If I Could Just…

On a consulting call, an MSP client of mine was discussing a new lead generation campaign he cooked up. The offer is a good one, the list qualified, the physical campaign a great one, his follow-up is well planned and the message tied into AI, which is a very hot topic and certain to get attention. It’s a pleasure to talk an MSP who is capable and ambitious. However

I voiced my concern that the offer, as it was written, might not result in a managed services sale, which was the entire purpose of the campaign. As I started digging in to make some suggestions to tighten the messaging up, he said, “I don’t care… If I can just get in the door, I’ll be happy.”

“If I could just is a very common phrase I hear from people working through tough challenges. If I could just find a great SDR/tech/service manager/marketer. If I could just get my guys to enter tickets properly. If I could just get one new client a month. If I could just figure out how to _______, whatever the blank is. I get it. The life of an entrepreneur is exhausting, chaotic and hard 99% of the time, with 1% celebration and easy wins. You’re surrounded by turmoil pulling in a dozen different directions at once, piles of projects past due, critical initiatives that desperately need your attention and problems that need solving. It is no wonder only a very tiny percentage of the population can not only start a business, but successfully scale it.

This is why “easy buttons” are sexy. They’re the promise of a cool, clear glass of water to a desperate man stranded in the heat of the desert sun – no shade, struggling to survive. But such promises are a mirage – an evil and destructive false god you dare not worship or pursue – often sold by marketers who play the proverbial Lucy to Charlie Brown, promising THIS time it will be different. It never is.

In marketing, it can’t be “just” about getting in the door, or “just” getting more leads, or “just” getting more clients. If you want to win, it requires a more sophisticated (and yes, complex) approach to succeeding.

You can’t “just” go to a networking event and expect your ideal prospect to be there, open to talking to you and easy to convert. You need to prepare by figuring out who is going to be there who might be someone you want an introduction to. You need to think through what materials you need to bring, what your talk track is going to be and how you will introduce yourself and work the room. As an aside, you’ll do better if you don’t behave like a predator sales rep with commission breath looking for something to devour, and instead play the long game, developing relationships and being useful, showing up consistently and contributing. Then there needs to be follow-up. THEN you might want to go to a dozen groups like this before finding the one or two that are actually a fit for you. ALL of this is not “just” networking. It’s a complicated process with real work involved.

A while back, I heard David Goggins say something to the effect of “This is what hard feels like…and is where most people quit.” If you know Goggins, you know he routinely and voluntarily submits himself to torturous, grueling workouts. You could make an argument that he’s emotionally not stable and taking an unhealthy path to fill a deep void in his psyche. Heck if I know. But I DO know that his grit and willingness to put in the work are admirable.

Most people seek the opposite – ease, comfort and security. That is NOT the call to adventure of an entrepreneur. Seeking to avoid an HONEST day’s work, or even resenting that you HAVE to work, is highly unproductive and dishonorable. The leaders who not only achieve success but sustain it have put in YEARS of hard work and dedication to their accomplishments. To us, EVERY day is a workday.

To be clear, finding ways to get MORE done with LESS work, fewer people and at a lower cost, using automation, outsourcing, delegation and strategic thinking, is just fine. In fact, it’s admirable and should be something you pursue which is why I’m focusing this year’s Roadshow on this very topic. However, seeking those greater gains by AVOIDING work and abdicating responsibility is not honorable or smart.

The inconvenient truth is that the people you admire and envy for their success worked very, very hard to get where they are and are likely working just as hard or harder than ever to sustain it. Like a duck, they may look cool, calm and collected above the waterline, but beneath it they’re paddling like mad.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
There’s no doubt about it: Robin Robins has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery and low incomes. For over 20 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by over 10,000 IT services firms around the world, from start-ups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com

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