger salute, telling them to bug off), they GUESS. Read full article and comment →

How To Tell If Your Marketing Is Productive

Hamster WheelFrom AdWeek: 62% of small businesses see NO return on their investment in Facebook.

From Forbes: 44% of businesses can’t even measure social media ROI.

Despite this, according to a survey from the Manifest, 63% of small businesses plan on increasing their spend on social media (!). One social media “expert” commenting on this said that “not all social media traffic generates revenue” (Really? Who’da thunk) and went on to suggest that “you might measure conversations that originated with a social media visit and use that as a gauge of success.”

He went on to say that it was especially important for start-ups to get followers because an initial “audience” was more important than an initial customer base.

Count me unconvinced.

I’m not against using social media – what I AM against is wasting time, focus, energy and money on marketing activities that don’t directly lead to a paying client. Read full article and comment →

12 Questions An MSP Owner Should Ask Themselves When Creating A Marketing Plan

12 QuestionsRecently a new client asked, “What is the average in months for an MSP to implement a marketing plan?”

Impossible to answer because you first have to determine what a marketing plan means for your business, but it led me to outline several important things that a business owner needs to know before a plan can be created.

In this instance, let’s assume a marketing plan is the strategy for how you are going to achieve your revenue and client acquisition goals. Therefore, we need to know the following:

  1. What resources do you have available to you right now in money? People (salespeople, marketing, their skill level, etc.)? Lists? Campaigns and marketing systems in place? Relationships with strategic partners and JVs? Anything else?
  2. Have you clarified WHO you want as a client? Do you have a list of them? If yes, is it a COLD list or a warm list of clients and prospects?
  3. Do you know your current market size? When do we run out of rope? Is it big enough to feed us? Too small to hit our goals?
  4. Do you know who your top competitors are, and do you have a plan for replacing the incumbent IF your competitor is another MSP/IT services company?
  5. Do you have a working, productive offer to generate leads, or will it need to be created?
  6. Do you have a reliable sales funnel and follow-up process for handling inbound leads, or will they have to be created?
  7. Do you have a CRM in place to organize, track and maximize campaigns, or does it have to be created?
  8. What are your specific sales and client acquisition goals, and how much of a leap is that from what you’re currently doing?
  9. What does the average client spend with you?
  10. How quickly do you want to hit the above goals?
  11. Do you have to make a profit on the first sale, or can you float the acquisition cost?
  12. Do you know what your allowable cost is per lead? Per sale?

Read full article and comment →

Before You Outsource Your Marketing, Consider These 6 Tips

Call Center Support

I recently saw a website selling marketing services to MSPs that offered to “send out blurbs several times a week” via your company’s social media pages. Another offered to do “e-mail blasts” to your list.

It got me thinking … is that really how you think of essential communications to your clients and prospects who you are trying to build trust with, gain an audience with and (ultimately) get money from? In blurbs and blasts?

Unfortunately, that’s exactly how many see marketing: an unsavory “time-consuming” task they want to shove off their plate and abdicate to someone else.

NOT with the intention of making it really work, not to further their position of authority, not to really connect, but simply to check off the box that it’s being done.

Marketing? Who has time for THAT? Read full article and comment →

The Three Things MSP Buyers Are Looking For That Are NOT “Low Price”

Price TagAt Boot Camp, I shared with the audience research I’d compiled on what clients want from their IT provider, based on examining the responses to a testimonial request e-mail we have our MSP clients send to THEIR best clients. I compiled and keyword-analyzed over 1,000 candid, unedited replies to those e-mails to determine the commonalities of what IT buyers – your clients – truly valued.

Out of ALL of those responses, not one – and I do mean NOT ONE – said they wanted the “lowest price” or “cheapest price.”

So why does it seem like so many IT services sales are lost to cheaper competitors, or are lost over price?

For starters, the seller (you) is ALWAYS more emotionally charged about price than the buyer. Because the SELLER is nervous about discussing price, they tend to only “see” and “hear” those things that verify their belief that people buy on price and don’t want to spend money on IT.

Second, the salesperson’s discomfort with price manifests itself in the sales meeting, showing up as a lack of confidence or that they are hiding something – which breaks trust. And since prospects sense uncertainty like a dog smells fear, they react to it, causing them to hesitate, often not even knowing why they don’t “feel right” about doing business with you. Read full article and comment →

How Coaching Your Clients Leads To Higher MSP Profits (Pt. 2)

higher MSP profits with a client game planWelcome back! Last week we coached your clients how to buy. This week we’re exploring how to develop a relationship with the clients you have to turn them into the clients you want. Read on…

Part 2 of Coach Your Clients How To Buy For Higher MSP Profits: How To Develop Your Clients Into Great Clients

A critical piece to the success of any service firm is to have a productive, profitable and mutually beneficial relationship with its clients – yet how many business owners actually FOCUS on developing that asset?

Can you list the systems and processes you have in place for advancing that agenda? Can you show me the specific things you are sending them, doing for them, to make them behave in a manner that allows you to deliver your best advice?

Most important question: do you have a FRAMEWORK or list of instructions on how to be a good client for your firm? Read full article and comment →

How Coaching Your Clients Leads To Higher MSP Profits (Pt. 1)

Coach Your MSP Clients How To Buy For Higher ProfitsToo often, business owners overlook the buying power in the clients they ALREADY have and are too focused on acquiring new ones.

So in this two-part series, I’m going to discuss how you can increase sales with your current clients and turn them into the clients you want. Let’s dig in…

Part 1 of Coach Your MSP Clients How To Buy For Higher Profits: Teach Your Clients How To Buy

I received several letters from American Express in the last month about using your Amex card to pay your taxes.

Honestly, it never occurred to me to do this, mostly because I’ve never been unable to pay my taxes. But I know a LOT of  people who are in that situation and have not thought about this as an option.

Which brings me to a key point: teaching your clients HOW TO BUY.

Years ago I sought out and purchased a phone system from a vendor, only to have my current IT company grouse at me for not buying through them.

I told them quite clearly they were idiots for not educating, reminding and pursuing ME to let me know they even offered that.

A BIG question you need to ponder: do your clients REALLY know all of the products and services you could sell them? Read full article and comment →