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I remember sitting in the back row of the largest MPR room at the Microsoft Headquarters briefing center in 2004. I was there for a sold-out session of Harry Brelsford’s SMB Nation. Remember the years when Harry hosted these events at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond? Matt Makowicz was also sharing the formula for managed services, and the shift from break/fix to MSP was just in its infancy.
I was in my early days of breaking free from my IT tech chains and was on the road to becoming the Director of Business Development for IT Matters. Yes, 2004—that was a long time ago.
I remember watching Robin Robins that day. Here was this person from out of nowhere trying to convince the IT professionals in the room that marketing was important and that it was something they had to focus on to grow their business. I was already on that path; 2004 was the year IT Matters saw almost $1M in the growth of annual revenue. Some of it was the result of the great work we were doing in the Calgary market, but the primary reason was our shift from a technology company to sales/marketing firm specializing in marketing and selling IT services.
I didn’t buy anything from Robin that day, and I never purchased anything from Technology Marketing Toolkit. However, I learned a lot from Robin on that day in 2004, and I took away some fresh ideas that helped me round out our marketing efforts at IT Matters.
Fast forward to today. Ulistic is now seven years old, and I have personally helped some MSPs achieve stratospheric success. Not hundreds or thousands, but a few highly motivated MSP firms who followed the same recipe that I used back in the days of IT Matters. Some companies employed four or five techs when we started working together, and now they are 40 to 50 staff members healthy.
What I realized as I matured in this industry is that Robin Robins and the Technology Marketing Toolkit team are not my competitors. At one time, I thought we were bitter rivals, and I can guess that they felt the same about me. That’s fine. I’ve learned that Robin Robins’ Producers Club members are my best clients.
Why is that?
Robin Robins’ value, a value only she brings to the MSP community, lies in that she has convinced a token group—not thousands and maybe not even hundred, but a few, like my 2004 self—to realize that they are not technology businesses, but marketing and sales companies.
Robin Robins’ Producers Club members and others who follow her mindset are perfect clients for Ulistic because they understand the importance of marketing and they just need some help getting it done. Ulistic is now well positioned to help MSPs achieve stratospheric success.
I have tried over the years to persuade Ulistic clients, and non-clients, to see the importance of marketing and sales over technical. I can be honest with many of you: it would be less painful to stick a million hot, sharp needles in my eye. Some of you just don’t get it, and I have come to terms that many of you never will.
But Robin Robins’ faithful drink the Kool-Aid and get the importance of marketing. Hey, it is not just limited to Robin Robins’ group. We see the same behaviors in Gary Pica TruMethod members and some of Arlin Sorensen’s HTG members that marketing and sales are essential to the success of any MSP.
Thanks, Robin, Gary, Arlin, and others for blazing the trail so guys like me can better serve the MSP community.
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