Posts Tagged kate hunt

Branding 101: What Do Your Clients Say About You When You’re Not In The Room?

Gesture_03 How strong is your brand?  Do you know how your clients perceive you?  Do you know why your clients use your services instead of your competitor’s?

There’s an old saying in the advertising industry that your true brand image is “what your clients say about you when you’re not in the room.”  The way that your prospects and clients perceive you shapes what they say about you, influences their behavior towards you and is; consequently, the ultimate reality of your business’ brand image.  Your brand is a person’s visceral perception about your company. It’s an emotional sense of what your company is, rather than an intellectual, rational memory of your tagline or logo.  Components influencing the perception of your brand include your marketing strategy, public relations activity, and every client interaction (whether one-on-one or via the web, print, or broadcast media).  It’s how your staff answers the phone, how easy your web site is to use, what message your visuals send, how quickly your staff responds to client needs, the tone of your writing…and more.

The stronger your positive brand image, the greater your client loyalty.  The world’s strongest brands have not just clients or fans, but evangelists. Brand evangelists champion their favorite brands, not just by buying that brand’s products, but by enthusiastically recommending them to other potential clients. I’m certain you can think of at least one brand right off the top of your head whose clients may be perceived as evangelists.

Do your branding and marketing efforts ever seem to fall on “deaf ears?”  This could mean that, like many IT solution and Managed Services Providers, your brand isn’t what you think it is.  Until you get real feedback from real clients (surveys are a great way to do this, especially when the client can remain anonymous), your messaging is likely to be mismatched to your clients’ real perception of you.  No wonder you didn’t get the response you hoped for from that marketing campaign!

When was the last time you asked your key clients why they choose your services?  Chances are; if you’re like so many of our partners, it’s been quite a while – if ever.  You may never have taken the time to get this kind of feedback.  I’ll encourage you to do so—send out a client survey and find out.  Your clients’ answers will almost certainly surprise you.  They’ll give you reasons for their choosing you that you wouldn’t have expected, and couldn’t ever have guessed.

So, what do your clients say about you when you’re not in the room?  Who are your brand’s evangelists?  Just how enthusiastically are they championing and recommending your services to others?  And if you can’t find any, what can you do to create some brand evangelists? 

Click here to find out how to attend our next Boot Camp in Santa Ana, CA on June 9th-11th with SPECIAL EMR BREAKOUT SESSIONS ABSOLUTELY FREE ($2995 VALUE)!

Kate Hunt
MSP University
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Posted in: General Business, Marketing

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Strategy Is Not a Four Letter Word in Business

Challenges Working IN a business is not the same as working ON a business.  Small business owners are most likely to succeed when they focus an adequate amount of time ON the business, to help guide its direction and grow at an acceptable pace.  I adapted that from one of those great management books, though I’ll name no names.
 
As I survey our MSP University Partner community, I notice Entrepreneurs behaving like Technicians.  I see a lot of attention being paid to the “ins and outs” of how to effectively open and close a trouble ticket within SLA, how to use the Multiple of W2 calculation to drive engineer utilization, how to execute a cold calling campaign, and how to close a Managed Services opportunity . These things are important, true, but I hear less conversation among our partners about their Central Growth Objectives, Bottlenecks, and their Top 5 Strategic Priorities, and seldom hear a partner describe his Big, Hairy Audacious Goal.
 
This indicates that all too many business owners may be neglecting one of their critical functions:  working ON the business.  They may be spending all their time working IN the business instead.  Maybe it’s because they’re naturally inclined to focus on the technical work of the business (if they’re an engineer at heart).  Maybe it’s because they’re less certain about their knowledge of business strategy and planning.  Maybe it’s because they don’t think that they have time.  Well, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and remember who’s the Captain of the ship, after all.  What’s your course, and who’s manning the helm if the business owner isn’t?
 
Stay tuned for some great live webinar training from MSP University in the coming weeks on Strategic Planning, Brand Management, Growth Strategy, The 5 Most Important Questions of a Business, and more.  In particular, we look forward to welcoming Mark Faust of Echelon Management.  Mark founded Echelon Management in 1990 and has successfully facilitated strategy (self assessment) and sales innovation initiatives with hundreds of companies, including many software and other high tech oriented companies.
 
Check out
www.mspu.us/premium/live-training.aspx for our complete FREE live training schedule, including Mark’s upcoming session on April 29th.  We look forward to seeing you there! 

Kate Hunt
MSP University
Check out our FREE live training schedule here
Subscribe to my blog here
Subscribe to our Newsletter here
Join MSP University FREE for all things Managed Services
LinkedInIconFacebookIconTwitterIconYouTube 
MSP University helps solution providers succeed…period.

Posted in: General Business, Secrets to improving an I.T. Services Practice

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