When it comes to analyzing your team’s sales compensation plans, figuring out where your latest marketing campaign went awry, or what new security tools could help you protect your clients, wouldn’t it be great to ask a genius? CompTIA members will get that chance again 31 October at the EMEA Member and Partner Conference.
Expanding on the success of the Genius Café at other previous sessions, CompTIA has recruited a cadre of experts in numerous fields (sales, marketing, leadership and strategy, cybersecurity, objectives and key results, and CompTIA training pathways) to answer questions and give one-on-one advice in 25-minute sessions on 31 October from 10 am to 12 pm. The meetings have proven quite popular, so interested corporate members should schedule a session soon because space is limited.
Learn from Experienced Experts
Clive Madders, CTO at Cyber Tech Security Ltd. In Bristol, UK, said he wishes Genius Cafés were around when he was an MSP. Madders served as a cybersecurity genius at the 2021 EMEA Member and Partner Conference.
“Being able to have a scheduled slot with a subject matter expert where you can ask questions, specifically aligned to your needs, really helps your understanding of the subject and allows you to translate that information to your clients and back into your business,” Madders said.
Too often questions around cybersecurity are answered in a generic fashion because they “fit most people” and are not focused enough on specific, real-world situations, he said. Genius Café conversations allow you to get the help you need—when you need it.
“Having the one-to-one with someone allows you, with them, to make your discussions and the advice you receive, specific to your actual needs and for you to expand on the answers given with more questions to ensure you are absolutely sure you have gained the insights you required,” Madders said.
Genius Café sessions at the EMEA Member and Partner Conference will focus on cybersecurity, sales, marketing, cybersecurity, and leadership. Overall, the idea is to provide non-bias, valuable content that connects directly to people looking to improve their businesses, said Jason Kemsley, technical director of Uptime Solutions, West Sussex, UK.
“There is no better way to make sure you are growing as both a business and as a person, than to collaborate 1-to-1 and receive some knowledgeable takeaways direct from an expert,” said Kemsley, who served as a leadership genius during the event.
The advice-driven concept of the Genius Café is much needed within the MSP community, whose leaders tend to have technical backgrounds—not sales and marketing, said Chris Wiser, founder and CEO 7 Figure MSP, which advises managed service providers. Wiser has served as a “marketing genius” at previous events and said the best advice he ever received was to focus on sales and marketing processes, not just the technology.
“I’m trying to help MSPs and IT service providers make sure their processes are in order and that they’re charging a proper amount. You could be given a perfect lead and still sell it improperly, which only accentuates issues with cash flow, scale, productivity,” Wiser said.
Come for the Advice, Stay for the Member Networking
Previous Genius Café attendees extolled the value they got from the meetings. “The Genius Café is another great perk for being a CompTIA Member. "To spend 25-30 minutes with a top expert to get your tough questions answered is priceless,” said Corey Kirkendoll, president and CEO of 5K Technical Services.
For anyone scheduling a Genius Café session, Kirkendoll advised to come prepared with several prioritized questions in order to maximize time. “Just remember you get out what you put in. Have a plan and I assure you that you will not be disappointed,” he said. “I got great advice, and some I implemented right after the call. It was that easy to do and relevant to help us succeed in a real-life marketing issue we were facing.”
Brendan Turner, president and CEO of Turner Techtronics, lauded his experience with a marketing genius at an earlier event for helping him strategize how to target into new industries.
“My organization struggles with breaking into and marketing to new market verticals such as healthcare and finance. [The genius I talked to] was very knowledgeable and provided great insight and vertical specific ideas for our website and marketing program which I will share and implement with our sales team,” Turner said.
Jhovanny Rodriguez, vice president and co-founder of GreenLink Networks, Addison, Tex., and founder of Synetek Solutions, has ample experience as an MSP and selling to MSPs. As a prior sales genius at a CompTIA event, he helped MSPs avoid simple mistakes that could improve their business.
Among the common mistakes he often sees are MSPs “winging it,” i.e., selling without any formalized strategy or process. “Whether you’re generating sales through lead generation or referrals or word of mouth, there needs to be a defined system of what to do—and not to do—when you get a lead,” Rodriguez said.
Another tip: take a personal approach on follow-ups with customers. “I see a lot of MSPs who have a great customer meeting, then go back to the office and email a proposal and never hear back,” Rodriguez said. “A customer many interpret an email pitch differently than you intended. Email proposals focus more on the number, not on the value you are providing.”
During the EMEA Member and Partner Conference, the Genius Café will be open between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm on 31 October. For more information, contact [email protected]
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