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:
00:00 The things you love and hate about your MSP
04:10 The power of in-person proposals and scheduled follow-ups
13:46 The importance of authenticity when hiring or marketing to Gen Z
Thank you to Emanuel Rose, Founder and CEO of Strategic eMarketing, for joining me to talk about the most effective ways to communicate with Gen z, whether we’re marketing to them, or hiring them.
Emanuel Rose has spent over three decades earning a reputation in cutting edge marketing. As an author and expert in the field, Emanuel specializes in direct response advertising, and content marketing at his digital agency, Strategic eMarketing. His passion lies in helping companies achieve business success with authentic storytelling. Emanuel’s unique approach to marketing strategies has resulted in countless clients reaching their goals.
As the Founder and CEO of Strategic eMarketing, a digital marketing agency located in Ashland, OR, he serves clients with one to 25 million dollars in sales. Emanuel manages prospecting, sales, client service, and a team of six creatives and support staff. He is also responsible for developing strategies and tracking the progress of marketing campaigns. With over 14 years of experience in the agency, he has established himself as a reputable expert in lead generation, branding, advertising, and digital agency operations.
Connect with Emanuel on LinkedIn:
Extra show notes:
- Listen or watch every Tuesday on your favourite podcast platform, hosted by me, Paul Green, an MSP marketing expert:
- Subscribe to the MSP Marketing Action Monthly magazine:
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel:
- You can join me in the MSP Marketing group on Facebook:
- Find out about my MSP Marketing Edge service:
- Subscribe to this podcast using your favourite podcast provider:
- Got a question from the show? Email me directly: hello@
- This episode features the final part of my three-part series on how to be more successful with your sales appointments. You can listen to the first two parts here:
- I also mentioned the episode where I talked about ‘impact boxes’ – I’ve remembered it was way back in Episode 12:
- Grab yourself a copy of this week’s recommended book, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom:
Fresh every Tuesday.
For MSPs around the world. This is Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.
Hello my friend, and welcome to the show. Here’s what we got coming up for you this week.
I’m Emanuel Rose. I’ll be talking about Authenticity: Marketing to Gen Z, and why if your business is going to be valuable and relevant, you need to pay attention to them.
And on top of that fascinating interview with our Gen Z expert this week, we are going to finish off our short series about improving your sales meetings. Let’s see if we can put in place a better follow-up system.
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing podcast.
Let’s start this week with an intriguing question. What do you most love and what do you most hate about your MSP? It’s a good one, isn’t it? Have a think about that. Some of the things you might love might include the money that your business generates. It might be that you are in control, that everything is done your way. It might be that you have control over your time, control over the work. It might be that you love helping people, that you love making a difference, that you love the fact that you are supporting all of these staff, or maybe some of those things actually go in the category of the thing you hate. I know some MSPs find having staff to be a distress activity. Some MSPs, I wouldn’t say hate, but they dislike some of their clients. They’ve got to a point where they dislike technology.
I asked this exact same question a few weeks ago in my MSP Marketing Facebook group. If you’re not a member, go into Facebook, type in “MSP Marketing” in the search bar, go to Groups, and you can join there. But you’re only welcome if you are indeed an MSP. It’s a vendor-free zone. So we had 17 comments on this one. Herman said, “I love running my own business. It’s like competing in sports and it gives me so much drive to give it my all. It also gives me the freedom to manage my own time, and even though I work way more hours per month right now, I managed to spend way more time with my family.” That’s a bonus. But then Herman says, “But I absolutely hate being the sales guy as well as the sysadmin. Completely get that one. And my reply to that was, “Yeah, everyone hates selling, but they like the outcome of selling,” which is so true.
Oh, actually, Brian says he loves selling. His frustration is he’s not independent enough to get out and sell, which is interesting. Stewart says, “The staff,” and the staff, I assume he means he loves the staff and he hates the staff in equal measure, which is good. James says, “Dealing with bloody employees.” Is that just a British minor swear word? He said bloody, the word bloody. It feels very Hugh Grant, doesn’t it? In British films of the ’90s, I say “Bloody” a lot. I don’t don’t know. Will you email me and let me know if you use “Bloody” in your territory? Do you say, “Oh, that’s a bloody shame.” And I’m really hoping this doesn’t turn out to be some very rude insult in some countries somewhere. This whole podcast is designed to be safe listening. So if your kids are in the back of the car listening, “Dad, do I have to listen to the MSP podcast again? It’s boring,” but if they are there, there’s, there’s nothing offensive for them.
So James says, “Dealing with bloody employees. Oh, the drama.” Victor says he hates paperwork. Who enjoys paperwork, really? Keith, he’s one of our top contributors to this Facebook group. He says, “Serious answer, 99% of what I think I hate turns out to be self-inflicted grief.” Accounting, don’t do it. Find a professional, as an example. “Most of the grief is due to bad planning, documentation or process. Once you find-tune those, you can focus on the core.” We all love securely enhancing our customer’s business with technology, which is just a great answer. And I’m going to give the final answer to Andy Dawson, very positive answer from Dan… From Dandy? Who’s Dandy? From Andy Dawson. I love Andy, and he says, “I love monthly recurring revenue and clients for life. There is nothing to hate about my business.”
What do you love and what do you hate about your MSP? Drop me an email and let me know. It’s email@example.com.
Here’s this week’s clever idea.
So we are finishing off a little miniseries this week. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at how you can be more successful with your sales appointments. So if you haven’t yet listened to the last couple of episodes, go back two weeks to hear what we were talking about with what was called pre-appointment pre-suasion. It was about setting up a higher chance of success by presuading. It’s the process of persuading someone before you do something. And then last week we talked about having a meeting environment for success and the prep that you need to do for success.
We’re going to finish off today looking at proposals and follow up, and we’ll start with the proposals. Now, I believe that proposals have more power if they are in person than if you just send something out. In fact, you’ve got to this point, this point of where you’ve generated a lead and you’ve got them into a meeting and you’ve had a meeting with them. And it could be that you are, if you like, you’re throwing away the sale if you just send them an email with your proposal. Even with all the cool software that’s out there, I know you can get things like better proposals, and in fact, some of the PSAs, a lot of the sales tools, you can send a proposal and track whether or not they’ve opened it and how many times they open it and all of that kind of stuff.
Because it’s not like you get so many sales meetings, is it? We’re talking, what, 5, 6, 7 sales meetings a year at most? Certainly good sales meetings. So I believe it will be more powerful for you to book in another meeting for you to take them through every aspect of what you’ve put together for the proposal and why you’ve put it together. And this is how to guarantee that they understand everything and they can see the value in what it is that you’re offering before you tell them what their investment will be. Now, many people, many of your prospects, they’re going to fight the need for a meeting. They’re going to say, “No, no, no, we don’t want to meet. Thank you.”
The meeting is now emails through the proposal. In fact, they may feel that this second meeting is a bit of a time suck, but the thing you have to say to them is, “Look, here’s the thing. What we do is very, very complicated. Of course, I can put it down in a proposal, but it would be more beneficial to you and to me if you could just give me 15 minutes of your time where I can explain it to you properly in a way that no document ever can.” You could even use an analogy for this. I mean, you could use the analogy of the video call, couldn’t you? A video call is good, but nothing beats an actual meeting physically sitting down someone. It’s your way of showing that you are completely committed to them.
So an in-person presentation of the proposal, and then obviously I would give them a physical paper copy of it, and the higher quality you can make that proposal, the better. By that I mean the printing. Nice quality paper, high quality print. I know a couple of MSPs who bind theirs, and we’re talking like proper binding, not just one of those machines that you go and put spiral bindings in, but one that sends it out to a printer and has it actually bound into a book. How cool is that? So of course, you physically leave that with them, but you would still email over a copy of the proposal as well because you can track how often then that they go and look at that. Sometimes it’ll be easier for some people to look at that. Some people prefer to look at the paper one. It doesn’t really matter.
Now, something else that you may consider going in with your proposal, really your proposal goes in with this, is something called an impact box. Now, an impact box is there if you really want to differentiate yourself from all of the other MSPs that they might be seeing as part of this sales process. An impact box, which we talked about really early in the podcast. I meant to check before recording and I forgot. We’re talking in the first five or 10 episodes, I’m sure we talked about impact boxes like three years ago. And what it is is a crate of stuff that you give to them.
And in fact, you can either ship it to them, send it to them as part of the pre-suasion. So that thing we were talking about two weeks ago. If you’re sending across a case studies book for example, you could send that as part of an impact box, or you may choose to do it when you send the printed proposal because you want to stand out. And you could send it perhaps in place of doing an in-person meeting. Maybe if they refuse the in-person meeting, that’s when you send the impact box, or maybe you just take it with you. And when you are going to meet them to talk them through that proposal, you say, “Hey, here’s some stuff we brought you.”
And inside the impact box, you’d put printed materials such as any book that you’ve written, things like the IT Services Buyer’s Guide, case studies. We deliver a whole bunch of stuff to the members of our MSP Marketing Edge program that they can put into an impact box. You might also throw in some merch, merchandise. Get me getting down with the kids saying merch. Things like a printed mug, a pen, some candy, something edible. And if you are sending it and not going with it yourself, then put a handwritten note in there as well. Because a handwritten note, it really stands out. It shows that you really care. And if your writing is as bad as my handwriting, then just get someone in your office to do that for you. Also, just make sure that however you package up that impact box as well reflects the quality of what’s inside but can also be fully recycled. That recycling is so important for so many people right now. Quite right so.
The one other thing that I wanted to talk about in this whole process, and then this is the final thing, is scheduled follow-up. So you’ve had your sales meeting, you’ve done your in-person proposal. Now, there’s nothing worse than being that person who calls the prospect five times in a row, five days in a row or whatever to get their thoughts on the proposal, but because they don’t answer your calls and they ignore your voicemails, what do you do? At what point do you cross the line between being keen to talk to them and being really annoying? There is a line and it’s very hard to know where that line is.
So I believe you can eliminate this by actually scheduling a follow-up with your prospect. So at the point you either put the proposal into them or you email it across to them, or maybe if you can’t swing that proposal meeting, at the point at which you are having the proper sales meeting, you say to them, “Look, how long do you need to consider your proposal?” And let’s say they say, “Well, we need two weeks.” You say, “Brilliant, okay. Let’s schedule a specific day and time for me to call you to answer your final questions and to get your decision on whether you’re going to go with us or whether you’re going to go with someone else.” And so you might literally pull out your live calendar and say to them, “Go into your calendar now, two weeks time. So it’s Thursday, it’s the 15th today. So two week’s time is going to be the 29th. What’s what works well for you? 3:00 PM? 3:00 PM? Perfect. Brilliant. Yep, that’s good for you? That’s good for you. Great. Everyone put 3:00 PM on the 29th into your calendar.”
And then once you get back to the office, you of course would still send a calendar invitation through or confirm it by email. You could even, if you know you’re not going to be physically seeing them again, send them a letter in the post, mail a letter to them. Why? Because it’s physical. It’s real. Even though they’ve put it in their calendar there and then, we want them to respect this meeting. We want them to take it seriously. And when you can get them to take it seriously, you’d be surprised how many people will not only agree to this, but they will turn up to that call.
Or if they can’t make that call, they will proactively reschedule it. There’s a number of reasons why they’ll do this. By proactively reschedule, I mean they’ll do that if they can’t make it. People do this because they hate the follow-up as well. They detest those chasing phone calls as much as you detest them. And actually it makes it very clear for everyone if there is a scheduled follow-up time. And as I say, if they choose to reschedule it, that’s good news. That shows that they respect your time and they respect what you are doing.
So we have done it. We have done a whole series looking at how you can improve your sales meetings and stack the odds in your favor. If you haven’t listened to these in full, go back over all three of these and take a series of actions. They’re all very, very small things, but they’re things that could make a dramatic difference to the sales performance of your MSP.
Paul’s blatant plug.
Are you sitting, rocking back and forth, back and forth, not sure how you’re going to fix your MSP’s marketing? You know you’ve got to do something, but you’re not quite sure what to do and where to get started. I have the answer for you. It’s a zero-risk, low-commitment way for you to immerse yourself in the actions that you need to take to improve your marketing.
It’s this. It’s my printed newsletter, the MSP Marketing Action Monthly. Every month we ship this to MSPs all around the world and it is packed with practical actions, things that you can do today to make a dramatic difference to your MSP’s marketing. You can go and check out a sample copy and get one posted to you completely free. Just go to Paulgreensmspmarketing.com/action. Get your free copy of the MSP Marketing Action Monthly at paulgreensmspmarketing.com/action.
The big interview.
Hi, I’m Emanuel Rose. I’m the CEO of Strategic eMarketing and author of Authenticity: Marketing to Generation Z.
And Gen Z is an interesting audience to look into because I have a 12-year-old daughter, and when you first hear someone say Gen Z, you think of the 12-year olds lying on the couch all day, watching TikToks, you know, “Renegade, Renegade, Renegade.” That’s TikTok of two years ago. But you think of Gen Z like that, but actually Gen Z is a much wider generation, isn’t it? What kind of age does Gen Z go up to right now?
Yeah, so your daughter’s at the back end of Gen Z at that 11 to 12 year old, and then 26, 27 is the oldest portion of that cohort.
Okay. So that’s why I wanted to get you onto the show because it strikes me that older Gen Z cohort are going to be decision makers in just a few years time. In fact, some of them may already be decision makers if they’re running their own business. We’re going to delve into that generation’s work ethic in a second. So for MSPs, they need to start thinking, if not now, then in the next couple of years of how do we persuade these people? How do we influence Gen Zs?
So you are an expert in these people. Give us down the download. What’s the insight into the Gen Z work ethic, their mindset? How are they different to crusty old Gen Xers like me?
Oh yeah. Well, the biggest difference, and we probably know this, is that they are digital first. Their whole life they’ve known about technology and smartphone and doing internet research and looking at user-generated content to make decisions. So as marketing people, that’s what we have to pay attention to first. And so they may not be making decisions right now, but they’re definitely looking for work.
So that’s an important distinction for MSPs to make is that, hey, maybe they’re not signing the dotted line for a contract, but they’re certainly needing to be enticed to come to work because they are so technologically savvy. They are hard workers, they value making money and being engaged in business. They’re super ethical. So that’s really the thing that we have to understand as marketing people, is that the things that we’re used to keeping our private lives private versus putting it all out on TikTok or Instagram, is that they want to know what a company stands for so they can hook into that and participate and know that the company believes in the same sorts of things they believe in.
That makes perfect sense. And I made a joke about me being a Gen Xer, but I am a Gen X. I was born in 1974. I’m 50 next year. That’s terrifying. Crept up on me.
And for me… Yes. Oh no, no, believe me. Keep those congratulations. For me to look at just marketing to Millennials, which obviously is the Generation Y. It’s the generation between my generation and Gen Z, even Millennials, I mean, I don’t know, five, 10 years ago, my generation would joke, wouldn’t they, about Millennials as they were entering the workforce, how they were the snowflake generation, how they had way high expectations. They weren’t prepared to do the hard work. And a lot of that has calmed down because obviously that generation’s got older, they’ve proven their value in the marketplace. Do you see it hard for generations to market to other generations because things are changing? Is that speeding up?
Yeah, that’s interesting. Yeah, it is challenging. I’m a Gen X also, and then the Boomers who are a little bit older, like 60 instead of 50, I think they’re the ones that are having the hardest time understanding how to engage in social media, how to care about social media, how to present themselves on social media.
So I think that’s the challenge is finding the new learning about how do I talk about that I donate to the Deschutes River Alliance and show my interest in fly-fishing and the environment in a way that’s public enough for people to understand that that’s something I believe in, but not so public that I feel like there’s nothing left for me. So I think that’s the challenge that we have in this intergenerational process.
Yeah. So you’ve talked a couple of times there about being ethical, about demonstrating that you are involved in a community or involved in a cause. What are some of the other things that MSPs need to start to look at over the next few years in order to be more appealing to Gen Zed? Gen Zed? Gen Z. I was doing the British version there.
Well, yeah, you guys say Zed, we say Z. The most critical thing, I think, for an MSP to understand is that this is the most racially-diverse group of humans in the United States ever. And so almost half are mixed race, and so that’s why this equality around a race is so important because if they’re not mixed race, they have friends and family who are. And so it’s a certain kind of awareness in advertising, for instance, in the way that you showcase your staff and your client base, that there’s an awareness of mixed race in your company and that you’re aware of that.
Something that’s just struck me is we’re talking about marketing to Gen Z as future clients, but actually we’re also marketing to Gen Z to come and work for us now. These guys are smack bang in that first line, getting towards second line technician status.
So I guess, do the same rules apply for an MSP to be attractive to a Gen Z employee?
100%. And we’ve seen that in the studies around the Social CEO. It’s one of the concepts I talk about in the book, but the Social CEO and the employee advocacy where the employees are posting to their social media platforms about the company, those activities do a much better job of attracting talent and retaining talent. And so those are critical activities now that 10 years ago, you and I never even thought about. I don’t post about my company, my company’s where I go and work. But now it’s critical that we tap those networks of our employees in order to attract additional employees that are similar.
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. You mentioned a book. I’m guessing you’re an author with a book to sell. There’s always a commercial angle to it. Tell us the story about the book. So you’re welcome to talk about the book itself, but I want to know what drives someone like you to sit down and write about a generation that’s two generations removed from him.
Well, it was a process where I just had the inspiration of it. I’m like, “Well, what’s going on with the Gen Z? Who are they? What are they doing?” I have my nephews who are kind of the top end age of those guys. They’re a little bit different than I am. They didn’t get their driver’s license as soon as they turned 16, and they’re still living at home at age 18. I have a psychology background and so that’s where I started, was I wanted to dig in and understand who these guys were and what I could do to trigger them and mentor them.
And through that research then I was doing some Amazon research for books, of course, and there weren’t any books about marketing to Gen Z. I’m like, “How can that be possible? How could I be the guy that figures this out first?” So it was really organic in that way. I wanted to solve a problem for my family, and then I’m like, “Oh, well, here’s a gap,” and the solutions, the activities that I talk about in the book are very straightforward. They’re not just focused on Gen Z, but they work for the current marketing landscape. This idea of the Social CEO, employee advocacy, digital first, and e-commerce, and that even as a B2B business, that MSPs need to look and see how they can transactionalize everything online so that it can happen from a smartphone and make it super easy, not just for the Zs, but for all of us because we’re all in motion constantly.
Yeah, yeah, that’s very true. Tell us the title of the book and where can we get hold of it?
It’s called Authenticity: Marketing Generation Z, and if you go to emanuelrose.com, that’ll take you right to it.
The concept is that we can’t just tell these stories of diversity or environmental awareness. We can’t tell greenwashing stories. We have to really tell the story of the person who’s running the business, the CEO, the CMO, and be somewhat transparent, way more transparent than we’re comfortable with from our training as older business people.
Yeah. This sounds like exactly the kind of book that we need. Can I just ask, because something’s just occurred to me. If my daughter at 12 is the sort of backend of Gen Z, what’s the next generation? Sounds a bit Star Trek, doesn’t it? But what’s the generation of babies that are being born right now?
Oh, I think they’re calling them… Not zero, but it’s like a reset generation. And I can tell you, I hope my career’s over by the time we have to sell those kids because it is going to be a brave new world, to borrow a Huxley quote, how different our worlds will be. All the retail will be done online, we’ll be probably computing on an embed in our wrist instead of a watch. I mean, it is a crazy future that we’re looking at.
It is, it is. But you are not going to write that book, but maybe I will.
So I’ll get my AI hologram to talk to your AI hologram, yeah?
Maybe you and I could partner up with ChatGPT and we’ll write that book in the future.
Yeah, in our nursing homes. Sounds like a great idea.
Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast. This week’s recommended book.
Hello everyone. My name is Alexander Abney-King. I’m with Omni Global and I’m a workplace psychologist. My book recommendation this week is The Happiness Hypothesis. This is a book that’ll help you understand to manage your relationships and to really get the best happiness out of life. This is done by a social psychologist and is one of my top picks.
Coming up next week.
My name’s Henry Duncan. I’m the managing director of Lanware. We’re an MSP based in the City of London that works exclusively with the financial services sector. I’m going to tell you about how we overcame some serious challenges in our business. In particular, how we lost almost half of our revenue to one client and how we turned it round to be who we are today.
It’s actually August next week, and that makes it proper summer. So we are kicking off a short series of summer specials.
I have found three fascinating people with amazing stories to tell from within our world, and we’re starting next week with Henry’s story. When you hear about how much revenue they lost and how it could have killed the business, but how they turned it around and how they’re now thriving, it will be a truly inspirational story for you. Join me next Tuesday and have a very profitable week in your MSP.
Made in the UK for MSPs around the world. Paul Green’s MSP Marketing Podcast.