Turn Your Growth Efforts Into A Sales Machine

March

29

0 comments

Why is selling so hard for most MSPs? And why does marketing work so well for some and not for others? Our special guest has a wealth of experience he will share with us today as we discuss how to turn your growth efforts into a sales machine.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Brian Gillette for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

Watch This Episode


Listen To The Podcast

Subscribe To The Podcast

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Google Podcast
Stitcher
iHeart Radio

Read The Transcript Here


Podcast Transcription

Turn Your Growth Efforts Into A Sales Machine

Tim Fitzpatrick
Why is selling so hard for most MSPs? And why does marketing work so well for some and not for others? Our special guest has a wealth of experience he will share with us today as we discuss how to turn your growth efforts into a sales machine. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate growth and marketing shouldn't be difficult. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am super excited to have Brian Gillette with Feel Good MSP with me today. Brian, welcome and thanks for being here.

Brian Gillette
Hey, Tim , thanks for having me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I'm looking forward to digging into this with you, man, because when I think about sales and marketing, it is exactly that. Sales and marketing, it's not or they go hand in hand. So I think we're going to have a really good conversation today, and I know you're going to share some awesome stuff with us. Before we do that, I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions to help us get to know you. Ready to jump in?

Brian Gillette
Yeah, let's do it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
All right, man. When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Brian Gillette
I'm a hobby junkie. I have ADHD, so everything is exciting. So I do voiceover kind of as a hobby. My wife is a recording artist and I've been executive producing a record for her kind of for fun. And I volunteered a nonprofit two or three evenings a week. So I guess the answer is a lot. I do a lot of things in my time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's the nonprofit?

Brian Gillette
It's sort of like a school in Pasadena that's all about kind of. It's more or less ministry related, but it's sort of a school about helping people become happier, healthier people.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's awesome. What's your hidden talent?

Brian Gillette
My hidden talent, when I was an actor and model for years, that's what I moved to LA. So I don't know how hidden that is because it's on the Internet. If you really want to go find, you know, I can solve Rubik's cube, my record.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it, man. How long have you been able to do that?

Brian Gillette
I learned it in high school, and then I was carried a Rubik's cube around long enough where people stopped making fun of me and started also bringing Rubik's cubes. And then I started a fad in high school of everybody walking around with Rubik's cubes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So you were a trendsetter?

Brian Gillette
Yeah, I guess.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Brian Gillette
Like business advice, life advice?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Either one, man, whatever comes to mind.

Brian Gillette
That's a great question. Two things come to mind. One of them is personal. I remember well, I'll say this one, that when somebody told me the only common denominator in all of your problems is you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's a good one.

Brian Gillette
That really shook me. Oh, that means if I'm willing to let it be my fault, it means I'm now empowered to be the one who can solve it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, that's a good one, man. I've never had anybody share that. Yeah, it definitely makes you think internally, right. Rather than looking for the problem being somewhere outside of you. I love that. What's success mean to you?

Brian Gillette
Success means having the energy, the time and the resources to be able to manifest whatever dreams come to your mind.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Where's your happy place?

Brian Gillette
My happy place? I would say either the woods, you know I'm from Oregon, or I would say guitar center on a day when nobody's there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So you got the place to yourself.

Brian Gillette
I can run around and bash on the drums and go and play the guitars and play the pianos.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. Wow, dude. Dude, there's a hidden talent, right? You know how to play multiple instruments?

Brian Gillette
I do, yeah. I was a semi professional drummer for years and years and played in big bands and I played piano in a rock band. I've written lots and lots of songs. I've live performed. I used to drum all over LA with a couple of indie artists. I was a singer. I did session singing and choral singing and stuff like that too, for a long time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Dude, you weren't lying, man. You are a hobby junkie.

Brian Gillette
Yeah, I am.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What qualities do you value in the people you spend time with?

Brian Gillette
Qualities that I value in people I spend time with. I would say honesty and openness. Yeah, honesty and openness. If you're open to new things, open to having fun, open to letting an experience be a positive one rather than just letting things happen to you and, yeah, people who can't be 100% real and tell the truth about how they're doing and learn how to be present with it, I just don't have time for those people in my life anymore.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So Brian, tell us more about what you're doing with Feel Good MSP.

Brian Gillette
Yeah, feel good MSP is a sales development community that we built for the channel. The idea is to take my sales philosophy, the Feel Good close, and sort of infuse it into a notoriously difficult sales business, which is managed services. So we want to help end to end, help people develop sales philosophies, sales infrastructure and playbooks, and then lead generation engines to be able to reliably build business in a way that is the opposite of fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So while we're on it, tell us a little bit more about the philosophy of feel good selling. What drives that? Because it's different.

Brian Gillette
For sure. Yeah. I've been in sales for 15 years or something like that, off and on, and went through a lot of different sales iterations, a lot of sales training, went through $40,000 worth of Sandler training when I was at a sales company in a bullpen and Sandler was the closest to a process, I felt like this actually makes sense finally, because there's a reason behind everything we're doing. But it was also released in 1968. And like the Carnegie method, that's 90 years old, you realize that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Brian Gillette
It is not current, and yet there's so many of those things that are timeless, of how to win friends and influence people. But anyway, for me, the idea was really, it was battle forged. I was in a lot of lobbies, kicking myself of like, I just blew that meeting and I lost so many sales that it was developed out of self defense. Like, how do I keep control of these meetings and make people believe me long enough that I actually do have an altruistic goal or that they can win and I can win at the same time? And this doesn't have to be a competition. And that was really the crux of it, was what I call the adversarial sales complex is what drives almost every single sales interaction of our lives, both from whichever side of the table you're on. As a buyer, you think, this guy's trying to beat me. And so I have to win, and therefore I must contest whatever he's bringing to the table. And the buyer says, in order to win the sale, I have to defeat. Or the seller says, in order to win the sale, I have to defeat the buyer. It's so backwards. So the feel good is about making it a symbiotic, cathartic experience for both buyer and seller, where both people leave having gained more value out of it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. Yeah. So you're not trying to convince somebody of something else, you're not necessarily trying to close somebody. The whole point of the sales conversation is to find out if this can be a win win situation.

Brian Gillette
Yeah. Yes and I would say we are trying to close people, but I sort of want to reappropriate that word. Because sales is now a bad word. So everybody makes up weird, dumb titles that don't have sales in them because they're ashamed that they're selling. Yeah, I just commented on, alex Farling just posted something and my comment said, yes, this is a sales call. And no, I'm not sorry I called.. It is okay that I'm selling something. Because if you need it, your life will be better. And if you don't need it, I won't sell it to you. So we are trying to close, but we're only trying to close the correct people and help them get out of their own way to get the solutions that they need, while doing so in a way that's ethical, reasonable and empathetic.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, got it. I love the win win side of it. Because that just tells you right there, if it's not a win for either party or for both parties, then we're walking away and we're not worried about it.

Brian Gillette
Right? 100%.

Why It's So Hard to Sell in Managed Services

Tim Fitzpatrick
So let's talk about sell and manage services. Why is it so hard and what can msps do about it?

Brian Gillette
Yeah, you could ask any MSP owner this, and you'd probably start like a two hour therapy session. Like, why is it so hard? Because I could turn this exact question to any MSP owner, and what you'll get is a list of their traumas and grievances of all their experience having tried to sell this. Right, in summation, I think managed services is hard to sell because it's hard to understand for the average person. But the problem with things being hard to understand is the Dunning Kruger effect. So they understand a little bit about what we do, and then now they assume they have fully grasped the value proposition of MSP. Oh, so like you guys just, I call you when my computer breaks and you put an antivirus on my computer. Okay, I got it. Well, I don't want to pay that much for it. No. An MSP is so many layers deeper than that. But the Dunning Kruger effect, again, the psychological effect that when people have dumb, people don't know that they're dumb, and they get a little bit of information, and then they assume they know all of it, right. And then really, really smart people have forgotten most of their knowledge and it becomes subconscious. So they actually assume that they're not experts. So you have MSP subject matter experts who forget what it's like to not know all this deep tech knowledge, and buyers who assume they understand the entire problem. And now you're having this psychological chasm between those two positions. So what you do about it is you have to change the way that we talk about managed services and not make it a demonstration of subject matter expertise. Because no one cares about you unless you can solve their problem. So the conversation has to be about their problems, not about how smart you are. And when our conversation is about their problems, then there's enough empathy and connection where we're not sort of trying to cover the bell curve of the Dunning Kruger effect, we can just have a meaningful conversation about what they need, what we would do about.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, it's. They're not buying the managed services. Right. They're buying what those managed services can help them do.

Brian Gillette
Right, exactly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Solve the problem and get to a specific result. Thank you for sharing this because I love this, because this is a marketing issue as far as I'm concerned and I'm biased. Right? But a lot of MSPs struggle with how they position themselves and how they message what they do. Right. They struggle to differentiate between one another and that's a huge problem. Right. Because if a potential buyer sees two, three different MSPs that they're interviewing is the same, what do they do, man? They default back to price.

Brian Gillette
Right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That sucks. Right. So when we look at marketing messaging, the message needs to focus on the client, not us as the MSP, because they don't care. Right. And it needs to be in their language as well. Right? MSPs, frankly, I don't care what business you're in. Most of us have the curse of knowledge, right? And we want to talk at a level 8, 9, 10 because we're super techie and we're into this stuff. But the people we're selling to, most of them are at like a level two.

Brian Gillette
Right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
We need to make it simple for them to understand and easy for them to understand.

Brian Gillette
And not only simple, but visceral. We have to make it matter to them, not just be understandable. But why are we talking about this is running in the back of a CEO's mind. What do you want? Why do I have to keep giving you my attention? Why do I have to keep burning calories by listening to you? If you're just talking about simple things that they understand but are not relevant, then you're going to fall into the same trap.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Which goes back to, we've got to understand the ideal clients that we want to work with.

Brian Gillette
Yes.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Right. What are the common problems they have? What are the results they're looking for? And that's what we need to focus on because everything else is irrelevant. And when we're talking, it's going to be like Charlie Brown. Right?

STOP OVER-COMPLICATING MARKETING AND ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS TODAY!

We'll show you how to create a simple, effective marketing plan in minutes!

This is the exact same marketing plan we use for our business  and our clients.

It's simple and easy to use. Isn't it time you started seeing consistent, repetable results with your marketing? It all starts with the RIGHT plan...

Why Marketing Seems Great for Some MSPs

Tim Fitzpatrick

So we touched on this a little bit, but why does marketing seem great for some MSPs, but others execute and they don't get results? Right?

Brian Gillette
Yeah. If you don't mind, let me drill down into your question. Are you referring to, do you have any examples? Because I've got thoughts, but do you have some examples of MSPs you've seen what you mean by marketing. Are there specific marketing efforts that people feel like are in vain?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Sure. Like, take your pick, right? I mean, I've interviewed plenty of MSPs on my podcast who had invested in marketing in some way, shape, or form, whether that was their website. They're on social media, they're doing SEO, they're doing paid ads. Right? They're doing email marketing. They've invested in marketing efforts or tactics in some way, shape, or form, and they've either gotten no results or very minimal results.

Brian Gillette
Right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And then there's others who I've interviewed, and they're like, dude, the moment I invested in marketing, my business changed for the better. Right? So you've got these polar opposites. I invested in marketing, doesn't work. I invested in marketing, and my business has been all the better ever since.

Brian Gillette
Right? We see this a lot in the tech tribe forums and stuff. Like, somebody will do something, it pops off and they'll assume that, okay, I had this experience, and therefore this experience is universal. Now. Therefore, I am an authority on how to make this experience work. This is a pushback I get as a sales coach who grew an MSP. People will say to me things like, well, how do you know that the success you had, you can recreate in other clients? Well, first of all, I didn't. When I started, I had no proof of that, which is why I did one on one engagements. And now I have a huge track record of making people money. So I know that I don't have to be the one who does it in order for it to work. But you have these marketing efforts that the experience people have, and they understand what worked, but they oftentimes don't understand why it worked. And that could be just as dangerous as not understanding why it's not working. Because now, many times, the reason people will make an marketing effort and not get results is that they listened to a narrative from somebody who had success but could not understand the driver of why they had success. And therefore they communicated external factors without communicating the required underlying internal factors. Does that make sense? Yes. It's like you're trying to build a car, but you've only be able to seen a picture of a car. If you've only ever seen the picture of an outside of a car, you don't know what is underneath the hood. So you build the body of a car and it looks exactly the same, and you say, how come that car doesn't work and theirs does? Because you took an outside snapshot and imitated only the factors you could see. So for that reason, that's another way of saying that you have to have a much more in depth understanding of marketing philosophy, in my opinion. In order for marketing to work, the sad truth is this. You and I have both interviewed. I mean, I've coached over 100 or maybe 200 MSPs, have been through my workshops at this point, and it's the same conversation every single month. How many of you have invested in a lead generation or marketing vendor? They all raise their hand. How many of you got money out of it? One of them keeps their hand up. So statistically, most marketing engagements in the channel are failures. They don't get an immediate return on investment. That's another conversation you and I could go off on because, oh man, for a long time, because probably, like many of them, were only three months long or whatever, there's all these reasons why it might not have worked. But the picture I'm trying to paint here is you can't just blame a specific marketing vendor and you can't even just specifically blame yourself if you're the MSP. We don't yet know what the problem is. So rather than saying you're the problem, fix it, be better. Go hire a coach. I would rather people develop a framework to start doing discovery and identifying what makes marketing work and not work. So here's the shorter answers, is most of the time I've seen marketing work not work. It's because it's either done out of order or it's done for not enough time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay, I want to pull this out, dude. I love that. Sequencing in marketing is critically important. It's just as important as what you do, because if you get the sequence out of alignment, it is not going to work. The other thing that you just said, time. Right. We as humans are wired for short term gratification, and marketing is not a short term gratification thing. Two, many people think of it as, I did it. I didn't get results in a month or two months or three months, and they give up before it ever has the opportunity to actually work. I love that. I think you are spot on with those two things. The other thing that I also see in the MSP space, which, again, this definitely related to the sequencing side of it, is many MSPs just jump right into the tactics without actually having a strategy and a foundation in place. And the way I think of it is strategy is fuel. The tactics are the vehicles. And so they pick vehicles. They're sitting there, they're on the racetrack, and they're ready to go, and they hit the gas. They hit the gas pedal, but they got no fuel. You ain't going to go anywhere, man. Maybe you can push it down the track for a little ways, but it's never going to work long term. We've got to come back to the strategy. Without it, you're six months down the road, nine months, twelve months, and you end up going, I invested in marketing, and it didn't work. Didn't work because you got the sequencing out right. You put the cart before the horse, you didn't have fuel for the vehicles. You got to have strategy. Right. You got to know who you're targeting. You got to have a great message, and your offer needs to be in alignment with that. Without that, the marketing is never going to work. Right. And it's going to impact your ability to convert sales as well, even if you're generating leads.

Brian Gillette
Right. Let me even go one step further with this. First of all, what you just described, strategy and tactics is great language for this. So if you're going to do marketing, you're going to hire a partner or a vendor, an agency, a fractional executive. Ask yourself, are these marketing strategy dollars or marketing tactics dollars? And it should never be all of one. Right. You have to have both because you don't just want to sit around and whiteboard and have great conversations about marketing, and you spent your whole budget just talking about it. And you also don't just want to hire tactics only, which would be, hey, we'll send dms on LinkedIn for you. Hey, we'll make dials for you even. These are really powerful tactics, but without strategy underpinning them, they will not work. Statistically, it's not likely, based on what we said before, since most people fail, it's not likely to get a result. And third is the time. If you can't afford to do it for nine months, you can't afford to do it. You cannot come to somebody like me or Tim and say, I got to get my money back in 60 days. Well, then you're like a year away. You're not ready, because first of all, behavior modification is hard, scary, and unnatural. We are biologically wired to find habits and then stick to them. So when somebody like me comes in and says, stop saying it this way, and you go, okay, sounds good. I understand the theory of that. But then you get put into a sales call, the adrenaline is rushing. You're going to revert to the habit that you have the strongest neural pathway for. So when you come in and say, by the way, this has to work in 90 days, you've added adrenaline, do you see to this situation? Which means you are exponentially less likely to have the courage and the wiring to try the new stuff. So you and I sit around and talk all day about what you should do, and then you go out and don't do any of it, you're going to get even less results and have them even slower versus the people who are like, I know this is a marathon, I'm willing to give it a year, but Brian, I better have results in a year. And I say something like that is 100% up to you. Then those people get results in 60 days. You know what I mean? Because have you heard that, you know the expression, fortune favors the prepared? Yeah, I see that. So often when you're ready for success, success comes to you. If you're not ready for success and trying to buy success, you just end up holding the bag at the end and you've got nothing to really show for it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. The other thing that I see with MSPs, too, I'm sure you see this on the sales side, on the marketing side, it's like so many of them are looking for a silver bullet. What's that one thing that's going to revolutionize or change everything? It doesn't exist. Right. It's the entire element of it. Right. You need this system in place to implement and execute on.

Brian Gillette
It's like wal ing to a therapist.It's like going to one therapy session and saying, hey, I need you to fix all my childhood issues. Just tell me what book to read, and then I won't have any issues anymore. The only way through your issues is deep work for a long time, but once you've done the work, you'll get the payoff. And so as a consultant who knows that efforts need to be long term, the perspective needs to be broad enough to see what we're trying to really do here, but also we have to have enough adrenaline and wins and motivators in the short term to keep somebody on the track. That's why my whole program is sort of designed. We start with like, what is the easy cash we can find now? Where are the low hanging fruit? And let's win them all the while. Of course, we're not just going to be low hanging fruit pickers. We're building a machine to shake the trees and pull all the fruit out of it for you. But in the right now, hey, let's get some wins, get some cash in your pocket, get positive on MRR. So we're playing with the house's chips. And I'm assuming you have a lot of the same outlook of like, there are some short term things you can do to get results in marketing, but you want to couch those into a longer project under a longer schematic, right, of like, this is what we're really trying to build now. We are going to get some shortwinds along the way, but realize that every ounce we put in of effort we put into marketing today, we'll get a pound of results over the next three years.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, totally agree. So whether we're doing a deep dive assessment or putting together a quick game plan, we're always looking at the strategic elements that need to be in place long term for their marketing efforts to deliver consistent, repeatable results. But we're also outlining where are the quick win opportunities that we can focus on while we're focusing on these longer term strategy elements. Because you don't want to sit there for three months or four months or five months feeling like you're spinning your wheels. There are always quick win opportunities. Here's a perfect example. Most msps grow in through referral, right? I don't know about you, but when I ask a lot of them, how are you getting referrals? It just happens. What would change if you actually put a system in place? Maybe if you had a referral program, right. That's an example of a quick win. Something that they can put in place in 30 days and start implementing and executing on that can have a significant impact in their business. While we work on other things that are going to really fuel their efforts long term.

How to Capitalize Marketing in the MSP Space

Tim Fitzpatrick

Okay, so we've been talking quite a bit about marketing. Once that marketing is in place and they're generating leads, what do they need to do to capitalize on that?

Brian Gillette
This is such a good question. I do not know why people don't talk about this ten times more than we do. For starters, you said this earlier. You're talking about why do some people have marketing success and some people don't have marketing success. Well, let's define what is marketing success. The purpose of marketing is to get the phone to ring. That's their job, right? I'm going to break this down. And Tim, you and I might even disagree on this, but the purpose of marketing is not to generate revenue. It's to generate opportunities.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That turn into revenue?

Brian Gillette
That turn into revenue. Of course the end result is revenue. But my point is that there is a division of labor here between sales and marketing. And you don't want to get too campy about it, but if I'm a CMO for somebody and they say I didn't close any customers this year, and I look and say, well, I generated 400 meetings for you. I did my job. You didn't do your job. I don't know what you want from me. And they say, well, these leads weren't good. Okay, well, you gave me an exact specification of what you wanted. I gave you those leads. What did you do with them? Well, I got busy. So the purpose of marketing, like marketing's job, is not to close your deals. So marketing success means you get opportunities. You get at bats, you get chances to go and try and sell. But how many people, MSPs, especially MSPs, in like 250 to 750k range, they'll blanket marketing and sales in together. I get called a marketer all the time, and I'm not a marketing expert. I do plenty of marketing. But I don't teach you how to do marketing, I teach you how to sell. So the phone rings. Now, what I'm fond of saying, if you don't have an exact plan of what to do down to the day from when the phone rings, you were not ready for that lead. So you bought a really expensive lead and then blew it. And leads average $1,000, at least for a lead. For an onsite meeting, at least. So you paid $1,000 to meet somebody and you had no plan of what you were going to do when you went there. That's absurd. So what you do to capitalize it is you have to build a full revenue operations system. You have to build a sales machine that sits underneath your marketing machine. And I truly believe it should be done from the bottom up. Just like you build any building. You don't build a skyscraper starting with the roof. You dig a hole, you lay a foundation. So marketing is critical, but why invest in marketing efforts if you're not going to close the lead? Marketing becomes a vanity project because we want people to know who we are and we want to get opportunities to talk about ourselves to strangers. But it's not converting to dollars. So you need a full revenue system. Revenue system to me means, number one, you need to have your own internal way of, you need to have a crank you can turn a certain amount of times and you'll get a meeting, not just SEO waiting. That's guessing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You need to have inbound and outbound.

Brian Gillette
Yes, you must have inbound and outbound. Must in my opinion. And oftentimes when people say they're an inbound only shop and they say, but our closing rate is really high, I think, wow, imagine how much better your business would be if you had 30% more opportunities, especially considering how cash positive you are on these opportunities. Why aren't you paying to go generate more? So you need inbound and outbound. Second, you need, of course, a good qualifying process to take somebody from an MQL to an SQL a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead. So what I would call this is your playbook. The playbook is the series of meetings from the first time the phone rings to them signing a contract to them onboarding. For us in the feel good program, that's four touches, discovery, qualification or consultation, then what we have what I call the pre close call and then the presentation. Four touches. Usually, depending on the buy, it's somewhere between one to three weeks in total. And you should be able to get a firm decision by the end of it. You should be able to get firm decisions in 30 days every single time.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So four steps. Discovery consultation, pre close, and then the presentation.

Brian Gillette
That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. Dude, you just dropped so much stuff there that is so valuable. I want to break this down a little bit first at a high level. Right. I totally agree with you. The job of marketing is to get people who have a need or a problem you can solve to raise their hand. Right. And when that happens, there's a transition from marketing to sales. And sales needs to know what to do with that. Right. You have to have a process just like we have a marketing process. You have to have a sales process. And if you don't have a sales process, that's going to impact how well you convert. And if you don't convert well, that's just going to increase your cost to acquire a customer. Right. Which is not good. Like we've talked about, the sales and marketing, they're hand in hand, man. They both help each other be more efficient, in my opinion. So you've got to have that process and you help MSPs put that process in place so that they know what to do with people that they're talking to at every step along the journey.

Brian Gillette
Exactly. In our world, four meaningful leads in a month we can turn into a customer. So if you want to lower the bar to FDA, so you want to have more conversations even if they're not necessarily in a buying position. Let's call it four to eight opportunities a month in the Feel Good Program. The whole point of our program is ten to twelve net new MRR customers a year. Yeah, that's what we want. Imagine that, a customer a month. That's pretty sweet. If it's $1,000 a month customer, you'll generate $78,000 in twelve months in top line revenue from twelve logos. Not to mention you've got 144k in year two already banked in your 12,000 MrR. You just did. Right? So twelve logos over two years is worth over $200,000 at $1,000 a month. So I don't want you to get 400 customers. I don't want you to go try to close a 2000 seat whale when your average customer is 15 users. I want ten to twelve meaningful customers a month or, sorry, a year. Each one of those is another opportunity for a word of mouth referral. Each one of those is an amazing opportunity for an onboarding for more projects, et cetera. Right. So in order to get that, we want to work backwards. As you said, the best way to manage your return on ad spend is in your closing rate. It's not by tweaking one word at a time and split testing to death your ads. And then you just don't email the lead when it comes in. You're wasting all that effort. It's completely wasted. But if we double our closing rate, we have our marketing spend or we double our return on marketing spend. See what I mean?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Oh, totally get it. I mean, the default for a lot of MSPs is when they have a problem is I need to generate more leads. Oftentimes it's not necessarily a lead generation issue, it's something else down the line, like are you closing? Right? Or do you have a retention problem? So we immediately default to a lead gen problem. A lot of times it's not a lead gen problem. Which then goes back to again where we started in the beginning where it's like, man, you can't just take what somebody else has done to be successful and just implement it and expect it to work for you. You got to look at the whole picture and really understand why it worked, how it worked, and then model it, not copy it. Model it for you. And when I say model, I mean, how are you going to keep the shell of it, but adapt it so that it works within your business? Because all our businesses are different. I don't care. Every MSP is different. They have similarities, but they all have differences. And those differences impact your sales results, your marketing results, depending on what you do.

Brian Gillette
100%. My number one performing article on LinkedIn called, you don't need more leads, you need a sales process. Because I actually think a lack of leads is a symptom of a bigger problem. I don't think it's your number one problem. Case in point, less than 10% of MSPs that I interview have a psychographic profile of their ideal customer. Less than 10%. And right now, if you're an MSP listening to this, you don't even know what that means, then this is my point. I say, who's your ideal customer? And they go ten to 100 users in Ohio, lawyers. That's not an ideal customer profile. Those are three demographics which are very helpful. Yeah, I don't mean to sound so intense about it, but...

Tim Fitzpatrick
it's okay, man.

Brian Gillette
Coming in hot, I guess, today. But as you know, Tim, if you have a true ICP, a demographic breakdown, a psychographic breakdown, a use case breakdown, so we can horizontally and vertically, niche, get a super, super clear profile. Any marketing executive is going to foam at the mouth if you show them that. Say, by the way, these are the pains, the goals, the frustrations, and these are the needs of my ideal, of my COO. Average 20 to 40 user. We're looking for these industries in these cities. They like to have been in business this long, this much revenue, this many locations. Dude, you could turn that into gold because you know who to target, what to write. See what I mean?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Oh, yeah. Dude, this is totally in alignment with how I view it. Right. Because in the framework that we use, we look at strategy, planning and leadership from a marketing standpoint. The first thing that we look at in strategy is your target market and who your ideal clients are. Again, it goes back to the fuel. All the things that you just said are fuel that you can use for your marketing vehicles. It is critical. Everything from a marketing standpoint starts with your ideal clients and who they are. Here's the other thing. When you have that mapped out and you generate a lead that then goes over to sales, sales also has this benchmark that they can use when they're having a conversation and they're like, does the person I'm talking to check enough of these boxes off. And if they don't, they're not a good fit. Cut them loose, recommend them to somebody else and move on. Because working with people like that is not going to serve you and it's not going to serve them.

Brian Gillette
That's right. There is a spectrum. Qualified for leads is a spectrum. But I actually think it's much more binary than many people let it be. And many times we like to leave it ambiguous so that we can shift the blame to whichever party we so desire. The salesperson can't close a deal and goes, these leads are shit.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, these suck.

Brian Gillette
Right. But they might not be. In fact, you could create a definition for qualified. And then it's on you, man. If you can't sell it or if they're not in a buying position, that's a different. rf somebody comes into me and the psychographic breakdown, the demographic breakdown, but they need four months because they just rolled out a new PSA, that's a super qualified lead. But I'm not going to try to change the ideal timing of when they purchase. But for me, that's a huge win. I put them in my CRM as feature sale. That's a deeply qualified lead because you do that every month and you kick them all out. Now all of a sudden, by month seven, you've got all these opportunities that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You'Re following back up with.

Brian Gillette
That's what a pipeline is. That's what a sales pipeline is. So if these people are coming in and you're the salesperson and you're not converting them, remember the number one piece of advice that I got? You're the only common denominator in every problem you have. Which means you should be the first thing you turn to when you're looking for. Why is this happening? You should always assume some degree of responsibility. But the good news is there are things you can do. You could go read a book. Great. I'll be candid with you, Tim. I've probably read less sales books than any sales coach you've ever know. I just don't do itt. I'm not against mean. Maybe it's the same reason I didn't go to college. I'm just not that kind of a guy. Okay. And anyway, you could read a book, you could work with a coach, you could join a program, you could join the tech tribe. There's things you can do. But we want to make sure you're doing is not just taking external factors without understanding the why underneath them, spinning your wheels and spending your money doing things that you're guessing are going to work, when instead, you could build a revenue operation system to turn your growth efforts into a sales machine.

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I love it, man. Dude, you and I could talk for. We could talk for a long time about any, any last minute thoughts you want to leave us with.

Brian Gillette
Yeah. If you're listening to this interview, and either from Tim's amazing marketing perspective or my sales perspective, you're feeling discouraged. Or if you're ever feeling, like, analysis paralysis, I would just encourage you to do the next right thing. Don't try to achieve twelve month goals today, because if that's your parameter, you will never achieve anything. And in twelve months, you're going to be sitting in the exact same spot. So if you're feeling discouraged, just know you're in good company. Tim and I both get discouraged all the time, right?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I was discouraged yesterday.

Brian Gillette
Happens all the time. I had a sales meeting on last Monday and I left and the guy was obviously a bad fit. And I was just like, man, what am I doing with my life? What a waste of a conversation. It was so frustrating. The guy was just such a bad. It was just like such a bad fit. And I just needed to feel my feelings for a minute and then move on. But yeah, if you're feeling discouraged, it's okay. And this does not disqualify you. Do the next right thing. You know, to do. Go to an event, talk to a person, read a book, read an article, just do something for yourself.

Tim Fitzpatrick
One of my mentors said, focus on the next measurable step. Right. Which is another way to think about what you just said. It's so easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged. But when we can break things down into those small steps, it becomes much more manageable. The other thing I would add to that too, is obviously I'm a big planner. I think that there is tons of value in it. But most of us overcomplicate plans. You touched on this. Don't create the one year plan. No one year plan is the same at the end as it was at the beginning. Keep plans short and simple. Execute on them. And it's when you execute and take action that you learn. And when you learn, you start to make progress. So keep things simple. Don't overcomplicate it. Focus on the next right thing or the next measurable step. Brian, man, I appreciate you. Awesome stuff. Where can people learn more about you?

Brian Gillette
Yeah, I post every day on LinkedIn and feelgoodmsp.com has free training, like 20 minutes of free video training you can watch right now. We've also just launched our blog on the website, and then we have a list of events, events where I'll be appearing. So we have workshops. You can register for things like that. Feelgoodmsp.com and or just follow me on LinkedIn for the content.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. I love it. Feelgoodmsp.com we'll make sure your LinkedIn profile is in the show notes as well. If you liked what Brian had to say, which I sure hope you did, go check him out and connect with Brian. Thank you, man. I appreciate you. Those of you watching listening, I appreciate you as well. You can always connect with us at rialtomarketing.com. RialtoMarketing.com. We spent a lot of time talking about sales today, but we also talked a lot about marketing and how they intertwine. If you want to grow that revenue operation, that revenue system, right, you got to have a sales engine. You got to have a marketing engine. If you want to know which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your marketing engine, you can do that at revenueroadblockscorecard.com. Thanks so much. Till next time. Take care.


Connect with Brian Gillette


Links From The Episode

About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

Tired of marketing that doesn't deliver? Ready to create lasting marketing success?

The world of marketing is vast and constantly evolving. It's easy to fall prey to information overload and feel lost in the marketing maze. In this ever-evolving landscape, expert guidance is critical to navigate successfully.

We understand - marketing your business can be more than just challenging; it can be downright disheartening. But it doesn't have to be. Marketing shouldn't be difficult.

Limited returns on your marketing efforts? Unsure about your next move? Or perhaps you're doing all the "marketing stuff," but it's not working.

This is where our expertise comes into play.

We provide marketing consulting, advisory, and outsourced or part-time marketing executive services. We help MSPs & B2B professional service firms build and manage their marketing engine to get where they want to go faster.

Ready to remove your revenue roadblocks and simplify marketing? It's about time you feel confident in your marketing strategy. Let us help.