Shiny penny marketingOne of the 1,100+ Boot Camp attendees wrote a rather extensive note, providing feedback that the sessions were worthless and nothing of value could be gained or learned. She mentioned the “lack of new campaigns” as one of her main areas of contention, saying that my material is getting old and repetitive. While I don’t personally know this member and haven’t worked directly with her, I can tell you this from knowing the company and the marketing they are doing: They’re BARELY scraping the surface with the strategies, tools, and campaigns I’ve given them.

Give me 10 minutes with her, and I guarantee I could stump her with basic questions about her market, metrics, the sales process, and campaigns she’s implemented. I could rattle off 20+ campaigns she should be doing but probably is not, or at least not as consistently or at the level of quality she could. My point is not to embarrass her to make the point she absolutely, positively does NOT need another “new” campaign — she needs far more study and better implemen­tation of the fundamentals. Anybody who is serious about mastery will find it impossible to sit in my audience and not get something.

That is the difference between an amateur and a true pro. The pro NEVER tires of fundamentals and constantly seeks to sharpen the saw, hone fundamentals, and improve their game with incremental improvements. Little hinges do indeed swing BIG doors.

Back to basics

Vince Lombardi started every new training season by holding up a football and saying to his players, “Gentleman, THIS is a football.” Michael Jordan once said: “You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way. Get the fundamentals down, and the level of everything you do will rise.”

A great book I’d suggest reading is Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron. In it he says it’s the character of the person (in his case, an athlete) that makes a champion, more so than the actual current skill level. Character drives the desire to improve and NOT be bored or uninterested in the fundamentals.

ALL top marketers who I know … all top entrepre­neurs … are excited about revisiting basics. At the very Boot Camp where the attendee above saw “no value,” Robert Herjavec was taking notes, asking me questions about the marketing and sales process, and requested to be put on the membership rolls. Do you think HE doesn’t already have the fundamentals of sales and marketing mastered? Why would he be genuinely excited to learn a simple strategy I shared with him about preselling a prospect that he already knew but had gotten “lazy” about (his word), taking notes with the intention (I’m sure) of going back to the office to work on it with his sales team? That’s WHY he’s so successful … he’s constantly learning, constantly improving, constantly looking for the slight edge.

Building on fundamentals

One of the challenges I face is trying to satiate the want for “new” and “exciting” versus going deeper and wider with basics. For better or worse, I’ve “saddled” myself with delivering and teaching marketing campaigns that provide tangible results: more clients, more sales, more profits, more speed, more efficiency. MEASURABLE performance.

THAT requires fundamentals, my dear, like deeply knowing your clients, then engineering and choreographing the entire marketing and sales process to “grease the skids,” lower price resistance, and make YOU the obvious choice. It requires fundamentals in metrics and math, in knowing what you can invest to get a lead, a client. Knowing what your average sale and lifetime value is. Knowing what lead sources are most productive, not from the standpoint of QUANTITY but QUALITY. Knowing what your organization’s goals are for the month, the quarter, the year, and then using those metrics to reverse-engineer how many clients you need to hit that goal, how many appointments you need, and how many leads you then need, and THEN what marketing you will do, often choosing boring “tried-and-true” methods over newer, more exciting marketing that all the cool kids are doing.

That’s not to say we don’t look for innovations — we do. But innovations NEVER replace core fundamentals. Never.

Photo: enterlinedesign/Shutterstock.com

Robin Robins

Posted by Robin Robins

Robin Robins is the CEO and Founder of TechnologyMarketingToolkit.com, the largest sales and marketing consulting firm in the IT channel, specializing in sales-generating marketing campaigns for MSPs, VARs, and solution providers. To date, over 7,000 IT services firms have enrolled in one or more of her programs. Visit her website for more information and to request a free one-on-one marketing consultation and marketing roadmap for your IT services firm.

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