Posts Tagged ‘MSP’

Back To Basics Marketing 101: How To Classify And Qualify Inbound Leads To Maximize Sales

Posted On January 20th, 2021

How To Classify And Qualify Inbound Leads To Maximize Sales

Did you know IT services firms lose THOUSANDS of dollars every year due to very poor or non-existent follow up on the leads they generate? Recently we’ve been getting a LOT of questions from members wanting clarification on how to properly classify and qualify inbound leads to maximize sales.  I would suggest you read through and then go back to listen to the 2019 December Marketing Deep Dive posted to the Dashboard, where I also covered this topic in more depth.

General Classifications For People On Your List

Where people are getting confused (often) is in the definitions used to describe various groups of individuals in your house list. To clarify, here’s a brief overview of the generic LIST CLASSIFICATIONS we suggest you use. Some of these are unique to my organization because I’m the ONLY marketing consultant I know who stresses the importance of cleaning and qualifying a list BEFORE you spend money and time marketing to it. Therefore, I’ve created my own specific definitions to help my clients in classifying prospects and qualifying inbound leads so they can manage their lists properly. Here they are:

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How To Attract HOT Leads To Your MSP Using Personal Ads

Posted On January 13th, 2021

How To Attract Desirable Clients Using Direct Response Marketing

Years ago, I was exposed to this marketing example, written by the late Gary Halbert, as an example of brilliant direct response marketing copy AND strategy. It’s a personals ad he wrote that led him to find his then-wife. He also used it as an example of how a good sales letter can solve just about any problem you have.

I’m not sure I buy that in total, but almost every problem can be HELPED by a good sales letter, whether it’s to sell someone on donating money to your cause or to convince a relative or friend to a particular course of action.

The biggest lesson Gary taught in this piece is that great direct response marketing is VERY similar to a personals ad, detailing who you WANT, as well as who you DON’T want. The technical name is a “flag” in your copy, which can be a direct “Dear Office Manager” or a description of the person you’re talking to – their pain, problems, desires and wants.

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The Importance Of Demonstrating Your Expertise

Posted On September 23rd, 2020

Here’s a chapter for “how NOT to close a prospect.” Last month Ryan Markel brought to my attention someone who is teaching MSPs how to grow their sales departments, suggesting we engage in some manner.

Initially, I’m very interested, as I’m ever interested in bringing fresh new moneymaking ideas to my members. I instantly have ideas about how I can use someone with his purported skills to deliver more value to our members. We discuss perhaps hiring him to work with our Producers Club and Accelerators members to build out a detailed sales playbook, complete with a hiring process, compensation plans, management playbook, etc. Maybe even run a Sales Managers’ Accountability Group.

A BIG project that would not only mean a good payday, but also put him in front of 600 or more MSPs who are potential clients for him. Now, just in case you’re not picking up on it, this is a BIG opportunity. Sponsors pay us millions of dollars a year to get access to our members, and here I am, offering to PAY him for the privilege.

But here’s what happens…

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Are You Counting The Concealed Costs Of Sunken Money In Your Business?

Posted On August 5th, 2020

In many categories of marketing and sales, as well as in your business, there are not-so-obvious costs that get overlooked because they aren’t recorded on the balance sheet or accounting ledger. If Walmart is eliminating their greeters, I hope they are evaluating the total cost of NOT having that person there, not just the obvious cost savings of the lowered payroll.

Recently, a colleague of mine ran his first virtual conference and was very happy with the results. He shared with me that he was considering cutting out ALL in-person events, given the ease of the virtual event and the cost, complexity and headache of doing an in-person one. I told him that was a very dangerous “cost savings” that would be the death of his business. Read full article and comment →

Problem, Agitate, Solve

Posted On July 28th, 2020
The above is the oldest and still one of the most effective formulas for lead generation. More specifically, identify a highly irritating problem, anxiety, worry or frustration your clients have. Next, AGITATE it. Make them FEEL even more annoyed, frustrated and worried about it – and THEN offer the solution to the problem.

As I’ve long taught, effective marketing copy is about “bringing latent dissatisfaction to a boil.” But to do that, you have to know how your prospect thinks and feels. You also must know the specific problems they are dealing with on a day-to-day basis AND be able to articulate those problems to such a degree that they feel you’ve been following them around all day, reading their mind. Only then can you be effective at writing a marketing communication that gets and holds their attention, triggering a “That’s right” response (a nod to my Chris Voss students).

After you’ve effectively stirred up the emotional beehive and whipped them into a lather, you need to move them to action – but selling the solution outright is not the right idea. What WE want to do, particularly in selling advice and services, is to generate a lead. More specifically, to get a call or scheduled appointment with the prospect. To that end, you DON’T want to reveal too much of what the end solution truly is or you’ll risk them hastily dismissing your solution, thinking they either don’t LIKE the solution or triggering a knee-jerk response of “I tried that before and it didn’t work,” or “That solution is too expensive/not a right fit for us/etc.” Read full article and comment →

Your Sales Playbook: NOW Is The Time To Hire

Posted On July 16th, 2020

Difficulty in finding and hiring good people, along with the rising cost of talent, IS a dark side of a good economy, particularly when you’re looking for TOP talent, not the low-paying entry-level positions that are always in flux and relatively easy to find a body to fill.

But now, ONE good outcome of the corona cray-cray is that millions are unemployed, furloughed and having their incomes shattered, which means it’s a hell of a lot easier to find great people.

The last sales help-wanted ad I ran generated hundreds of applicants in days. Good people too. So, if you’ve been putting off hiring salespeople, NOW is the time to get looking – and yes, if you want to grow your business, you cannot do it by ONLY building a herd of techs. You NEED salespeople. But let me give you a few things to think about as you start your search.

1. The best salespeople are all employed and well-paid.

They are hesitant to move because they’ve often built a good, solid book of business over the years and will be very hesitant to walk away and start over. But now that they may be seeing a decline in sales, maybe even prevented from selling or making a commission, you’ve got a much better shot at luring them away – BUT YOU HAVE TO ACT NOW.

The economy will resume and business will get back to normal. If you wait, you’ll miss the window. Read full article and comment →

Are You Wimping Out When It Gets To The CLOSE?

Posted On July 8th, 2020

Are You Wimping Out When It Gets To The CLOSE?

In the book The Lost Art Of Closing, author Anthony Iannarino dares to list the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales, which are NOT commitments the salesperson makes to themselves to be a better salesperson, as you might think, but demands a salesperson should make to the prospect they are selling. *Gasp!* How unprofessional. I hear the outcry of many a “how dare you try to sell me” business owner as their underwear tightens at the very thought. I, for one, applaud and have my sales team reading his book in our weekly book club. I believe the sales profession needs a giant injection of chutzpah and passion for SELLING and, most important, CLOSING. So many have drifted too far and have forgotten that a salesperson’s job is to SELL SOMETHING. Not to greet people, answer questions, make friends and build relationships. That’s a job for a Walmart greeter, not a professional salesperson.

Of course, the first thing sales-prevention biz owners start crying about is how “unprofessional” selling and attempting to close is. Nuts to them. Their knee-jerk, limited understanding of selling makes them think I’m suggesting you act like a Neanderthal, prematurely closing, using hard-sell tactics and pressure and idiotic leading questions. I’m talking about designing your sales process in such a manner that you are asking questions and saying things that persuade the prospect to buy. Of course you should walk away if you cannot help give the customer what they want. Of course you should address their concerns, answer their questions honestly and candidly. Of course you should be respectful and professional. Further, I maintain that if you have to close hard, you screwed up somewhere along the line. The old line of “ABCs – always be closing” has some merit in that you should be doing things throughout the engagement with a prospect to move them toward a natural, painless close, not pulling some stupid jack-in-the-box close at the end. Here, as a reminder, are a few of them: Read full article and comment →

10 Marketing MUSTS For Every Campaign

Posted On June 16th, 2020

check list

The other day, as we were talking, a client shared with me an e-mail campaign sent out to close to 400 prospects WITH phone follow-up that generated a big fat ZERO. To be clear, not one of MY campaigns, but one they received from a vendor.

After reviewing it, I saw that it violated almost every one of the “10 Commandments” of good IT services marketing. Unfortunately, I see this a lot; campaigns hastily slapped together without any strategy or understanding of what it takes to get a response.

Time and money wasted. Therefore, I thought it would be beneficial to provide a slightly revised list of “MUSTS” for every campaign. Here are my 10 Marketing MUSTS for MSPs to use in all their campaigns.

  1. There MUST be absolute crystal clarity on WHO we want to attract as a client.
  2. The list MUST be validated, segmented and cleaned to avoid waste and to ensure the message is tightly matched to the market (prospect) receiving it.
  3. There MUST be an offer that the prospect will see high value in receiving. (i.e. Get a FREE 1-on-1 Marketing Consultation And Receive A Custom Marketing Roadmap…CLICK HERE)
  4. There MUST be strong sales copy that SELLS the offer or next step, NOT the ultimate product or service.
  5. The communication MUST be written to enter “the conversation going on” in the prospect’s or client’s mind.
  6. There MUST be testimonials and/or other trust- and credibility-building facts. (Click here for examples of GREAT testimonials.)
  7. There MUST be clear, specific instructions on how to respond, and more than one way to respond, ideally OFFLINE and ONLINE.
  8. There MUST be multiple communications/touches, ideally using more than one media.
  9. There MUST be accurate tracking and measurement.
  10. There MUST be a plan in place to quickly follow up on leads generated. (If you’re looking for a CRM specifically designed for MSPs who get marketing check out the Marketing Automation Platform)