Marketing isn’t a shot in the dark. It’s not a guess or a gut feeling. Successful client acquisition methods are all about discipline, consistency, and coping with ambiguity. I recognize that most business owners are in business to deliver a fantastic product or service for which they are passionate. I also understand the desire to focus on doing just that. So regardless of whether or not you embrace marketing, view it as a necessary evil, or feel entirely indifferent about it, I’ve got three ideas to help you improve your marketing efforts quickly.
Trust The Process
We’ve all been there, the day of reckoning. It’s time to get healthy. There are a million plans, methods, and tools, but aside from health, what do these approaches have in common? They all have a simple, prescribed plan; if you follow it and don’t deviate, you’ll see positive results; it’s just as simple as following the plan. Marketing isn’t that different – you have a proven program. All you have to do is follow it.
When a potential client engages your MSP services, you help that client structure every aspect of their technology strategy including planning, ease of use, and security. The goal is to help them ensure business outcomes while protecting the firm and their clients.
How do you respond when a potential client wants to cherry-pick your approach? Perhaps they are focused on what they are comfortable implementing, or maybe they are merely minimizing costs. Regardless, they may not understand the ramifications of how various parts are inter-related. You frame your approach, so they believe in you and trust the entire process.
Now apply that same philosophy to your marketing. You must trust the process. Our partners at Technology Marketing Toolkit have shared with us that they outline not only the number of calls you need to make but the days on which you need to make them to maximize success. But in talking with MSPs, they treat these proven processes more as suggestions than an actual program for success.
If your trainer tells you to do cardio three times a week, you can’t do it once a week and expect significant results. If you are doing a keto diet, you can’t sneak a bagel a day and expect your body to react successfully.
There’s a process to get results, and it requires strict adherence to the program. You ask your clients to trust the process you have built for them; you must do the same with the process the marketing experts have created for you.
If making the call is the piece you don’t or won’t take the time to do, let us at PT Services help. Maybe time isn’t the issue; this could be the piece of the program that just doesn’t fit your team’s skill set. This is where we will be your partner. We excel at helping you to build your pipeline so that you can focus on closing new business.
(Related: World Class Growth Checklist)
Acknowledge The Emotional Side Of Marketing
Back to that healthy living resolution. How you feel about your body is completely tied up in your emotional wellbeing. When you aren’t happy with what you see in the mirror, it affects your confidence. There’s a reason the term “emotional eating” exists.
Like it or not, marketing has an emotional element to it. 80% of most companies’ time is spent managing emotions, both our own and those of our clients and prospects. That statistic doesn’t change when it comes to marketing. I’m talking about the raw emotions of the situation, those ups and downs of sales, and your ability to narrow the standard deviation associated with marketing.
One of the most powerful emotions involved is managing expectations when there is a lack of short-term results. We can not have an urgency addiction with marketing. Otherwise, it could drive us to quit. How many efforts have you made over the years towards business growth that you abandoned too early or because you didn’t trust the process?
At the first sign of a lack of results, how do we respond? January 19 is the date that New Year’s resolution gym traffic begins to drop off. 19 days. Just like the gym, why do so many of us abandon our marketing plans way too early?
Too often, we build marketing plans based on “ideals.” What is an ideal client for you to obtain? We often think about marketing this way versus helping us gain more bread-and-butter clients while naturally adding some ideal ones along the way. Acquiring a reliable bread-and-butter client genuinely helps us believe in and stick with a marketing approach while adding new clients that matter. Any form of marketing takes time, consistency of behavior, and coping with adversity. Listen to Darryl d’Aquin, a PT Services client, shares more about his experience with us here.
The other big emotion we need to get comfortable with is, ironically, getting uncomfortable. Any type of real growth requires you to do new things and get uncomfortable. Embrace the discomfort, don’t shy away, and revert to what you know with marketing. Real growth comes from change and risk.
The Biggest Factor In Success – You!
Your fitness plan is laid out for you, but ultimately, you are the one putting in the hard work. Marketing isn’t all that different. A proven marketing plan and PT Services can guide you, but landing that sale is ultimately up to you.
Any program’s success in driving sales will depend on you. Either you are running the appointments that are generated, or you decide who does. We know there is a tendency for people in the MSP space to be analytical by nature and that attention to detail serves you well in the tech realm and implementation phase. However, if you or your salesperson fall into this analytical category, you will most likely struggle with marketing in general, but more specifically in closing these types of appointments.
We have all been in a meeting when someone presents an idea, and after the presentation, our reaction is, “I’m not exactly sure where that train is going, but I know I want to be on it.” That person is dynamic, engaging, and personable. They draw us in, and we want to know more. These people are very good at getting someone to do something they otherwise would not do themselves AND not being manipulative in the process. It’s a delicate balance, but THIS is the person who should be running your marketing and sales efforts. Like all business aspects, it’s about having the right people in the right seat.
Another way that PT can help you in this realm is through our outside sales coach. We can help “that person” on your team be even more effective in setting results-oriented appointments. Our coach will help analyze what you are doing well and provide specific tactics and approaches to improve areas that aren’t going quite so well.
You can hear a little more about this from a recent podcast that we partnered with Barracuda to produce.
Regardless of who picks up the phone, you need to drive the appointment activity, trust your process, manage the emotions of those involved, and have the right person running each meeting. We would love to have a conversation about how PT can fit in the process when it comes to picking up the phone. We’ll be happy to help you get uncomfortable!