Welcome, 2017! But before we get too far into the new year, let’s talk about 2016. How did it go? Did you achieve the growth you were hoping for? If not, I challenge you to consider the following: “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”
Every year in January I challenge business owners to create a marketing plan and stick to it for the year. Obviously, I'm heavily invested in the idea of you choosing cold call prospecting. However, I honestly don’t care what you choose to do as long as you make a choice and execute.
So what's stopping you from doing that? Here are the things standing in between you and a successful and prosperous 2017 — and my unsolicited advice on how to overcome these obstacles.
How much time are you spending trying to decide on your next course of action? Don’t spend so much time on the fence about what you want to do that you end up doing nothing. It only takes a quarter of inactivity to completely paralyze your sales pipeline for a full year. Whether you opt to work with a marketing partner (or partners) or build and execute your marketing plans in-house, you need to get started now. Start executing and then fix as you go. The timing will never be perfect, so stop putting it off and start building your marketing engine.
2. Unrealistic Expectations
Pick your partners and/or a process you believe in, get started, and hold steady. Every time you jump to another solution provider, software, or service you have to start all over again. Whatever it is you’ve chosen, give it a year to work. If you can’t financially commit to a process, system, or partner for a full year, you’re not ready to do it, and you shouldn’t invest in it.
You can’t expect to pay a marketing partner with the money that marketing partner generates for you. You can’t pay a new sales rep with the money they generate that calendar year. Accept that you’re going to have to spend money, and don’t get spooked when you have one or two bad months. Results will average out over the course of the year, but if you continually stop and start because you’re not seeing results on your timeline, you’ll never get enough traction to see solid outcomes.
Don’t get distracted by the shiny things. New ideas will come along in 2017. You can try them in 2018. For now, stay hyper-focused on your goals and continue to improve your current systems and processes. Let 2017 be the year that you make a plan, improve it constantly, and stick to it. You will never be successful if you allow every little thing to push you off course.
If this is the year you’ve decided to focus on improved service delivery, do that. If this is the year you’re going to add 12 new clients, do that. Even when it’s frustrating, boring — or what's sometimes worse — when you’ve started seeing some success and you feel like you can take your foot off the gas — keep on keeping on.
A Simple Resolution for Growth
If growth is your priority, let me suggest something simple that you can do yourself and start today. Start cold calling. Begin by calling 10 new companies every day. Keep it simple. Introduce yourself, get their email addresses, send them an email, and connect with them on social media. Schedule a follow-up activity that is appropriate based on their response to your call, and follow up as directed.
Do this every day for a year, and you'll sign two new clients this year from this process alone. It will take you less than an hour a day. You don’t have to buy anything new to do this. You don’t need to pay a coach, an expert, or a marketing company. Want some tips and tricks to increase the odds of your success? Download the free e-book, The MSP's Ultimate Guide to Cold Calling, for some extra help to get your started.
About the Author: Carrie Simpson is the founder of Managed Sales Pros, a lead generation firm dedicated to providing new business opportunities for MSPs. Carrie teaches IT firms how to build, manage, and grow their sales pipelines. You can follow Carrie on Twitter @sales_pros and connect with her on LinkedIn.