On a call with a client who was struggling with marketing, I advised him that his results, although not stellar, were “average,” and he said, “I can’t keep this up because it’s costing me too much. How do I get to the same cost per lead that YOU guys get?” He meant “now” and “instantly,” although he didn’t say it.
My response was not what he wanted to hear: Keep doing what you’re doing NOW, but for 20 more years. Oh, and you’ll have to start doing a bunch of things you’re not doing now, like continually mailing, calling and e-mailing (something he was not doing), not just one campaign.
I do realize this is a very unwelcome message and I’m NOT selling easy buttons and quick fixes – more of the “get rich SLOW” path to riches. The “no, you CANNOT eat anything you want to eat and lose weight” plan, but truth-telling that your journey to the top won’t be gotten by a quick, smooth, air-conditioned elevator ride, but a hard, rocky road with ditches, snakes, mosquitoes, bears and terrain that often slow you to a crawl, fraught with all kinds of things that will end you or, at the very least, be a constant source of irritation. Not many people want to sign up for that, despite the fact that it IS the path to the prize they say they want.
Critics of me and my methods love to point out that “nobody uses ALL of your program,” or “people put it on the shelf and don’t do anything.” For starters, they state that as if they have some factual, insider knowledge of our clients and business (they do not). They are merely reflecting their own behavior, projecting their actions and habits as “what everyone else does/thinks,” often building an argument to excuse their own horrible habits and procrastination so they can feel better about their own sloth (misery does love company, after all).
However, they are correct in that most people start, do a few things and then stop and don’t stay consistent – but how is that a failing of my system? I sold them a proven process that, if implemented, will work. I cannot change the fact that a) acquiring a client for outsourced IT support is a very difficult and expensive endeavor due to heavy competition, the pain of disconnect with a current, incumbent provider and the fact that most MSPs don’t have a compelling answer to WHY a prospective client should ditch their current provider and choose them; b) there aren’t that many “buy-now buyers” in the market for outsourced IT support (a quick review of Google traffic for “IT support” and “IT services” will reveal that); and c) I cannot FORCE someone to wake up early and do the work required.
These are the same reasons there aren’t more millionaires and financially independent individuals – the evil 1%. Sure, there are some situations where a person has so much working against them that achieving any kind of financial stability is an insurmountable task for them – but that is certainly NOT the case when we’re talking about the general business community in the IT space. Most just won’t commit to doing the work, over the long haul (years). They’re constantly start-stopping, not investing, not learning, not innovating and not pushing themselves with URGENCY to grow.
If you look at anything in your life that you don’t have “handled” (meaning it’s a mess or nowhere near as good as it could be, should be), I can practically guarantee you’re neglecting to stay in the game. You’ve got to keep saving and investing. You’ve got to keep working out. You’ve got to keep eating right. You’ve got to keep showing up early, doing the work. You’ve got to keep being there for your kids. You’ve got to keep working on your marriage. Just like marketing, start-stop, intermittent action or “coasting” and “I’ll get to it later when I have more time/money/motivation” gets you poor outcomes. In everything.