TruMethods Schnizzfest: 10 Managed Services Keynote Highlights
Roughly 150 managed services providers (MSPs) have gathered for Schnizzfest, a sales-driven conference hosted by TruMethods CTO Bob Penland and CEO Gary Pica (pictured, left to right). The opening theme here in Philadelphia: Growing monthly recurring revenues (MRR) — while succeeding in work and life. Here are 10 highlights from this morning’s keynotes.
1. The Back Story: For those who aren’t familiar with TruMethods, the consulting firm helps MSPs to boost sales and monthly recurring revenues (MRR). Penland and Pica kicked off the conference. Both are managed services veterans; mindSHIFT acquired their managed services business a few years ago.
2. The Results: Here at the conference there are 108 MSPs representing six countries. To wit, I ran into MSPs representing Australia last night. Twenty-one of the attending companies have been working with TruMethods for more than two years. Of the TruMethods member companies:
- The top 25 member companies have generated an average of $40,000 in new MRR.
- The top 10 have generated more than $50,000 in new MRR.
- The top 3 have averaged more than $75,000 in new MRR.
3. Who’s Growing?: I don’t want to hype the managed services market. Plenty of VARs are struggling to master managed services and recurring revenue models. Plenty of MSPs are struggling to figure out their cloud strategies. But growth-centric MSPs are attending Schnizzfest. Companies like masterIT, mindSHIFT and White Glove Technologies come to mind. I will be sure to catch up with White Glove CEO Tommy Wald and mindSHFT CEO Paul Chisholm for their thoughts.
Meanwhile, I ran into masterIT CEO J. Michael Drake during breakfast. He says most of the MSPs he knows are enjoying a growth spurt — he mentioned 30 percent growth as a reasonable target this year.
4. Earning the Right to Say No: Pica noted that TruMethods — and the best MSPs — earn the right to say no. That is, the right to say no to business opportunities that don’t sound quite right. And the right to say no to revenue opportunities that don’t align with a company’s core missions and values.
5. The Fear Factor: Pica mentioned that MSPs and entrepreneurs often have the feeling of “impending doom.” Pica conceded that the real problem was right in the mirror. “Once I understood that I was creating the fear I became a much better person and a better business person. I used to exert a lot of energy to deal with all that [impending doom fear].”
6. Raise Your Expectations: Anyone who takes the risk to start a business is doing it because they have high expectations, said Pica. “For some people it has happened but for others it hasn’t materialized,” said Pica. “The reality of business and life have changed your business. What we want to do is re-set your expectations [higher] in terms of sales, margins and you.”
When you raise expectations you grow and change who you are and your results follow closely behind. Or, you don’t and your expectations will fall over time. “Who you are and what you believe has more to do with your success than what you know,” asserted Pica.
7. Forget the Script: For cold calling, just have a belief system in place. Forget the phone script. Forget the decision tree, Pica asserted.
8. Breaking From Conventional Wisdom: Pica claims that 90 percent of success in business and life involves attitude, self-image and self-discipline, and 10 percent is knowledge. “You can work really hard at that 10 percent,” said Pica. “Having the basic knowledge and adjusting your attitude will change your business and change your life.”
9. Cloud: It was barely mentioned during the opening keynote. Yes, there is a cloud session tomorrow. But so far the cloud hype here is minimal.
10. Next Up: Pica confirmed plans to rally TruMethods members during the ConnectWise-hosted IT Nation conference in November 2011.
That’s it from the opening keynote. MSPmentor will be back with more Schnizzfest highlights later today.