Peter Radizeski is Founder and President of RAD-INFO INC. He is an accomplished blogalyst, speaker, author and consultant. He has helped many service providers with sales training, marketing, channel development and business strategy. He is a trusted source of knowledge about the telecom sector. His honest and direct approach make him a refreshing speaker.

Look for his innovative ideas and analysis of current technology on his blogs.

Meet him at one of the many conferences he attends and speaks at.

Hire RAD-INFO today!

Marketing for the Service Provider

I have worked with over 100 service providers of all stripes – ISP, WISP, MSP, CLEC, ILEC, MSO, cableco, VoIP/UCaaS, CCaaS, cellco and fiber providers. Most have marketing problems. They want Lead Generation. (Who doesn’t?) They tried stuff for a month. It didn’t work. They stopped. Sound about right?

Then you have to DO the marketing for a period of time. It takes 20+ touches to get a prospect’s attention now. There are many vehicles to get your message across to them. Make a plan, work the plan.

This post is from an IT provider explaining 3 things he learned from a RR workshop. Much of it is Marketing 101 – who is your Buyer? What pain can you solve? Tell a story that resonates.

Marketing starts with your Value. What is your Value Proposition? Why should someone buy from YOU instead of the others that look just like you?

This MSP explains how he designed a Purple Cow in order to stand out from other MSPs. I’m not saying you need to build an app or anything, but you need to know what makes you different. It isn’t a feature or “your people”. It can be your culture (see Zappos; RIP Tony Hsieh) or a benefit that your customers derive from working with you.

If you are looking for Lead Gen, there are a number of MSP specific firms that can provide that for you. Robin Robins doesn’t do the work for you. She provides tools that you have to use (customize) for your business to then actually do the marketing. (The line between marketing and sales seems small.) The biggest complaint for service providers is that although vendors may provide collateral or marketing assistance, they don’t have the time or desire or know how to get it done. Help is available. Mojo Marketing, MindMatrix, Ulistic, MSPMarketing and others.

Besides Robin, there are other peer groups to join – CompTIA, IT Nation, Tech Tribe and ASCII. Peer groups help you network with other like minded people who understand your business and struggles. There is a lot to be gained from a MasterMind group, but you only get out of it what you put into it. You end up working ON your business as well as IN your business – but that’s how you get it to grow.

Other ideas to try yourself:

Build a Prospect List. Use a CRM and an email platform like MailChimp.

Write scripts for email, elevator pitches, voicemail, phone calls. Constantly tweak these.

Google Adwords! Understand the keyword that YOUR customers would search for, build landing pages around that keyword and offer. Track it!

Direct mail still works. It requires many touches.

For 2021, the marketing experts say that Influencers will be the key. So find out who your customers would listen to – and partner with them.

LinkedIn! You might try the strategy this MSP used. Daily habits equal sales.

Do you curate testimonials and reviews? I was just speaking with a company that automates that for you called NiceJob out of Vancouver.

Pick a program and work it to more sales in 2021. Need help? As always give the office a call at (813) 963-5884 for all of your sales and marketing needs!

Are You Ready for 2021?

The stock market is up in speculation that any of the three vaccines will work – and things go back to the way they were in 2019. Anyone that truly believes things go back to the way they were is kidding themselves. 2020 changed too many things – and some for the permanent like work from home for a larger percentage of workers than before. It changed supply chains, restaurants, hospitality, conferences and vendors.

If things go back to pre-COVID, you already have a plan. You will do things just the way you have been -until March of 2020. In fact, people didn’t adapt to the circumstances of 2020; instead they held their breath waiting for things to return to the way they were. That’s poor planning. Hope isn’t a strategy, right? What’s your plan for 2021? Here are 7 things to think about and resources as well.

  1. Do you have a Sales Plan for 2021? Read HERE.
  2. Are you setting Goals for next year? Here’s a workbook.
  3. Do you know how you are going to get Attention? Listen HERE.
  4. Is your Value Proposition clear, concise and articulate? See HERE and HERE and HERE.
  5. Have you created a list of your Top 5 Prospects?
  6. How will you retain your Top 5 customers and partners?
  7. What skills do you need to add to improve selling remotely? Webinars and Workshops in Remote Selling were a hit in 2020. An ebook is coming out soon!

Channel Heads have their own set of issues if things don’t return to pre-covid. Recruiting and Managing Partners is a bigger challenge virtually. Webinars and Workshops for partner managers and channel managers were a hit in 2020. Have you read the book – Secrets of Channel Managers – yet?

  • Why should a partner add you to their portfolio?
  • What does your best partner look like? Why not find more that fit that profile?
  • How to get attention (see above)
  • How do you successfully sell-through sub-agents/masters/VADs/partners?

It was easier with happy hours and handshakes. 2020 demonstrated who could sell and who could schmooze. Everyone is hoping we go back to live in-person events by ITEXPO in June, but what happens if that does not happen? Plan for that scenario! Need help call the RAD-INFO office at (813) 963-5884

What’s Your Sales Plan (for 2021)?

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

This year has thrown many businesses into turmoil. Companies have discovered how significant cloud services are in a virtual world. They have found out that not every sales rep or channel manager can sell virtually. (It was easier when schmoozing was half the job, right?)

The basics of sales and marketing have been skimped on (or forgotten) by a host of people and companies. In today’s world, the Value that your services bring to bear on a problem are all that the prospect has time for. How can you solve for X? And how can you do it better than their current vendor or situation?

Pre-pandemic, many service providers struggled to explain their Value; now it is getting in the way of Sales.

Now that we have settled into Remote Selling, what’s your Sales Plan for 2021? You can’t wait any longer for things to return to normal; it is time to plan for what the reality currently is.

Here are 8.5 questions to answer to design a sales plan for 2021:

1) Who is my Ideal Customer? If you think the answer is Everyone, wrong. Who do you sell to the most – vertical, size of business, geography, Buyer Persona? If you have a CRM, you can pull reports to see: What verticals you most sell to; What size companies buy from you; and What title the buyer or decision maker uses.

2) Why are they the Ideal Customer? How do you impact their business – or solve their problem?

3) What is the Value Prop?

4) Why should they buy from you? Why YOU and not your competitor? Talk to your customers to find out how they use your services and why they like you. **Talking to your customers should be part of your sales retention plan anyway.**

4.5) What is your Competitive Advantage?

5) How do you get in front of your Ideal Customers? Where do you fish?

6) What 3 customers can you not live without? Why? What do they look like? How do you find 2 more like them?

7) What 4 companies would you like to close in 2021?

8) What skills do we need to add or coach up or improve in order to hit our sales goals for 2021?

What is my sustainable competitive advantage?

At this point you can add revenue targets and quotas, but if you don’t nail at least the first 5 items, your sales team and partners are ill-equipped to go sell your stuff in a noisy virtual world.

Many do not grasp the importance of the Value Prop – or put another way: the competitive advantage that your services provide the customer. Think about omni-channel or chatbots tied to AI/ML – these provide a business with new ways to communicate with their prospects and customers where their customers want to communicate! It allows for a better customer experience. That’s the impact!

ABTO – Always Be Thinking Outcome! What is the outcome the customer wants? How do they achieve that from our services?

Sales Coaching Now Available!

How are your sales going in 2020?

More companies that I speak with are having an off year. Some of that is due to the pandemic, but some of it is due to poor sales habits. For too long, salespeople relied on handshakes and schmoozing to get the appointment. Now they have to go “old school”!

The Sales Process and the Daily Sales Habits are what separate the sales performers.

As a salesperson improves on just one area of sales – Prospecting, Closing, Negotiating, Questioning and Follow-Up – the sales arrive. If a sales rep gets better at Prospecting, the funnel fills faster. As the target audience and the Value Proposition are refined, the sales rep will spend more time with qualified leads (instead of suspects!)

Getting better at Discovery, Closing and Follow-up also leads to more sales.

Design a daily routine because “it’s the structure of the daily habits of successful salespeople that matters far more than any one secret strategy.”

“What does a successful quota-carrying sales rep do every day? It’s no shock to learn that the best reps in the business are incredibly focused, organized, and clearly plan out each day with a set goal in mind.” [source]

Harvard Business Review reported “an 18% difference in revenue growth” among companies that invested in defining a formal sales process than those that didn’t. When a framework isn’t supplied, salespeople are left fumbling around, digging through sales content, trying to figure out what tactics to increase sales will work best and help them reach their quota faster.” [source]

Let RAD-INFO INC work with your sales team to get them on a Routine that will lead to more sales! We can work with your individual sales reps or your whole team! Make an appointment to speak to RAD-INFO INC about coaching up your sales!

RAD-INFO INC can also coach up your marketing department! Improve your message. Refine your target. Better sales leads! Call TODAY (813) 963-5884

Getting Attention!

Attention is a Gift, according to GapingVoid. Brian Solis and Hugh MacLeod wrote an ebook for LinkedIn titled “Attention is Currency” [link to ebook in pdf].

This month my article titled “How to Garner Attention from Channel Partners” was published in the latest issue of Channel Vision magazine (page 48).

Hundreds of vendors are looking to get the attention of, not just customers, but channel partners during a pandemic! Partners are experiencing “Zoom fatigue” at the same time more and more invites come in for webinars, conference calls, virtual trade shows, expos, user conferences, etc.

Partners are receiving invites that include yoga, meditation, celebrity chefs, wine tastings, bourbon tastings, mixologists, trivia nights, every channel head, the same stale keynoters, Navy SEALs, Sharks and so much more.

Part of me wonders how many partners want to dial into a Zoom for some version of a virtual happy hour. (Confession: I have done with Webex wine tasting with Intelepeer with my wife for a Channel Influencer event.)

During all of this, I have noticed four types of speakers missing. The first is sales coaches. My own sales training demands have been peaked by the pandemic, so there is definitely a need for a sales trainer who can hone the virtual sales skills needed now!

Second I would suggest a motivational speaker. Why? The medicine for fatigue is motivation. May I suggest Mel Robbins or her colleagues?

You know what else is a cure for fatigue? Comedy! How about getting Iliza on the Webex?

Far from last, how about interviewing some actual partners?! Sheesh! What partner wouldn’t like to hear about some successes or how-to’s from a Peer (instead of a talking head that hasn’t been near a sale in ages!)

Please REMEMBER:

Content is King! It has to be engaging, entertaining and have an ROI. If I give you 30 minutes of my time, how do I make a thousand dollars? That is what a partner is looking for on your meeting.

Most vendors are still doing the same stale, uninteresting webinars they were doing before. That won’t work in 2020 (and beyond!) It is the speakers job to be enthusiastic, entertaining, engaging, and informative. If that is too much, you are in trouble. [And please practice once before you speak!]

Slides? How about NO, unless they are for illustration purposes only. All too often, the speaker is reading the bullet points! UGH! Click off.

In some cases, vendors are spending $150 per person for a tasting or virtual event. Are there better ways to spend the money? The pandemic has identified who can schmooze and who can sell/recruit.

Now is the time to re-evaluate your company story. What is your Value Proposition? Most of you do not know. Why should a partner talk to you instead of (a) his current vendor; or (b) the top provider in the space. How are you compared to Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, RingCentral, NICE Incontact – or whoever is in the MQ in your sector of the market? Most people who work for the vendor cannot answer these questions! “Quote Monkeys for $400, Alex”

Spend some money on an actor or voice over personality or animation to liven up your prezos. If you are going to do a webinar anyway, hire a pro to help. It will give it some Impact. Intelepeer did a two part webinar with a sales trainer who went over messaging with two handouts and a whiteboard. No slides – more like a lecture, but better than most webinars – and a topic that is important.

Want more tips? Make an appointment to speak with me. You would be amazed what we can do together!

Need Training? For Channel Managers or for Virtual Selling, call the office (813) 963-5884.

Why did INTELEPEER get 2 plugs? One, they identified me as a Channel Influencer. Two, they hired me for sales training. Three, they actually listened and implemented some of what I said. Four, CPaaS is hot right now!