Every MSP’s three favorite words—leads, revenue, and profit—are dominating the agenda at the 11th annual Sales and Marketing IT Boot Camp, hosted by Robin Robins’ Technology Marketing Toolkit (TMT) Inc., a sales and marketing company based in Franklin, Tenn. The event kicked off in Nashville on Wednesday, April 4, and runs through Saturday.
The opening of the event on Wednesday started with a light-hearted music video featuring Robins & Co. dressed in pirate garb, singing “come sail away” and “make some booty.” In the welcome keynote that followed, Robins told 1,100 attendees, which include 250 streaming the event, that business development requires an open mind, a willingness to test, and evidence-based decisions. She also said that MSPs need to train themselves to think about outcomes first, followed by strategy, and then tactics and activities. “What are you trying to accomplish? What does success look like?” she asked them. She also recommended spending the majority of their time on high-leverage activities, and to be strategic about extracting the maximum amount of money from everything they do.
Thursday kicked off with an opening keynote by Chris Voss (picutred), former lead FBI negotiator for international kidnappings; CEO of Black Swan Group, which provides business negotiation services; and author of Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. Voss told attendees that trying to get a “yes” from prospects is corrosive and damaging to relationships. Instead, he suggested flipping your thought process to get a “no.” For example, instead of asking, “Do you want to implement this program?” try “Are you against implementing this program?”
In addition to “no,” the next “magic words” you want to hear from a prospect are, “That’s right,” Voss said. He explained that it’s important to let prospects know that you understand what they are facing, provide a simple summary of the situation and how they see it, and acknowledge if there is any negativity they’re feeling about you. Voss calls that “tactical empathy.” He adds that getting to “that’s right” is where your money is made.
Next up were presentations from the five finalists in the “Better Your Best” contest, an annual event TMT runs for members of the Producers Club, the highest level of membership (other levels are Accelerators and Apprentice, the entry level). Attendees as well as a panel of judges vote to determine the winner, who will be awarded a Tesla and named TMT’s spokesperson for the year. Each presenter reported on how they achieved financial success by implementing the sales and marketing strategies they have learned. On average, this year's finalists raised revenues by $663,707, net profits by $93,492, and monthly recurring revenue by$43,041. Winners will be announced on Friday.
“Better Your Best” finalists are:
- Dan Tomaszewski, Bulldog IT Services, Howell, Mich.
- Chris Traxler, CEO, Cirrus Technologies Inc., Beavercreek, Ohio
- Chris Hoose, president, Choose Networks, Witchita, Kan.
- Eric Shorr, president and CEO, and Lisa Shorr, vice president of marketing, Secure Future Tech Solutions, Warwick, R.I.
- Ted Shafran, president, Connectability, Toronto
The afternoon included sessions for Accelerators and Producers Club members on “How to Profitably Grow Your Business without Angst or Chaos,” presented by Gino Wickman, founder of business coaching company EOS Worldwide and author of Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, Rocket Fuel, and others.
Meanwhile, Robins conducted sessions for Apprentice-level attendees on “Marketing Fundamentals to Extraordinary Growth and Profits.”
An evening session on how to become a sought-after authority in your field will be presented by Adam Witty, founder and CEO of Advantage|ForbesBooks.
On Friday, there will be a morning panel on how to stop procrastinating about implementing the Technology Marketiing Toolkit. Robins will also conduct a two-part morning session on advanced strategies for business development, focusing on doubling your income without doubling your client base.
The afternoon keynote will feature Robert Herjavec, founder of Herjavec Group, an information security company, and a “shark” on ABC’s television program Shark Tank. He will talk about growing a managed security services provider (MSSP) practice into a multimillion-dollar business.
Wrapping up on Saturday, attendees will hear from keynote speaker Kevin Mitnick, who was once on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for hacking and is now CEO of Mitnick Security Consulting.
The Boot Camp ends with a panel discussion led by Jay Ryerse, CEO of CARVIR, on achieving operations excellence in delivering cybersecurity solutions.