Thursday, March 24, 2011

Robin Robins' System Does Not Work

I'm in Nashville this week for Robin Robins' "Big Seminar" on Marketing for I.T. consultants. (See www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com). Jeff Johnson introduced Robin and baby Jamie. Jamie is officially referred to as the "Chief Executive Offspring." When you see the people from Technology Marketing Toolkit, you see up close that these folks are just normal people.

The first questions I get (over and over again, believe me) about Robin are:

1. Does her system really work?

2. Isn't her system outdated?

3. Isn't her stuff hokey?

Again and again and again I've addressed these topics. It's quite amazing to me that people still ask these questions. Does it mean they really haven't heard of her? Do they not see hundreds of successful people in our business who attribute their amazing success to Robin Robins and her programs?

I think I've been a subscriber to Robins' programs for seven years. I pay a flat monthly fee (I don't honestly know what it is). In return I get a great monthly mailing with educational programs and motivational materials. All of that, along with two major "tool kits" filled with sample marketing campaigns.

When you look at my shelf full of Robin Robins materials, you see more than three feet of shelf space dedicated to marketing materials. Sample letters, descriptions of how to price products, recorded seminars, and more. The key words are educational and motivational.

So let's look at the objections to Robin's system. Here are my answers to the questions.

First, Robin Robins' system does not work. YOU have to do the work. What she gives you is a series of sales letters that will grab peoples' attention and get them to call you so you can make a pitch. Neither Robin nor anyone else can make sales for you. Her templates "work" if you are willing to build a good mailing list, print up the letters, mail off a series of three letters, and follow up by calling every single person on that list.

If you work the system, the system works. If you take a "Robin" letter, re-write it so it's now your letter, send it out once to a list you bought, and never call any of those people, . . . then it won't work! In other words, if you turn her system into your system, and then don't execute and follow through, it won't work.

Again, just look at hundreds of successful I.T. companies who are paying her money every month because they make lots of money in return.

Second, Robin Robin's system is not outdated. It might be a "classic" sales style, but that doesn't make it outdated. Robin uses the classic long-form sales letter that is the most consistently successful direct mail tool ever created. In every industry, year after year, decade after decade, the long-form sales letter is the king of marketing.

Robin has spent ten years focusing those sales letters to the I.T. Consulting industry. She keeps fine-tuning for new products and services like managed services, BDRs, off site backups, cloud services, and so forth. And yet her most successful letter of all time is the classic "Bad Date Letter" that speaks only to the pain points of small businesses buying I.T. services.

And then she does the kind of thing I'm enjoying this week at her big boot camp: She works to educate her partners so they can fine-tune these programs on their own. This is great stuff when you're in the mood to work "on" your business. But marketing is not the business we're in. We're professionals at supplying I.T. Services. We're never going to be great at marketing if we make up the programs on our own. That's why we need to rely on Robin to give us a step-up on the marketing front.

Third, Robin Robin's marketing materials are hokey. But hokey works. Your prospects are not businesses. They are people. People buy services. And those people can see your marketing a mile away. So your sales letter needs to speak to real, normal people. They need to be conversational and real. They need to NOT sound like the marketing department of a major corporation. And they need to address the points of pain that these real people have on the minute they are willing to get rid of their old I.T. company and listen to your sales pitch.

What is hokey? Hokey is in the eye of the beholder.

If you made up your own marketing materials, and didn't use templates from Robin, then those materials are probably filled with all of the things you do.

Who cares?

Client aren't going to buy from you because you provide 24x7 monitoring, patch management, and managed services. They're going to buy because their current I.T. guy is slow to respond, has to fix everything twice, never calls them back, and surprises them with unexpected bills. Your sales letters need to address those pain points, not your super-cool monitoring system.

The mistake people make most often is to "fix" Robin's letters so they are less hokey. In other words, they take something that works and turn it into something that makes them feel better about themselves. Do you want to look cool and slick and professional, or do you want new clients who pay you thousands of dollars a month?

So . . .

I'm always amazed when people haven't heard of Robin, haven't tried her materials, or haven't had an open mind about actually trying her materials. That's a little bit like wondering whether Donald Trump has anything to teach you about real estate.

That's why I'm at the Big Seminar. I know Robin has things to teach me about marketing.

:-)

Please also see the earlier discussion: Robin Robins Bugs Me.




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