WORK HARD. Follow the program. Make more money.
The formula sounds simple enough but can generate extraordinary results, according to Robin Robins, CEO of Technology Marketing Toolkit (TMT) Inc., a Franklin, Tenn.-based sales training, marketing, and lead-generation firm for IT service providers, mostly under $10 million in revenue.
Entre to the organization is the toolkit itself, which contains education components, prebuilt marketing campaigns, and live Q&As with Robins. At higher levels of membership there are workshops, in-person events, advanced products like “Robinized” websites, peer groups, and more. Robins also offers personalized coaching sessions to select customers, based on scheduling and availability.
At her 11th annual Sales and Marketing Boot Camp in April, Robins told the 800-plus attendees about a client who blanched at the $3,300 price tag for a 90-minute phone session with her. Unabashed, she told him she was worth it. She can prove it too, said Robins in an interview before the conference, because she measures indicators, such as leads generated, appointments made, contracts sold, and monthly recurring revenue.
“We know what works,” say Robins. “I figured that out so long ago it’s not even funny. That’s like indoor plumbing.”
Amusing, brashly self-confident assertions like that are characteristic of Robins. Self-made, self-taught, with nothing more than a GED among her academic credentials, she peppers on-stage presentations with cussing and jokes. “You should quote me on that,” she suggests regularly during interviews.
Robins started her career in sales support, later talked her way into a job with a big systems integrator, and from there moved into marketing. Fired from one job, she set out on her own as a marketing consultant, inspired by Dan Kennedy, the so called “godfather of direct marketing,” and Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker and business coach, for whom she briefly worked.
“As a business owner, you’ve got to enjoy your clients and resonate with them,” she says.
Today, TMT has 21 employees and around 5,500 active customers, whom she says typically fall into one of two buckets: a small group of high achievers looking for an edge and a much larger group of channel pros in despair because they’ve been in business 10 or more years and have yet to reach the million-dollar mark.
A good client has “a genuine desire to be better and to grow, and they’ve got to be at least open and willing to doing some things differently,” Robins says. Often, she says, clients will buy the toolkit, get some results, then go back to old habits, or worse, put it on the shelf unused.
Chris Hoose, president of Choose Networks Inc., in Wichita, Kan., was guilty of putting the toolkit on the shelf. Then in 2015 he joined the Producers Club, the highest tier of membership TMT offers, after seeing a book by a peer that he learned was based on a template available only to Producers Club members. Three years later, Hoose says revenues are up $1.1 million, MRR is up $57,869, and profits are up 27 percent.
While the $1,500 per month price tag for a Producers Club membership may be pricey, Lisa and Eric Shorr, owners of Secure Future Tech Solutions, based in Warwick, R.I., say the investment pays off. “Robin helped us to figure out how to be proactive in marketing and realize it’s an investment, not an expense,” says Lisa Shorr.