Episode 165: The ultimate MSP marketing strategy

Episode 165: The ultimate MSP marketing strategy

Paul Green

Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast
Episode 165: The ultimate MSP marketing strategy
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Episode 165

Welcome to the MSP Marketing Podcast with me, Paul Green. This is THE show if you want to grow your MSP. This week’s show includes:
  • The best marketing strategy part 1 of 3: building audiences
  • Start 2023 by selling more to your current clients with this tool
  • A self-proclaimed introverted sales expert on how to out-perform your competition

Featured guest:

Matthew Pollard is a featured guest on Paul Green's MSP Marketing Podcast

Thank you to Matthew Pollard, the Rapid Growth Coach, for joining me to talk about how to out-perform your competition.

Matthew Pollard is an internationally-recognised consultant, speaker, blogger, author, mentor, coach, and serial entrepreneur with five multi-million dollar business success stories under his belt. He is the founder and CEO of Rapid Growth, LLC, dedicated to achieving maximum ROI for businesses of all sizes. Though his client list includes multiple Fortune 500 companies, his real passion is helping small business owners end the overwhelm, eliminate the stress and guesswork, and get on a clear path to Rapid Growth.

Connect with Matthew on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewpollardspeaker

Extra show notes:

Transcription:

Voiceover:
Fresh every Tuesday for MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
Hello and welcome back to the podcast. We are back to our regular format after our Christmas and New Year specials. This is what we’ve got in store for you this week.

Matthew Pollard:
If you’re an MSP and you’re an introvert, you need to watch this episode because I’m going to share with you why you can actually outperform your extroverted counterparts. And I’m going to talk you through an exact way that you can utilise to differentiate yourself so you don’t find networking and sales so uncomfortable, and so you don’t have to constantly battle on price.

Paul Green:
That’s Matthew Pollard. He’s the author of a couple of books, all of which you should read, and he’s here later on in the podcast as part of authors month. We kicked it off with the wonderful Marcus Sheridan last week, we’ve got Matthew today and more great authors throughout the rest of January. We’re also going to be talking about one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to sell more to your existing clients. It’s called the Profit Matrix and if you haven’t implemented it yet, January is a great time to get on that.

Voiceover:
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

Paul Green:
We’re going to start the show this week with a look at what your marketing strategy should be to get new clients. Now, don’t be put off by the S word there, the strategy word. The thing is, when most MSPs talk to me about marketing and they ask me questions, they jump straight into tactical questions. “Paul, should I be doing LinkedIn? Should I be doing Facebook? Should I be blogging?” And while the answer is yes to all of those things, you’ve got to have a strategy.
So actually this week, next week and the week after, we’re going to look at, I guess I’m calling it the ultimate marketing strategy for MSPs to win new clients. And the reason I’m breaking it into three bits is there are actually three separate stages, three separate steps. So this gives me 10 minutes, a bit of luxury time to go into some of the details, talk about the strategy, what it is and exactly how you’re going to implement it because as we know, it’s all about the implementation.
So this January is acting as a bit of a refresher because I do think that 2023, it could be an interesting year, it could be a tough year. There’s a lot of stuff happening out there with the economy with interest rates, inflation, cost of living, price increases, all of that stuff. And even though tech traditionally does very well in recessions, and I have no doubt that the channel as it’s so called, will continue to grow, will continue to do well, I don’t know about you but I’d rather not flip a coin on how my business does in any particular year. So we have a very solid marketing strategy for our business and I want to tell you what your marketing strategy could be.
Now, the strategy I’m going to describe to you today and over the next couple of weeks, it’s not going to win any awards. I’m not going to win MSP marketing strategy of the year. It’s very simple and that makes it very easy to implement. And the vast majority of MSPs that I speak to and we’re talking well over 80%, they don’t want complex, clever, multiple touchpoints, campaigns and all that jazz. Some MSPs do. The bigger MSPs do, but the average MSP that I speak to just wants something very simple, which they’re going to implement either themselves or they’re going to just get a little bit of help to implement. So that’s what I’m going to deliver to you this week, next week and the week after.
So I have a three-step marketing strategy. You may have heard me talk about this, it’s something I try to mention on every podcast, every webinar that I do, but it’s so powerful. Let me tell you what the three steps are and then today we’ll just look at the first step. So the three steps are this, to win new clients, first of all, you must build multiple audiences of people to listen to you. The second thing you must do is build a relationship with those audiences, and then the third thing is to commercialize that relationship. So today I just want to talk about building those audiences.
So why do we want to build audiences? Well, the whole point of building audiences is to try and focus all of your marketing effort on people who are in some way listening to you. So if you think about marketing over the last 20, 30 years or so, let me go back to the late ’90s or the mid ’90s. The only way to reach an audience in your local town was to advertise in the newspapers, it was to advertise on the radio, maybe the TV if that was open to you, go in magazines, it was to put up billboards, it was to go in Yellow Pages, all of those old fashioned marketing things that we don’t really recommend anymore. But those were your audiences.
The audience was the radio station audience, the TV station audience, the newspaper reading audience. Well here in 2023, things are a little bit different because now you have direct access to the audiences. This is the only reason that media dominated for, what? 70, 80 years, was because they controlled access to the audience. If you wanted to reach business owners in your area, you had to pay a media organization to do that. That is not the case these days. So these days we can build our own audiences and these audiences are never going to be huge, but they are going to be very, very focused and very, very tight audiences.
So there are lots of audiences you could build. For example, this podcast is one of my audiences. I have a number of different audiences that I’m constantly cultivating and growing and building. A podcast is an audience. You’re probably not going to do a podcast but just go with me on this. A YouTube channel is an audience, social media following on a particular channel is an audience. You could take a local business group, they might have a LinkedIn group or there might actually be a physical networking meeting where lots of people regularly go. That’s still an audience.
So anywhere you’ve got a bunch of people who could go on to be prospects of yours, that’s an audience. Now most MSPs only build one or two audiences. I don’t like one of anything because that doesn’t give you a backup plan. So you should aim to build at least two audiences and these are the two that are most likely to be powerful for you. The first is your LinkedIn audience. Now your LinkedIn audience is literally who you are connected to on LinkedIn. And the easy way to build this audience is, I mean we’ve talked about LinkedIn so much on this podcast, but you just go and connect to new people. So right now you’re looking to connect to right about 7 to 10 people a day max because LinkedIn has flipped in the last couple of years from being all about quantity and now it’s very much about quality.
So your LinkedIn audience is absolutely an audience to build. Go and find the business owners you most want to do business with and connect with them on LinkedIn. Simple as that. The really smart way of doing this is to find someone else who’s already connected to those people. So it might be an Uber networker or it might be maybe even another MSP or a lawyer or a CPA, an accountant somewhere that’s just very well connected on LinkedIn. You connect to them and then you just work your way through their connections. If you find that unethical, then just go looking. Start by looking for all the CPAs in your area, then go looking for all the lawyers, then look for all the dentists, then look for… You get the idea.
So you can literally work your way around all of the ideal prospects for you on LinkedIn. But the goal is to build and build and build your LinkedIn audience. On LinkedIn there is, if you flip into creator mode which is a different way of using LinkedIn, then you actually get people following you as well as being connected to you. So creator mode is something relatively new they’ve introduced in the last, I think within the last year or so. I have it switched on my LinkedIn and it basically allows me to do things like LinkedIn newsletters, I can go live on video on LinkedIn. And I am a content creator on LinkedIn. And one of the flip sides of that is people can now follow my content without actually being connected to me.
Now whether you switch that on or not, and the only reason you’d switch that on is if you’re willing to make a regular commitment to actually doing content. If you have that switched on, that’s great. But really, you want to be connected to people. So having people follow you is cool. But for the purposes of what we’re talking about here, you want to be connected to people. And when we get down to next week to talk about educating your audience and commercializing your audience the week after, you’ll see why you want to be connected to these people. So LinkedIn is your first audience. The second audience that you really want to build is your email database.
And again, we’ve talked about this in the podcast before. You can go and find that, maybe we’ll find some references to it and put some links into the webpage. But building your email audience starts with getting a CRM. Don’t overthink it, just get MailChimp or MailerLite or something basic. ActiveCampaign if you really want a “Woo” tool. Go and get yourself a CRM. Find all the data that you’ve already got knocking around your business. So look through all your emails, every web form that’s been filled in, every business card that’s in your desk, put all of that data into your CRM. And then just set up a system so every time you meet a prospect, and that could be anywhere, it could be on the phone, it could be through a web form, it could be in real life, you just add their details into your email database. And that’s okay to do that.
I know you’ve probably got laws, there’s GDPR here in the UK and in Europe, and you’ve got anti-spam act in the US and there’s a really strong one in Canada. But it’s okay. Most of these laws, and this is not legal advice but most of these laws are there to stop the guys sending out 10,000 emails a day about Viagra or whatever the latest scam is on emails. They’re not really designed to stop you, the average business owner from adding someone who you have spoken to or had an email exchange with into your newsletter, that’s okay.
As long as it says “unsubscribe” at the bottom, it’s okay. And if you use a CRM, it’s going to say “unsubscribe” at the bottom. So to recap then, first strategy of our ultimate MSP marketing strategy is to build multiple audiences. The two audiences I recommend to you are your LinkedIn audience and your email audience. And next week we’re going to look at how you can build a relationship with those audiences.

Voiceover:
Here’s this week’s clever idea.

Paul Green:
There’s another series that we’re going to do over the next three weeks. I’m making sure we’ve covered off all of the basics throughout January. So in the first part of the podcast as we were there talking about how to win new clients, in this clever idea part of the podcast for the next three weeks we’re talking about upselling your existing clients. And again, there are three parts to it. Today we’re going to talk about the first part, which is called the profit matrix. Now the profit matrix is again, I’ve talked about it on the podcast before but it’s a basic you’ve got to get right. And if you are not doing this, please do it. Every MSP can and should do it and it’s powerful and it really does make a difference. The only three ways to grow your business are to get more new clients, to get your clients to buy from you more often and to get them to spend more every time they buy. That’s it. Only those three ways to grow your business.
The profit matrix takes care of the last two of those. It helps your clients to know that there is more stuff that they should be buying from you, well it’s part of that process anyway and it helps you to identify opportunities to sell more stuff to your clients. So let me tell you what the profit matrix is. It’s very simply, it’s a grid. I mean literally a grid with lines down and lines across and you write the names of your clients down one side and you write the services you sell on the other axis, it doesn’t really matter which way round they go. And you do this physically rather than on a screen because the temptation is, I know what you MSPs are like, the temptation is to go and do it on a spreadsheet or to program something or automate it or just do it on your screen.
The problem with doing stuff on your screen is it is not as actionable as when you get something off the computer and do it in real life. The MSPs that I work with who get the most value out of the profit matrix have made it physical. It’s a board on the wall or a flip chart or even if they have done it digitally, they’ve displayed it on a massive 65-inch TV in their office. And even then, I think actually doing it physical is better. So literally get something physical. If you’ve got a spare whiteboard, you can start with this, clients down one side, monthly recurring revenue services you sell on the other axis and then you just put some dots in. So if you’ve got client one who buys service one, you put little dots where those two intersect. You’ve got client one buys service two, a little dot there. Let’s say that client number one doesn’t buy service three but they do buy service four… You get the idea.
So we can now look at client one and we can see, “Interesting, this client buys service one, service two and service four, but they don’t yet buy service three,” whatever that might be. You now know, and I know this information was sat in your PSA but you now know with a glance, sitting on your desk with the phone to your ear, your feet up on the desk, you can look over at that physical chart and you know, just like that with a glance that you could potentially sell service number three to this client. And of course it’s not just that client, it’s all of the clients are there on that list. Now you’ve got to do something with that information and we’re going to talk about that next week.
But the point is you and your technicians and your colleagues, all of you, you can see what everyone is buying, but more importantly what everyone is not buying. And it’s the not buying gaps, it’s almost like a game. You want a game of can you fill in all of the dots? I know we are never going to fill all the dots in, but what a great game to be playing, right? Let’s see if we can fill in the dots. Now let me give you a pro tip on the profit matrix, and this is something an MSP suggested to me a couple of years ago and it’s genius. Rather than leaving gaps where you’ve got a client not buying something, you write in a figure. And the figure, do it in a different color to the dots so it stands out still, but the figure is the value of the monthly recurring revenue to you.
So if you were to sell client one that service number three which they’re currently not buying from you, let’s say that was worth 300 a month in monthly recurring revenue, then you’d write the figure 300 in there. And the idea behind that is that gives you even more motivation to go and sell that service to that client. Isn’t that a genius idea? I absolutely love that idea. So action, then get a whiteboard, get a flip chart scribble on the wall with a Sharpie if you have to. Do yourself a profit grid, work in all of the clients down one side, all of the services on another, fill in those dots and then obsess.
I never really recommend you obsess over anything in business but this is something to obsess over, is completing the grid and making sure more of your clients buy more monthly recurring revenue services. How do you do this? That’s something we’re going to cover off in next week’s podcast.

Voiceover:
Paul’s blatant plug.

Paul Green:
There is only one silver bullet, one secret of making your marketing better. Do you want me to tell you what it is? Let me check no one’s listening, no one’s looking over my shoulder… The only secret, the only silver bullet to making your marketing better is taking action. It’s all about the action. I know lots of business owners who are not the brightest, they’re not the smartest, they’re not the hardest working, but they take action on their marketing all the time. And through some kind of osmosis, there’s just sheer persistence, eventually that marketing pays off.
My blatant plug today is me trying to help you with action because I’ve just launched something brand new. I launched it just at the backend of last year, it’s called MSP Marketing Action Monthly. And it’s a physical 16 page printed newsletter that we ship to your door every month. The whole point of this newsletter is to help make it easy for you to take action. I tell you what to do, how to do it. So it’s very simple for you to sit on the toilet, flick through, have a look at this, read it and then go and take action on it.
We talk about delegating work out to your team, to other people, to suppliers and freelancers who can help you take action. It’s all there in that 16 page newsletter, and we ship it to you every month. And we’ve also made it completely risk-free for you so you can cancel at any time, there’s no commitment. Go and see all of the details and see if we’ve got an offer on right now. Just go to paulgreensmspmarketing.com/action. And remember, you’ve got to take action to make your MSP’s marketing better. paulgreensmspmarketing.com/action.

Voiceover:
The big interview.

Matthew Pollard:
Hello, my name is Matthew Pollard and I’m the bestselling author of The Introverts Edge book series.

Paul Green:
And it’s a delight to get you onto the podcast, Matthew. You are highly recommended to me by a guest we had back in, I think it was episode 152, Anne Hall. If you go back and listen to her interview, she was talking about you and what a star you were. And afterwards she was messaged me with, “Get Matthew on the podcast,” and here you are which is wonderful. Now you are not just a best-selling author, you’re also someone who totally understands the world of the channel and you totally understand MSPs. Tell us a little bit about you and what technology stuff you’ve done over the years.

Matthew Pollard:
Back in high school, I was very much into technology and we had our technologist at our school who actually left and they didn’t have anybody. I was actually one of three that was selected to maintain our school network when I was very, very young. So I’ve been in and involved in technology for a very, very long time. And then I’ve been responsible for five multimillion dollar business success stories on my own. And what I found was things would go wrong with technology all the time. And if you were reliant, especially when you were a nimble startup on getting somebody out to fix it, then you would have huge amounts of time lost for your staff. And this was before things like being able to log in remotely and stuff like that, or at least before it became really well known. So I ended up maintaining a lot of our networks my myself as well.
But more recently, obviously because of my work and the success that I’ve had in my own small businesses, I started to teach other small businesses how to obtain rapid growth. Because what I find, I mean firstly people that run their own businesses, I think there’s something heroic about a person that’s got enough skill, talent, belief in themselves to go and start their own business. But what I find is they tend to get stuck in this hamster wheel, struggling to find interested people, trying to set themselves apart, trying to make the sale. Feel that people only care about one thing, price. And what happens is, especially, and it’s really interesting in the MSP space. Because a lot of people move into the MSP industry or into their own business because they work for someone else and they’re like, “You know what? I want to put my own formula.”
Either they want to make more money or they’re tired of that business being reactive and they want to be proactive or they see something that needs to exist. So they start their own business and then they exercise their entire Rolodex and then they live off feast and famine of referrals and that’s it. And they go to things like networking events, people ask what they do and they say they’re an MSP, and then they give them this fire hose of jargon for why they need maintenance on their computers. Or somebody says, “We’ve got that.” And now they’re like, “But I’m different, I’ve got magic ruby slippers. Why don’t I do a free report for you?” And it just all falls apart.
So what I found was when I wrote my books, The Introverts Edge book series, what I found is one of the biggest groups that picked it up was the technology space. Oracle asked me to speak at 10 keynotes across the country for their sales kickoff, and it was all about telling story. It was about simplifying your message so that you didn’t over-complicate it, you didn’t fill it with jargon. And then Microsoft asked me to speak at Microsoft Inspire, which was a ton of MSPs. And because of that, I’ve got the opportunity to work with MSPs, I’ve got the opportunity to help MSPs grow. And what’s really interesting is that most MSPs really don’t believe that there’s anything different about them. They just do what everybody else does, so they feel like they need to follow the same approach. And I will say that most MSPs are very educated, so they take great pride in the fact that they’re learning and growing, but they’re all learning and growing the same stuff and focusing on how to make themselves the same.
So what’s really interesting, as soon as you start to get them to think about their unique experiences, their unique past customers, their unique backgrounds, their unique passion for serving and why they got into it in the first place, then all of a sudden they’re totally unique in their branding and therefore their sales approach. And so a lot of people say, “I need help with sales,” but the problem is a lot of their heavy lifting can be done even before you get to sales which makes sales a lot more comfortable, which is especially important if you’re an introvert.

Paul Green:
So what you’re saying is that good marketing and standing out and differentiating yourself from other MSPs really has nothing to do with what you actually do for people. It has more to do with how you position yourself and how you position your marketing.

Matthew Pollard:
Absolutely. I mean, the thing that people need to understand… And by the way, if you ask an MSP why their customers buy off them, your answers are always going to be, “They find me really knowledgeable and we provide excellent customer service.” Well, I can promise you that everybody else says exactly that, even if it’s not true. So we cannot market ourselves as an MSP that provides exceptional customer service and, “we have a really knowledgeable team.” That’s an expectation of entry. And most people don’t even listen to that even with testimonials because most people can buy testimonials these days that say that as well. So we take that with a dose of salt. What we look for is, “What are their unique elements that perfectly qualified them to serve me? What do they know about my unique situation and what can they deliver to make price not a factor?”
And the thing that I always suggest is, especially for MSPs, they’re like, “People care so much about price.” But did you really give them another option? If you blend yourself in with everybody else, they’re like, “Well, I’m going to the store and I’m buying milk. Well I’ll just grab the cheapest one because milk’s milk.” Now even most milk companies realize that so they differentiate their milk, but yet MSPs… I speak at a lot of MSP groups, I speak at a lot of other technology, at high finance accounting, and it’s all the same. “I’m an accountant, I’m an MSP.” “I need that. How much do you cost?” Or, “I’ve got an MSP, thanks so much for your time.” It’s horrific.
So yes, it’s a lot to do with the marketing. Now sure, if you are getting a referral or if you are getting somebody to come back to you because they loved the value you provided them, they know your value or somebody else has told them the value that you didn’t articulate to them. So they come in and even if you stumble through that sale, they’re not looking to talk about price. Yet, if you can attract the right people that believe in your value, that understand it, if you can articulate it clearly… Because truthfully, if you can’t articulate your value when somebody’s politely listening for two, two and a half minutes and all you do is open up a fire hose of information on them or just say, “My day job is I’m an MSP,” because you feel uncomfortable even talking about what you do because you hate networking, then you got no chance online in attracting those right people.
So yes, it is all about marketing. The truth is I spent a lifetime and we can talk about… I mean I teach sales and I had a reading speed of a sixth grader, and late high school, I was super introverted and then I ended up being one of… I’m listed on Global Gurus of one of the top 30 sales professionals in the world. How did that happen? Well, the reason is because I learned sales as a system. But what I learned as I started my own businesses is that if you start with sales, you’ve already lost because you have to know a lot more tactics. You’ve got to learn how to be smarter about your sales approach. And truthfully, if you do you marketing right and if you learn to articulate your value…
And by the way, marketing doesn’t mean putting up Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, launching a podcast. Marketing is how you articulate your value when you are standing in a room talking to an individual person. Because if you don’t demonstrate your value right there and then you shouldn’t be trying any of these other things. And I think that’s where people have got it wrong. They see marketing as that thing they do once they’re starting to be successful. But no, if you currently get all your clients through hustle, hard work and sales techniques, then I mean you’re just making your life so much harder than it needs to be.

Paul Green:
So where do you get started then? Because I agree with everything you’ve said there. And by the way, you are one of these amazing guests that the host asks a question and you just talk for five minutes, which gives me so much less work to do, which is awesome. And you’re absolutely right, but where do you actually get started if we accept that most MSPs hate marketing, don’t understand marketing, they want the outcome from it, but they don’t have to get involved in the actual difficult guts of doing it. You yourself have transformed yourself from an introvert into someone who has built multimillion dollar businesses. How do you actually get started?

Matthew Pollard:
Firstly, people need to understand marketing is not sales. So we have to separate those two out. Selling is something that you do, by the way, you don’t do it in a networking room. If somebody says, “How much do you cost?” Don’t answer the question but the reason why they asked you right there and then is because of a marketing problem, not a sales problem. The amount of people, I can tell you, and I had a couple of executives that left Oracle that then opened up their own sales training company because they were amazing salespeople. But then because they got the marketing from Oracle, they didn’t have to figure it out themselves. They were terrible salespeople. Was that the sales problem or a marketing problem? It was a marketing problem because they’d always had it given to them. So marketing and sales are two very separate things.
The next thing I would say is you do not hate marketing, you hate what you think marketing is. So what we need to do is redefine marketing. Marketing is an ability to articulate your value through many, many channels. Now that may mean putting your value on your website. So if I go to your website and you tell me your prices, then you’ve made a marketing error because you shouldn’t talk about your prices on your website. If I get there and it says, “Best MSP in the world, provides amazing customer service and we’re really knowledgeable,” you’ve failed the marketing problem. Which is why the sales people, which probably if you’re a small business is also you, isn’t getting enough leads. So what you need to understand is marketing is how you disseminate your value. And so where do people get started? Well, you’ve got to actually understand what your value is.
So I’ll give you an example and I can give you a really good understanding of it from outside the MSP industry just so you really understand how it fits. And then I’m going to give you some really quick examples of how we fit that formula to MSP specifically so you can see how it approaches. And the reason why I want to do that is I really want you to understand that marketing is strategic. And I think that that’s one of the things that a lot of people don’t understand. If you want to do your marketing, it takes more than 10 minutes. It doesn’t take six days, but it takes more than 10 minutes. And MSPs, they’re like, “I’ve got to think about my marketing. That client emailed me. That phone call. What do my kids want?” And we don’t spend time actually doing it because one, external stimulus and we love picking up our phones because we’re technology people.
But also the fact is that we feel, especially if we’re not making enough money, we’ve always got to be hustling. So standing still and thinking is something that’s really hard. I mean, what is it? Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I was given six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening my ax.” Well most MSPs, they just keep on chopping. And the truth is that most MSPs, they’re already amazing at what they do. And usually if they look at what specifically they’re amazing about, they’re brilliant at that. But on the other hand, you have the three things that are outside the scope of their functional skill. That’s the thing they need to work on. Differentiation, niche marketing and sales systemization. So let’s talk about that. I worked with a language coach years ago, taught kids and adults Mandarin.
And I mean she lived in this world of charging 50 to $80 an hour for private consultation. And she honestly did really well for a decade, she had many, many clients. But then growing into this more saturated economy that we now live in. There were people moving into California that were willing to charge 30 to $40 an hour to get their first clients, their first testimonials. There were people, thanks to this global economy we live in, “I’ll charge you $12 on Craigslist, and I’ll do it from China.” And there was now technology. “Hey Paul, I won’t charge you anything. You teach me Mandarin, I’ll teach you English. We’ll just use this technology thanks to our friends in Silicon Valley.” So now she’s competing against free. So she comes to me and she’s like, “Matt, how do I compete in this crowded marketplace? Can you teach me how to sell more effectively to get people to still pay me this higher fee?”
And what I said is, “If price is the only option, yes, you can tell them, ‘Better customer service, we’re really knowledgeable, we’re better at it.'” But usually they’re going to go, “Well, an hour of this person’s time versus an hour of that person’s time, well that’s a saving. More hours means I’m going to get better.” So what we looked at is how do we avoid the battle altogether? So what I looked at is all the clients that she worked with over the years and what I’d realized is that once she worked with hundreds, there were these two executives that she helped with much more than just language tuition, get that message. Hundreds, two. And of those two people, what she helped them understand was far less about Mandarin and more about her unique competencies.
What I find is people always do things above and beyond for their clients they don’t talk about when they’re selling. It’s the things our customers appreciate every time they pay our bill. Every time somebody else calls out and says, “Would you like a new MSP?” And they say, “No, thank you. I’m fine.” Is not because of the things that you put on your website, it’s the things that they recognized. And what I recognized about Wendy for these individuals is she helped them with three things. And the first was understanding the rapport difference in China versus the western world. Here, if I was trying to sell something to you Paul, and I was really bad at my job, I would say something horrible at the end like, “Do you want to move forward?” And you would say, “Yes, no,” or everyone’s favorite, “Let me think about it.”
A week from now, if I said, “Do you want to move forward on a phone call?” And you still said you wanted to think about it, I know my chances of getting that sale are going down and down. Yet in China, I mean they’re probably going to want to see me five or six times before they discuss business. They might want to see me drunk over karaoke once or twice. It’s just who they are because they’re talking 25 to 100 year deals, not transactional relationships like we talk about here. So they want to know the character of the person, she helped them understand that. She helped them understand the difference between e-commerce in China and the western world, how to handle a business card, why it matters, why respect is so important, why you’ve got to reduce your accent so you come across respectful.
And I’m like, “Wendy, just stop. You do so much more for these people than just language tuition. What are you doing?” And she’s like, “Well, I’m just trying to do a few things to help.” I’m like, “You’re stuck in your functional skill. Is it fair to assume as a result of the assistance of these people that they’re going to be more successful when they get to China?” And she’s like, “Yeah. I mean that’s the point, right?” I said, “Great, let’s call you the China success coach then. So when you go to a networking event and somebody asks you what you do, you say you’re the China success coach. And somebody will go, ‘What’s that?’ As opposed to, ‘I know what that is, how much do you cost?'”
And now if you’ve been interested before you’re interesting, they’re going to let you explain that. And by the way, you don’t say, “I’ve worked with this group of customers and I do this functional stuff.” You then go into passion and mission and we can talk about that if we get time. But what I then said to Wendy is, “So now we’ve got this. I think we should create,” what we called… it was a Trojan Horse package, which is what I call it. But basically we called it the China Success Intensive, which is a five week intensive where we worked with the executive, the spouse and any children being relocated to China so that they were successful when they got there because the family needs to be successful, not just the executive.
Now she loved the idea of this, but she’s like, “Who do I sell it to?” What she’s asking is, “Who do I go networking for?” So I said, “Well, who do you think we should sell it to?” And she said, “Well, obviously it’s the executive. I’m like, “I get that. I mean I went from Australia to the US, they speak the same language, but I mean I was still terrified. Imagine going to China. I just don’t think it’s your ideal client.” She’s like, “Obviously the company would pay.” And I’m like, “Well yeah, they got millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars riding on the executive being successful. But really, I don’t think that’s your ideal client either.”
She’s like, “Well, who then?” I said, “I think it’s the immigration attorney.” This is what I call a momentum partner. See, most people always think that going into a networking room is about finding their ideal prospect. It’s not. The ticket out of the hamster wheel is actually about finding people that work with the clientele that you work with and people that believe in what you do. So what I said to her is I said, “I think that you should network for immigration attorneys.” And so she started reaching out to these people and she discovered that they make 5 to 7,000 for all the bureaucracy and the paperwork. That goes to the visa, they’ve got to get the staff, they’ve got office space, they’ve got everything to got paid for. They’d be lucky to make $3,000 a visa.
And so she just started offering them $3,000 for a simple introduction. They loved the idea. They’re like, “What have I got to say?” And she said, “Well all you’ve got to do is say, ‘Congratulations. You’ve now got a visa. I just want to double-check you’re as ready as possible to be relocated across to China.'” Now they thought they were. They were like, “Yeah, we’ve got our visa now, thank you. We’ve got our place sorted. We’re learning the language, kids are pretty good at it too. I think we’re set.” And they just respond with, “I think you need to speak to the China success coach. There’s a lot more to it than that.”
Now when you get on the phone with these people that were terrified to go, the organization was motivated to pay and she charged $30,000 for doing this, by the way. Minus the $3,000 commission, she made $27,000 for the easiest sale in the world. Now is that possible in the MSP space? Absolutely. This is what I’d call outcome niching. So we work with one MSP and we built their entire brand with hyper-growth companies that have acquisition focuses. What he specialized in was helping organizations predominantly in the manufacturing and accounting space, right across industries, but people that wanted to grow through acquiring other companies because a lot of times they let their technologist in well too late. Next thing you know, they’ve built this fortress and now they’ve got to build a superhighway to have everything connect and they lose staff and people get frustrated and customers leave.
And what we did is we called him the acquisition lifeguard and we spoke directly to CEOs as opposed to the technologist, which meant we got to create the budget. For another group, we focused on just CPAs, accountants because they have specific needs. So when you go out networking, if you find that accountants, they’re going through a seasonal variation where sometimes they’ve got nothing to do, next thing you know, they’ve got all these staff, they’re all trying to work remote. So we built the branding around the specialty around CSPs. There’s always something unique about you from your past customers, you just need to look at them and start realizing the people you help are the people that you have more knowledge to serve and the industries that you help are the people that you have more passion for serving.

Paul Green:
I love this. This is just absolute goldmine of information. I would love to talk to you for another 20 minutes. We are running out of time. So let’s shift over and have a look at your books because obviously that’s why you are here because you are a bestselling author. Tell us about your books and why they’re particularly suitable for MSPs.

Matthew Pollard:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think the most important thing is it systemizes out the discomfort. I think that especially with MSPs, and it’s really interesting if you think about introverts, introverts feel really uncomfortable with dialogue. So when I was younger, I literally fell into sales because I lost my job just before Christmas, I was a data entry person and I was 19. I took a gap year and that was it. And so for me, I fell into commission-only sales. It was the only job I could get. In Australia, it’s summer and Christmas at the same time. Everyone takes a month off, no one’s hiring. And I literally taught myself how to sell watching YouTube videos because it was 93 doors before my first sale, rejection, getting told to get a real job, that was almost my favorite, getting sworn at. So I went home after making my first sale.
On the first day, made $70 but $93. I’m like, “I’m not willing to do this, but I can’t quit. My dad broke his back 80 hours a week.” So what I realized is that if my year wasn’t going to be horrific, sales had to be a system. And I taught myself a system watching YouTube videos and focusing on each step. And within the space of literally six weeks, the number of doors it took me to make a sale went down dramatically to the fact that I actually won the number one salesperson in the company very, very shortly afterwards for a company that was the largest sales and marketing company in the Southern Hemisphere. So it really took not much time because I focused on system and this is the key thing. Systems outperform people winging things. Now who are more prone to wing things? Extroverts. But here’s what’s interesting, introverts get hurt for two reasons.
One is, they do not like to wing things because we get stuck in our head, we don’t know what to say. And secondly, we also feel terrible about how people perceive us. We reflect on that at night. What’s interesting is when you have an extrovert that is an MSP, they suffer from both problems as well because you’ve got a technologist that is stuck in their head because they’re trying to work out which jargon thing to talk about and that’s the wrong thing to do. And then secondly, when you’re selling some widget or product that’s not you, you don’t take it personally if you’re an extrovert. And as an introvert, you might. But it’s hard not to take it personally when it’s you you’re selling. So because of that, extroverts struggle as well for that reason. But here’s what I do in both of my books for my Introverts Edge the original which was selling, which is now in 16 languages, sold 75,000 copies.
It takes you through a regimented process for selling. And one of the jokes I make is you don’t need to buy my book. If you go to theintrovertsedge.com, you can download the first chapter. And if you do nothing more than look at the step-by-step process, look at what you currently say and put it in under those chapters, you’ll quickly realize some things don’t fit. Those are the things you shouldn’t be saying. Throw that out. Then you’ll realize that some gaping holes usually around telling stories. Now I know you think you tell stories, but you don’t tell stories the way you’re supposed to. They’re not emotional journeys. “I work with the customer, they wanted this, we gave it to them.” That’s jargon. In storytelling you learn that it short circuits the logical minor speech, the emotional mind. It activates the reticular activating system of our brain, which creates artificial rapport, which we can leverage into real rapport. And people remember up to 22 times more information when embedded into a story.
So because of that, people actually remember what you say and because it’s tangible and it’s connected to the story. They’re like, “I want what Wendy has.” So because of that, all of it flows much nicer. I find that the story is the heart of a sale and the heart of a networking process. So once you fill those gaps and put what you do in order, you’ll easily double your sales in the next 60 days. So that’s why I find that for introverts specifically, it works so well because even if you’ve got a relatively bad process in the right order, you’ll still grow your sales dramatically because you’re doing things in the right order. So people feel like you have a plan, people feel like they now understand it before you ever get to talk about your packaging and you never overwhelm them with jargon.
And so because of the success of that book, the biggest problem people had once they read that book is, “Great, I can now close people that reach out to me, but how do I get somebody to actually reach out to me? Or how do I get to have a conversational dialogue in networking?” And what they were doing is they were trying to turn networking conversations into sales conversations, which you should never do. So it was time to write a new book on networking. And the focus for me in this one was actually to move beyond what I call transactional networking. Because I see networkers go in and they’re like, “Do you want to buy from me? What about you? What about you? What about you?” I hate that. And then I find that most people that don’t want to do that do aimless networking where they may even put down what they do and, “My day job is this,” just because they feel uncomfortable, so they have these aimless conversations.
So the networking book really talks about the fact that if you create a system that’s largely built on giving value, telling great stories, but speaking about your passion and mission, not your qualifications and your customer success, by talking about what I call your unified message, “The China success coach, I’m the rapid growth guy,” and who you’re passionate about serving as opposed to commoditizing what you do and trying to over impress them with things they don’t care about and sound salesy, then your networking success will go up as well.
And actually at the moment, you can get that chapter for free at theintrovertsedge.com/networking if you want to start with networking. But we actually have the book at the moment for the people in the United States. We are going to extend it to the UK. We’re still doing it, but it costs a little bit more for postage because we’re sending it from the US. But for people that are in the US, we’re actually giving away that book for free at the moment. You just pay for the shipping and you can get access to that at networkingbookforintroverts.com.

Paul Green:
Matthew, you are awesome. We are definitely going to get you back on this podcast perhaps next year. And I say, I’ve had little to do. I’ve just had to ask a couple of questions, which has been amazing, so thank you so much. I really do appreciate it. Just finally, just remind us of both of those URLs. So to get the first chapter of your first book and to get that free book offer that you were talking about, what are those two URLs?

Matthew Pollard:
Absolutely. If you go to theintrovertsedge.com, you’ll be able to in the menu, see both books and you’ll be able to access the free chapters. If you want to get the whole book, my networking book free plus shipping, then you’ll be able to go to networkingbookforintroverts.com.

Voiceover:
Paul Greens MSP Marketing Podcast. This week’s recommended book.

Shay Cohen:
Hello, my name is Shai and I’m the CEO of Kamanja. And today I will recommended you about a book that called The Lean Startup by Eric Reis. This book will help you how to take your idea and by step-by-step guidance, how to make a real money from it in the lean way.

Voiceover:
Coming up next week-

Joey Coleman:
There’s a problem that most organizations are facing and that is the relationship they have with their existing customers and whether that’s going to lead to more business in the future or whether they need to be worried about those folks leaving. My name is Joey Coleman, I’m the author of a book called Never Lose a Customer Again, and I’m thrilled to be on next week’s episode where we’re going to be talking about the eight phases of the customer journey and what you can do to turn one time buyers into not only lifelong customers, but more importantly, raving fan advocates, bringing all sorts of referrals and new business to your MSP.

Paul Green:
Make sure you subscribe wherever you listen to or watch this podcast so you never miss an episode. That’s Joey Coleman there. He’s the author of Never Lose a Customer Again, and a new book coming out this year called Never Lose an Employee Again, and he’ll be joining me on the show next week to talk about how you can make your already great retention even better. We’re also going to be looking at step two of our ultimate MSP marketing strategy. And of course we’re following on from talking about the profit matrix today, the next thing that you can do to sell more to your clients. Now don’t forget we have a ton of content. In fact, we’re adding a video every single day at youtube.com/mspmarketing. I’d love to see you there and join me next Tuesday. Have a very profitable week in your MSP.

Voiceover:
Made in the UK for MSPs around the world. Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.

 

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