Posts Tagged ‘new years resolutions’

Managed Services Providers… Get Off Your Duff & Implement MORE!

Posted On January 13th, 2010

New Years Resolution #7:  Get your online “presence” fixed

Okay, I DON’T like the word “presence” because it sounds like a meaningless fifty-cent word, but I don’t have a better one (yet) to describe all the elements that fall under your online marketing strategy.  Even though I’ve said over and over again how important it is to have a web site that sells, far too many members are still struggling with this and have web sites that look like a 12 year old designed them—not to mention the broken links and graphics. I’m not going to launch into a lesson here on web marketing because I’ve more than covered the basics in the Toolkit session on the subject, but I will say this: it used to be “okay” for a company to have a good web site…now it’s becoming critical.  I’m hearing from more members on how their web site is not only generating a significant portion of their new customers, but for those who DON’T have it figured out, how their LACK of a good web site, blog, Facebook page, etc. is actually hurting sales. Why? Because (like it or not) clients think that because you are a “technology” company, you should have a great web site, even though I know the two are entirely different specializations. Read full article and comment →

Go Hang Off of a Billboard “Naked” During Rush Hour Traffic!

Posted On January 11th, 2010

This is a continuing series of posts of my top 8 New Years Resolutions for IT Marketers.  This is part 3 out of a 4 part series…  If you haven’t read them yet, make sure to check out Part I and Part II from last week.

New Years Resolution #5:  If you’re going to pick the lock and steal the treasure map, use it!

Here’s an all-too-typical example of what I’m talking about… 

A marketing campaign was e-mailed to me for critique from a long-standing member (who, by the way, should know better both about the campaign which I’ll explain in a minute AND e-mailing me something important, expecting a response). He’s perplexed as to why he’s getting no response from his campaign when he’s “using the strategies exactly as I teach.” Except…

He’s sending a postcard instead of enveloped mail using the sneak up approach. Except, he’s mailing a cold list without scrubbing it first.  Except, the postcard has no testimonials, no headline and doesn’t SELL the free audit.  Except that despite the fact he’s mailed the list before, he’s only mailed the same offer once, and mailed the other offers about a month later, not referencing the first, building no urgency to respond, no deadline and confusing the prospect with a different offer each time. Except, except, except. Other than that, he’s following my strategies exactly as I’ve taught them.  Now I’m not beating up on this poor fellow because I give him credit for taking action and trying…also for reaching out to us when things are going pear shaped…BUT it does need to be pointed out because I see so many other members making these same mistakes. This is like having the plans for baking a cake, but you leave out the eggs, cut the flour in half and bake it for only half the time, then wonder why you have something that looks like a flat uncooked pancake instead of an award-winning chocolate cake. Look, learning new skills takes time and practice and you can’t do it half-way. If you want to generate the same success as someone else, you have to model their behavior and actions to a “T,” not just doing what is convenient, easy or agreeable to you. Vary from the process even a little bit and you’re not going to get the same results. Read full article and comment →

Top 8 New Years Resolutions for IT Marketers, Part II

Posted On January 6th, 2010

This is part 2 out of a 4 part series this month, highlighting my Top 8 New Years Resolutions for IT Marketers.

New Years Resolution #3:  Leverage MORE of your EXISTING assets.

To do this I suppose you need to recognize what your current assets are. That would be your current customers and (hopefully) the relationship you have with them. I would also include any unconverted leads you have (you ARE keeping those people in your database and marketing to them, right?)  Could be a marketing process or campaign that has worked in the past. Could be relationships you have with influencers in your market area, JV partners, your reputation, your location, etc.  Below is a forum posting I wanted to include here because 1) it will help me make the above point, and 2) it will help me make a point about the NEXT New Year’s Marketing Resolution.

First, here’s the post, modified slightly for space and readability:  My AT&T Yellow Page ads are up for renewal and I wanted to get some suggestions from you all! I ran the Warning ad last year under the heading “Computer Service and Repair” in one of the local books where we are located and got very few calls from it.  I was thinking about running the same ad again in the same book, but this time under two headings: Computer Service and Repair and Computers Networking. I’m also considering adding it in two other books to saturate the surrounding areas. One would be in the capital city area (much larger book and distribution) and the other book would be targeting South of us. The pricing for this is very expensive even after all of their “discounts” and was wondering how much of your budget you all dedicate to this type of advertising? Our existing ad costs $213 per month for ONE heading.

 Option 1: Renew our existing ad in the same book under TWO headings for the same cost ($213 per month). They’ll give me this deal if I commit to the advertising in the other books. I could also add the same ad to another small book for an additional $101 per month.

 Option 2: Total for the two small books = $315 per month.

 Option 3: I could also run the Warning ad in a new larger book under TWO headings for a cost of $741 for each heading, PER MONTH!

 Option 4: Try their NEW program for $33 PER CALL for each heading.

 Option 5: Run the ad in all 3 phone books for $315 per month plus $33 PER CALL for the large book.

 Option 6: Pay $315 per month for the two small books + $741 for one heading for a total of $1,056 per month.

 Option 7: Pay $315 per month for the two small books + $741×2 for one heading for a total of $1,797 per month.

Money is limited and we have just begun the following:

1. Mailed a newsletter to our existing clients.

2. Hired a telemarketing firm to scrub our list, qualify the leads and set up appointments for us.

3. Mail postcards to prospects.

4. Budgeted $1,000 for Google and Online PPC.

5. Implemented Call and Online tracking to see which of our ad campaigns are working best.

Money is limited, and I know we need to be listed in the phone books, but just didn’t know how much of our budget should consist of the books (in percentage). In the past, we have found that we get the best quality leads from our Google PPC ads…Thanks!

Okay, a few things. First… Read full article and comment →

Top 8 New Year’s Resolutions for IT Marketers, Part I

Posted On January 4th, 2010
This month, I’m going to give you my top 8 New Years Resolutions for IT Marketers in bite sized chunks.  For today, we tackle resolutions #1 and #2…

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:

  1. Write a book. Enough said.  If you need help, search 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

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