OITVOIP – A VOIP Partnership Built For You

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Podcast 44 YT OITVOIP A VOIP Partnership Built For You With Sean Lardo

LISTEN to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast Ep 44 – OIT VOIP – A VOIP Partnership Built For You with Sean Lardo

WATCH The Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast Ep 44 – OIT VOIP – A VOIP Partnership Built For You with Sean Lardo

Podcast Transcript

Shelly Miller 

Welcome to the Mindwhirl Marketing podcast, your source for B2B business building information where we talk sales and marketing and give managed service providers and IT service companies to insider secrets you need to know to grow your business, want to help you attract leads and sales and show you how to align sales and marketing. So you get more sales faster with less cost. I’m Shelly and he’s Mike. And today our guest is Sean Lardo from OITVOIP. Hi Sean!

Sean Lardo 

Well, hello, good afternoon. Good morning. I guess it depends on what time people watch. This is right. Good day. How about we’ll go that.

Shelly Miller 

Good day, that’s perfect

Mike Miller 

So I was really impressed by Sean’s credentials. And I just wanted to go over these because you’ve had an amazing career. So you’re, yeah, an Advisory Board Member at Train our Troops and Vice President of Partner Development at OITVOIP?

Sean Lardo 

That is correct. Yes.

Mike Miller 

Yes. Vice President. Amazing. And you’re also a decorated veteran. Thank you for your service

Yes thank you for your service

Sean Lardo 

thank you. No problem. It was it was an honor. Honestly. It’s not like, what yeah, it’s awesome.

Shelly Miller 

It’s a lot to us.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. And, and somehow, you’re a father of four and grandfather of two, which is amazing, because I’m looking at a young man here.

Shelly Miller 

Yes. How’s that possible?

Mike Miller 

I know it’s

Sean Lardo 

denial. And they’re all girls to the Wow. Yeah. Wow. That’s the word I get often as well. It’s a lot of, it’s been an interesting 27 years now, because the oldest is 27. And then I have a 12 year old. So it’s funny because the three older ones I went through. I remember, first off as a guy, and Mike, I’ll speak to you directly. We don’t understand. I am perfectly willing to accept the fact I just don’t understand what’s happening. But I will go to the store and get you whatever you want. When you’re feeling any type of way where you hate me. I will do that. And the hardest lesson, as I learned is that I cannot I couldn’t give them the right answer no matter what. It could have been the absolute right answer. But it that’s when I learned how to start to shut up. which coincidentally has helped me in business, by the way.

Shelly Miller 

Okay

Sean Lardo 

Yes, because I was always wrong. I spent like a decade wrong to my daughter’s to my 3 in there 20s. And I was 12 year old so I now starting the journey again, with a 12 year old where she’s now I was her hero up until maybe last week I’m thinking yeah, so yeah. So I was a young father though. So yeah, I’m, I’m not terribly old. I’m only 22 years old. And I have a 27 year old so I’m doing really well.

Shelly Miller 

Okay. Yeah, definitely.

Mike Miller 

Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. So you’ve also been involved in five startup companies, which is an amazing accomplishment. Building Yes,

Sean Lardo 

I’m I’m a glutton for punishment. That’s what that

Mike Miller 

Yeah, as soon as the as soon as everything starts going up, you’re like, Okay, I’m out. Right. I need to build another one.

Sean Lardo 

Everything looks great. I got to go start myself again. You. I’m coming to you now. Yeah.

Mike Miller 

Funny. And you built the go to market strategy for three took three to acquisition? Yeah. And then you’re currently serving? Oh, it OITVOIP? Correct?

Sean Lardo 

Yep.

Mike Miller 

And and then impressive. You built the Market Now program for datto?

Sean Lardo 

Yes. I’m previous life worked with Mindmatrix. I’m sure most msps are heard of them. I actually me and another gentleman we retold, read, retold, I guess I’ll use the word the MSP Advantage Program first for Mindmatrix, which became very successful. And then kind of did a rinse and repeat because at Datto I’ll give them kudos. Very smart. They knew they had to enable their partners. They knew they helped. And we all know the MSP struggle with marketing and sales and business development. Okay. They’re usually wearing 500 different hats. And really marketing and sales is like the last thing they think of, even though it’s the most crucial to actually help them wear the hats.

Mike Miller 

Right?

Sean Lardo 

So yeah, they came to us and they said, We would like to build this program. We see and we see what you’re doing. But we want to have a market now program. And it was a very thorough vetting process for them. They were very onpoint. And again, kudos to him because they saw past. They saw the future. And they they’re saying they were saying how can we do this? And how can we make us take it to the next level? And they were very open to suggestions. And yeah, so me and my team, we repurpose the MSP Advantage program. But use the the datto content, and then we start to blend in the MSP content as well. To give these guys a very robust approach to marketing.

Mike Miller 

Wow, wow, that’s amazing.

Shelly Miller 

It is and I had no idea that you had you put that together. Yes. We were like wow, this is

Sean Lardo 

It definitely wasn’t just me though. It was a team but you know, it was I had very, very, very smart smart people around me. Luckily, that understood technology understood content understood the the the deliverability of it. I mean, they you know, so I wouldn’t have it without them I would have been, you know, I wouldn’t it wouldn’t be on my list. If it wasn’t for them. Let’s put it that way. Yeah.

Mike Miller 

That’s nice. But I mean, just the experience must have been amazing. Yes. You know, and you’ve worked with Autodesk Connect wise, Dell, Exxon Mobil, like, you know, you’ve got impressive experience.

Sean Lardo 

Thank you. Yeah, that’s, again, startups and glutton for punishment. And, you know, and, but I will say this, I’ve been very fortunate in my career that to work with really good companies that were willing to take a chance on me and what we were trying to accomplish. So working in this is, I was able to see all ends of the spectrum. At this point, I feel like you know, obviously, military taught me one way of doing life, right. And then on the other side, I went into enterprise and corporate sales. And so I learned ExxonMobil way. And while they’re talking about, I don’t know how your multi billion dollar conglomerate and they are disparate to it’s amazing how they’re able to make it work with like glue, and it’s like MacGyver. But I was able to have that experience with that and, and then and then coming over to the MSP side working with partners, I will say that actually, this is probably my favorite space is working with msps they are a lot of mostly my friends. So they weren’t my friends before I met them, you know, in this role of working with msps over the years, and they all are really good people with really good intentions. And and they’re all they’re a lot like me, I’m not very professional when I’m a very refined at some point, neither are they so it works out. It’s a very good symbiotic relationship.

Mike Miller 

Yes,

Shelly Miller 

we completely understand that. That’s our background where we came from, it’s the same way it’s there. It feels like home. Yeah, so we it does we mesh. Well,

Sean Lardo 

I mean, I mean think about it, we make really corny t shirts, and they’re gimmicky as hell. And I was like, This is the greatest thing ever. I’m like, yeah, it’s like give me some Twinkies some some Mountain Dew Code Red to like, Oh my god, you’re the best friend ever. Yeah, yes. And that’s my diet, too. So I’m like, this is great. Let’s have a family meal well drink code red.

Mike Miller 

Funny. So you have a such a wide range of talents. I was wondering if we could talk a little bit about marketing, but also you’re like, amazing with the partner networks. And also, you know, and partner ecosystems. But can we start with a little bit about what OITVOIP is?

Sean Lardo 

Sure. So obviously, we’re a VOIP provider, right? But I don’t wanna say we’re unique because VOIP, we all know what VOIP is, right? We’re not unique because of the technology, although our technology is phenomenal. And obviously, we know there’s some issues there’s some challenges happening right now in the voice space, if people haven’t seen it, that there’s a lot of one. Yeah, there’s, we’ll just say there’s a lot going on. But right. One thing I can say that I’m, you know, one of my one of my very good friends is actually my boss, Ray Orsini. And I know you’re gonna, I know, you’re gonna put this video out, so he’s gonna get a bigger head, but he’s, like, really a genius. He’s extremely, extremely intelligent. And so you know, our company was built, he spent years him and a team spent years getting into this and building an infrastructure out that was extremely sound, you know, because one of the things if you’ve been around, you guys have been around long enough to know this voice was a dirty word 15 years ago, because not because voice was bad. There was no network to really support it, there were just too, it was too It was ahead of its time, and it wasn’t ready and infrastructure didn’t exist. So it took years for companies to actually bring voice to the forefront. You know, you can look at Vonage, they are probably one of the first ones to really start showing that voice made sense. You know, so thank God for trailblazers like that during the course of time. Oh, it boy, Ray Orsini team group, they built this phenomenal infrastructure. And because he was an MSP before, it was a natural evolution and migration to working with msps as partners. And so back in 2013, we launched we launched the OIT brand. And again, that’s when the infrastructure started to be built out. And like every other MSP before when he was one, and everyone’s he will always be, they’re always looking to complement their stack, you know, for various reasons. One is because they want to make some extra money because they already have the customer there, why not add on a phone service or add on a hardware sale, right. And then the other side, they don’t lose your customers to other people that offer the robust offering. So that’s where we come into play, it has to become a trusting relationship, right. And he when he decided to go this route, we had already added to the stack several weight providers and just was wasn’t happy with the outcome for one reason or another, and we knew he could do better and so built the platform out, worked with all the telcos created this really good infrastructure that’s very sound and decided to start working with just partners that resell the product. And from then till now 98, almost 99% of revenue comes from our partner selling VOIP services.

Shelly Miller 

So if somebody wanted to sell your services, what’s your process to become a vendor? Or do you just take anyone?  Do you partner with them? What kind of relationships do you have with your vendor?

Sean Lardo 

No, that’s a great question. So on two fronts here on two sides rather, as far as becoming a partner of ours, we do offer two programs, we have a channel and a white label program, we’re actually one of the only VOIP providers that offer both. Most of them are either one or the other period, whether you’re looking for central, their their channel partner referral base, pay commissions, etc. Or you look at something like sky switch logics white label only, you know, so we do both. And so when we have a conversation, I will say this, and as we’ll go through the marketing concept that the market this will lead to marketing conversation at some point. We don’t buy list of leads. We don’t cold call anybody. We generate organically in grassroots where people come into us first. So they already have an understanding, they can find us everywhere, because we are on all medias often. And so when they come to us, we vet them out. Because the first important thing is that we know who each other are. And every conversation I have with any potential partner is really about, the first thing I say is, we have to have a discussion to make sure we’re a match. And it’s we are a match. It’s not, I’m not selling to you and you’re not selling to me, we are we have to match because we were in a partnership together, we have to work together, your success is directly correlated with my success, and vice versa. And so we have to know how to do things together, you have to set expectations of what the question is, what do you guys want? What do you want out of a vendor? what is important to you? And they have to answer this, I mean, actually, I have notes right here for my last call, you know, and, and the goal of the call, again, is to make sure we’re a match. But then also make sure they go to the right program, whether it’s channel or white label, every partner says we they want to go white label until you talk about responsibilities of taxes, and they’re like, oh, okay, hold on, you know, so it’s important that we discussed that, right? And it is so important that we work with that, and, and really educate them on those things. So they know what they’re buying into. And we do we do help them with all the process, by the way for taxes. And for compliance, we we have partnerships with other vendors that will do this. And they can go into the white label side if they want to. And we again, it’s extremely important because the one thing you can’t do, if you set them up for failure, it never works. It’s not good just to sign on a partner to sign on a partner, it gets you absolutely nowhere. If anything makes you take two steps back because they have a unpleasant experience. I’ll have to waste my team’s time on helping them because they’re not doing well. And then at the end, they just talk bad about you anyway.

Mike Miller 

Yes, exactly.

Sean Lardo 

So I don’t want to be that. So yeah, so we you know, we work with all the msps we we have partners throughout all North America. white label and channel. We’ve had very successful the last well year in three fourths now I guess, has been extremely, extremely successful for us.  We have such rapid growth. We’ve we’ve doubled our staff size. I mean, we hired all through COVID

Mike Miller 

Wow, excellent.

Sean Lardo 

Yes. And we even lost some employees and still doubled our size from the original mindset of two years ago, we’ve doubled in size. We’ve quadrupled or almost even 5x in growth in general partners and revenue. So we’ve done well.

Mike Miller 

yeah, that’s amazing. So so that, you know, makes me think of several things. The first is, you know, if, for my vendors, if I’m the partner of a, you know, a company, I’m looking for, like really great service, like always there when when I need them. And if they’re if I have a challenge, they’re right on, you know, like I can contact them immediately, I can absolutely get the help I need instead of having to like submit a ticket and then wait three days.

Sean Lardo 

Absolutely. That happens often. In many places. So yeah, and actually, that’s one of the so again, we’ve ever invested heavily on like the mainstream marketing and sales efforts, right? Because that becomes expensive. It’s very pricey. You know, these conferences, they aren’t, they aren’t cheap. We know that they cost money just to sponsor let alone your travel and stay depending if you’re taking a team or not, right. So that costs money, too. That’s the only room that’s really only outbound marketing, we really pay for our conferences. And that’s only because we want to be face to face as much as possible and get shoulder to shoulder with the guys. You know, but 95% of our company is partner and client success, whether it’s tech or it’s engineering, or it’s you know, administration, that’s the rest of our company. Our sales and marketing staff is 5%

Mike Miller 

Wow, wow. That’s incredible.

Sean Lardo 

You and if you and feel free, you know, for everybody who watches this, you can look Stop online and see, you’ll see what the partners say about it, you won’t see any bad, you won’t see a lot of bad reviews, if any at all on us, because we focus so heavily on the customer and the partner experience that we give them, they have access, we have a private discord channel they can get on. Well, yeah, we have all of our partners and all of our staff on there, and you want an immediate response? Yeah, of course, you should submit a ticket always right? We know that, because we want to have a paper trail, and we want to track the history of it. But you know, you can go on there and our community, you know, God bless our partners, man, they are so good. They, they all respond, they’re all helpful. Nobody gives bad information. Nobody is there to like, just complain. You know, it’s like, Hey, I’m having an issue with this. I’ve, I’ve seen some of our partners give like full, like detailed business plans to other partners on how to grow their business. And I’m like, thank you. That’s awesome. I was still sleeping, cuz it was like, three in the morning and msps don’t sleep apparently. And, you know, so yeah. So I mean, they’re awesome. So we do all this and the effort, the important thing is we want the most immediate, rapid response to everything we can to keep our partners continuously flowing. You know, we don’t want to disrupt that. That’s all that matters to us.

Shelly Miller 

Yeah. And that’s the kind of things that help your business grow. And you can have a vendor who cares for you that much. And be there for you.

Mike Miller 

yeah,

Sean Lardo 

selfish motivation is that the more legwork I take off the back end of you that you don’t can’t do don’t want to do is the more you’re gonna grow your business, the more you’re selling, the more money we both make.

Mike Miller 

Yes, right. Exactly. All said, yeah. And, and that makes me think that you guys have a secret sauce as far as, you know, sales and marketing. But I don’t want you to tell your competitors, what you’re doing.

Sean Lardo 

I don’t, I’ll say whatever, it doesn’t really matter. If you can talk about it doesn’t mean you can duplicate it, though, is a different people.

Mike Miller 

Right? So, um, but let me let me focus it towards msps. Right? Because you obviously, you know, know what you’re doing, and you’ve got something special going on, as evidenced by OIT and your growth? So if you’re when you’re talking to msps, and they say, Sean, I got, you know, just can’t get any leads, you know? Um, yeah, what would your suggestion be?

Sean Lardo 

You know,

Mike Miller 

so that’s broad, but

Sean Lardo 

no, yeah, it’s broad. It’s broad. But it’s a specific issue that they all have. I mean, we know that’s a fact. You know, the one thing I, the first thing I tell them is, I think the first problem they always have is they lack confidence in what you’re talking about to external people. Okay, they if, in other words, like, you know, and I say this to all, I’ll say this to all them, I always say this, if I put them in a room of people that know what they’re there to talk about, they’ll close nine to 10. Yeah, right, the problem is getting them to the room, you know, and they don’t have the same, they don’t have the same confidence. They also, you know, they’re usually not the most gregarious of people. They’re not the most outspoken and public. So they’re not salespeople. So your options, you know, your options are a couple things. transformation is extremely important for them, they have to make a decision on who they are in their company. You know, if it’s a one man show, it’s a one man show, and they’re going to be everything. Today at the center, making an investment, I always, I always roll on the side of investing in another person that actually knows how to do the job you want them to do, and being very detailed on it. So as opposed to go into buying a list of stuff that you’re never going to actually use, or you as an MSP that don’t really like meeting strangers going to a networking event, and getting a bunch of business cards that you’re never gonna call write, or email, because that’s what they do every time right. hire somebody, do that stuff. Hire a business development person. Okay, because usually, and really take advantage of your localization. You know, you’re a local provider. Yeah. You know, I actually always make the joke that, you know, people say why do you Why should we work with you OITVOIP? Oh, it Well, okay, cuz we can just go sell Microsoft Teams. Okay, go call support and hit one for English and tell me who you get.

Mike Miller 

Right.

Shelly Miller 

Okay, very good point.

Sean Lardo 

It’s such a good point. Now if I can say, you know, hey, I Mike is my guy. He’s right down the road here. He’s gonna be the guy that works with you. If you have any problems. Where this is our office, they’re gonna say, Oh, that’s awesome. Can I talk to my guys come in and meet for coffee? That’s that’s leaps and bounds. Right? So it’s not even I want to take I would steer away from the word the term marketing, I would do more about just building more relationships with more people around you. You know, because we use the word marketing. msps is like deer in headlights, right? Like marketing. Oh, God, I hear it all the time mark and mark and market. Let me guess I gotta buy an automation platform. And I gotta, I gotta work on my SEO and no, because nobody comes to your website. You’re at MSP. Anybody coming up to people submitting tickets. Nobody’s gonna be website like, Oh, I can’t wait to look at this. This website’s gonna be awesome. It’s an MSP website. I can’t wait to look at it. Nobody cares. You’re not Amazon. So They’ll focus on the outbound relationships, look at some community events, invest in your community, you know, and take and take advantage of like, your references, your existing clients that you do a great job with that, like you ask them where they go and hang out with their peers and colleagues, and go there to

Mike Miller 

Right

Shelly Miller 

great advice.

Sean Lardo 

It’s they’re introducing you, right? They’re like, this is the guy that fixed up computer when I had that huge problem. My Computer shut down. That’s him. Oh, we got to talk. Yeah, I work with. If you’re a doctor, I work with doctors all the time. Or clinics all the time. No problem. That’s what you do. Find your fishing hole. That’s all.

Mike Miller 

Yes, exactly. Fish where the fish are biting.

Sean Lardo 

Yeah, absolutely. And you have a friend. It’s always Yes. Again, if you want to get away discomfort. There’s not many people that can just call people randomly, like, Hey, how are you? You don’t you don’t know who I am. And it’s like, not many people can do that. You know, it’s like, like something you might have just read. Have you over the phone answer because that’s what

Shelly Miller 

it is. And there’s not very many people who want to do that

Sean Lardo 

job. No, it’s like less than, it’s less than like 2% probably at best. And people the rest of us lie about like, Oh, I love it. No, you don’t.

Mike Miller 

Right. Right. Exactly. I haven’t met anyone who likes cold calling. No,

Sean Lardo 

no. I’ve met I met some people that they actually did they I think they just like to annoy people. That’s why they do it.

Mike Miller 

Okay,

Shelly Miller 

that’s that’s a good slant that good. That

Mike Miller 

makes sense. I actually did. I did meet one person, but every time like every day, they had a different personality. Oh, yeah. Today they were Tony. Yeah.

Sean Lardo 

That’s awesome. Those need me now. You’re now it’s fun, right? Like, yes. Wonder who gets the most appointments Tony or role? Yeah. Day one is Tony. Day two is Toby day three, Jim, where you see your appointments, let’s see what happens. Whatever. I might even I might even try that.

Mike Miller 

Just change your identity.

Sean Lardo 

Exactly. Take my signature block in my email. a different name. Yeah, I might do that.

Shelly Miller 

Then the time consuming part will be to keep track of all of those different folders.

Sean Lardo 

Yeah, to have the Raul folder that Tony folders reports on I can put an errand and look and see what’s going on. And I got to introduce them to Sean so I can actually speak regularly. And

Mike Miller 

you’re setting appointments? For sure. Yeah, there you go. Exactly. Oh, that’s funny. Well, um, the thing about that I’ve noticed about marketing for with msps is that they’re not leveraging those relationships, ever, you know? Yeah, they’re just,

Sean Lardo 

which is insane, right? Because nine out of 10 of their deals come from referrals.

Mike Miller 

Yes, exactly. So ask for referrals or Wait, do that job and hope that people recognize or no,

Sean Lardo 

no, nobody ever recognizes. They don’t, the reality is, you know, and McDonald’s Corporation, one of the best ever processes and marketing and sales are one of the greatest ever. They are they put out their own report internal years ago and said, For and this is before social media existed, this was the phone call and a letter. It was for every great visit, you’ll get nothing for every bad visit, you’ll get 10 people that will find out about it. Yeah, that was then. So it just tells you people naturally, by default, humans complain first before happiness. That’s why we have to have so many damn meanings about why you should be happy. By default, we just you know, we liked it. We like to complain. And the fact is, is it and I’m sorry. But if I did a really good job for you, I see no problem saying, hey, if you have anybody that could benefit from my services, let me know. I’d love to talk to them, you know. And like, and this is going one step further, which is never gonna happen with an MSP, and I wish they would do it. Get a target list of people you know, you want to go after, if you’re, if you are prevalent, I don’t ever suggest being industry specific. I think that’s a bad idea. If COVID didn’t teach you anything, don’t be industry specific. Because look at all the hospitality and the msps that serve hospitality that basically went to nothing. So in diverse industry wise, but you should have a target list. If you’re if you just sold to a very large health care clinic that has tons of ties to everywhere else. Why not create a hit list of companies and doctors or clinics or whatever that are associated from there you can look especially like Children’s Hospital for instance. You can look at their list of affiliates. That becomes your target list. Yes. And then tell the people that you did a great job for Hey, I would love to meet so and so like to see if we can do business you think Are you guys having a luncheon Are you guys having an event I’m coming I will sponsor I’ll give away free IT services what I don’t care something and then If there is a bartering that occurs then at that point, and people understand it, and they’re not going to shy away from it, if they can get something from you a discount, or even a more credit, a credible source to use for IT, they’re going to, and they’ll promise.

Shelly Miller 

Yeah, we call it our dream list. We help msps get that dream list together. Because Yeah, if you have that, then you always you’re continually in front of the people that you know, you can help you that way. It’s a lot easier.

Sean Lardo 

It’s almost like it’s like being set up on a date. A blind date is that is established. That’s exactly what this is blind dating a first, right? Yes. And if you say you should meet my friend, Sean, he’s awesome. You know, he has great hair, which I obviously do. Great personality. Like he’s a good guy. I walk in the door to meet your friend. And I’m already an advantage. Right? Yes. It’s mine to lose.

Shelly Miller 

Right.

Mike Miller 

Yeah. So quickly, you can tell Yeah, yeah, I can tell you all day about how great I am. But the minute you tell someone, yes. All of a sudden, I’m great.

Sean Lardo 

Yes, you’re an advocate all in and you become the most popular kid in class. Yeah. That’s what you want to be. Every time you go into an arena, it’s a classroom, you want to be the most popular kid. That’s actually something we focus on here is becoming popular people the way become those not that we care for popular, like per se being popular, so I don’t need more friends. But I always like my friends. But it’s more about just becoming that thought leader that people can read. They’re like, Oh, I know, you I heard you’d put that that article on. And that was great. Thank you so much. And then they tell people, it’s not intrusive, they have the chance to take my content and and read, they can see me on some sort of video like this. And they get to know who I am to some degree. Right? So that way, it’s not cold. Right? You know, that’s all your it’s an icebreaker before you get there.

Shelly Miller 

Yes. Yeah. And that’s how we think that marketing and sales should be, it should never feel or be cold, you know, if it if it isn’t, the whole process takes less time, less money, less energy, you know, your makes your whole your whole life and business easier.

Sean Lardo 

I couldn’t agree more. Yeah, because nothing’s you know, if you look at the standard, if you look at the industry standards, nurturing a cold lead takes anywhere from six to nine months, maybe even two years, right? That’s effect, relationships take the same time. But he said you build a relationship, you’re actually going to meet at six months, you’re not just finally getting acquainted, after six months, I’m reading your email content. You know, I do agree and I will go on record now saying that you have to market on every media possible, that is applicable to your industry, okay, whether it’s social email, landing pages, you know, you have to do that stuff, they have to see you everywhere to know you’re a legitimate entity. That’s a fact, it’s no longer back in the day, if you have a brick and mortar store, you’re legitimate. That’s not the case. brick and mortar has nothing to do with anymore. Now it really is about, they have to see you on social they have to see referrals they have to see, you know, you won an award, you have to you know, and again, they have to see it on all social, you know, and I shouldn’t say all social because people I tried Twitter, and oh my god, I can’t do it. But, you know, based off of your demographic based on the fishing hole, right? Like, I do a lot of business. Like when I was doing all corporate, I focused heavily on LinkedIn, you know, but msps are there on LinkedIn, but not that much. They prefer Facebook. It’s actually our age demographic. So I do a lot of business on Facebook. I’m involved in all my community groups are on Facebook.

Mike Miller 

Yes. Okay.

Sean Lardo 

I generally great. I probably generate five to six easily leads a month off of Facebook msps that want to talk. Well, that’s great. That’s and I never say yeah, it’s an I never say what we do. They just know they look me up. Everybody looks. buyers are very educated. I think that’s the worst thing people don’t realize is that that’s that’s a challenge for msps. Also, they think that the blab everything and in techies gibberish, right. And they don’t have to because the customer is already the prospect has already looked up what you do.

Mike Miller 

Yes, exactly.

Shelly Miller 

We all do now. We look up everything first.

Sean Lardo 

Everything, everything.

Shelly Miller 

We don’t even try a new restaurant until we know what the reviews are.

Sean Lardo 

Right? Yeah, exactly. So think about that. Let’s use the restaurant example. Alright, so I’m in a strange area, where should I go? I go on Yelp, right? Top restaurants, I can pick my genre I want if I want to just say top restaurants, right? Then I find them. Then what I can do is if I’m at a conference, I know people that like just I was in Jersey last week. I can just go on social media and say all my jersey friends do what? What restaurant, do you prefer this, this or this? And now I get people saying you should go to that one. Or they start the conversation now and that is just easy. That’s a whole 35 seconds of work. Right?

Mike Miller 

Right. Yeah. And you don’t want to waste money. So

Sean Lardo 

right? And then they call and then when you do that your friend even follow up with like, questions you don’t think about like, what kind of environment do you want? What’s the ambience you want? You know, like, I mean, think about that, like, you know, they started now it’s time just food and drinks now it’s environment. So I, you want to listen to a band, you should go to this place instead. Oh yeah, I would love to see a live band, I’m going there instead, right? And you get all that and back to what I must be should be doing. When people are saying, hey, my computer broke. What should I do? You want people saying you should be talking to Mike. Yeah, exactly. And tagging you on social media. He fixed all my stuff.

Shelly Miller 

That’s what you want. Yeah, exactly.

Sean Lardo 

I mean, how do you make that happen, though, if you’re not taking advantage of your surrounding areas and, and you’re not magnet are amplifying what you do? And that’s always a problem.

Shelly Miller 

It is you can’t unless you do.

Sean Lardo 

Yep, you can’t. You actually have to. It has to become a discipline. You have to force yourself to do the things that you never used to do on a daily basis. You know, I mean, how these guys will visit their clients every week. Take a picture, take a picture with them and tag them. Like, don’t say I’m here fixing their computers. Just say, Hey, I’m here with Joe. I’ve been working with him as a partner and a friend for 20 years. I’m so glad he’s in my life. And here’s what he does. and promote him instead.

Mike Miller 

Yes, excellent. Yes. Brilliant.

Sean Lardo 

what happens? Obviously, you’re on their network. Right, right. Joe? Who Sean Oh, Sean’s mammoth D. What the hell is an MSP? Oh, they fix computers? Because he’ll say better than MSP? Well, we know that, you know, he fixes computers, he helps make sure my business stays running. Does he really? Oh, wow. Okay, I probably should talk to him. Yeah, you should let me introduce you stuff like that. That’s all I mean, and, and also, if you want to generate new leads, if you go to same coffee shop every day and not your client, take a picture with the people who work behind the counter with you. Make it fun people like people love the human element aspect of things.

Shelly Miller 

Yes, they do. It’s proven over and over and over again. We have a an MSP in New England, and he has a little area. Industrial Park has a new coffee shop. Well, they’re friends. So you know, it’s the it’s just he takes pictures there. He knows they know the community. I mean, you can start that small and make a difference in your business.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Sorry. And not only that, like little things like taking a picture and then tagging the location actually helps your Google rankings.

Sean Lardo 

Absolutely. And then you take that also, we can go one step further, Google my company, if you’ve never really done it and invested in it, you need to make sure you do so you can post in Google my company to there’s a post in there, you can do every day. So if you’re taking pictures, you can use old content, whatever, the more you feed that the better your algorithms will Google, Google loves you more, the more you put in. So yes,

Shelly Miller 

definitely. And we just had a update to one of the biggest social platforms that send out automatically for you sendible, they’ve added Google My Business that will allow you to put posts directly, not only on all of your social, like we use it to schedule, we all go now to Google My Business. So now you’re out there more? Yeah, you know,

Sean Lardo 

yeah, that’s, it is, uh, the, the I’m glad these technologies finally started doing these things, because they have to be my only downfall on them is you have a difficult time tagging people. So you have to so that’s like, your next step is you have to have somebody at the ground level, and is what we do with our business actually. So you guys have met Simon, he’s my communication manager puts together we put together collectively me him Ray and the team and whatnot, we put together what we see is being cadence for content from the company, right? But that’s not we don’t just stop there. Because, again, you can’t tag certain people. It’s because there are flaws within the technology. Nothing’s perfect. So we actually pick up that and share or tag or like, you know, the individuals do so because really, people don’t really follow companies. They follow people.

Shelly Miller 

Right, right. Sure. Do.

Sean Lardo 

You know, people are following Elan Musk, people who are following LeBron James, not the Lakers. You know, that’s what they’re doing. There. People are following Kim Kardashian not keeping up with the Kardashians, you know, they are following individuals. Because it’s back to that human element. Again, they like that they and they want to see that because there’s, there’s resemblance of them themselves in the people they watch.

Mike Miller 

Yes, exactly.

Shelly Miller 

Here a great point.

Mike Miller 

And that’s, and so I’ve said this before, so I apologize to everyone who’s heard it before. But in 2014 McKinsey, which is the largest business consulting company in the world, did a study on the future of the workforce in the US, and they said by 2020, it would be 40% consultants. So, you know, and then we had COVID. They didn’t foresee that for some reason. But the thing about that is is if 40% of the workforce versus consultants, then how did they stand apart from each other? Because, you know, there’s only so many industries so that then basically you’ve got 3000 whatever, consultant, pick one, there’s 3000 of them, right? What makes one better? It has to be the personality, they have to it has to be personality driven. You know, just like you’re saying, it’s not it’s not keeping up with the Kardashians. It’s,

Sean Lardo 

it’s Kim Kardashian is Kim Kardashian is Chloe. And, and you find your and, and and you become a fan? Yes, exactly. You know, but I would say this first, before they become a fan of yours, you have to be a fan of all there’s first. Like you have to be, you have to want you have to believe in what you’re doing. You have to be happy about it. You have to, and you have to, like you have to enjoy being there fans and watching them interact with what you’re doing. You know, and that’s a fact like everything we do. Like I was saying before it there’s not a single time that Ray and I really post what we do. You know, we don’t post a lot about VOIP. In general, we don’t talk about our company. The only way we talk about our companies if we’re doing events, you know, but it’s not about us we’re actually promoting the event instead, like we went to ASCII last week I promoted ASCII not I mean, by default we’re getting traction, right? But again, it’s really like I’m a fan of our of our partnerships, a fan of our of our strategic partnerships, our friends, our partners, our families. That’s what I’m a fan of first and it always comes back to 10 fold almost when you do it that way. You know, it’s like being a boss.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, yeah. So how would you How would you describe your content strategy? Like what are you focused on do you

Sean Lardo 

so now that’s a great question. So content strategy is simple we we focus on the entire MSP experience not VOIP Okay, in other words, if we see things that are happening in this space like when we saw some hacks occur we got involved in answered questions so content is it’s it’s not like you got to there’s plenty of vendors out resumes that just keep on putting out content why you should work with us why you should work with us but I know you can talk to me and talk about that because really, you put you buy from who you like in the end Okay, we know we do. I mean you’re a note we’re about people will talk about us so our content really is is it’s not I don’t say it’s reactive, but a lot of us reacted based off of what current events are going on and when people need it’s not just I don’t want to give you a pamphlet just to give you a pamphlet of stupid shit that you’re never going to read right it’s irrelevant you’re wasting I’m wasting my resources and I’m wasting your time and nobody likes either one. So you know content strategy the one thing we know is we post every single day on social media the one thing we know is we keep all of our all of our network up to date every week on newsletters, you know so in and we that’s the first thing we focused on was cadence, the amount of times we’re gonna get out the second was the content itself and the content is built around initiatives like this you know if I know you guys can help somebody I’m gonna say here check this out. I’m on this but you should just subscribe to them anyway because they provide a lot of good content now you become part of my content because it’ll help somebody it’s all it matters.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, it is

Shelly Miller 

it is and you have a lot of great content we were watching your videos

Mike Miller 

Yeah, it’s fun. Like I was enjoying it you know, like yeah, I had to stop watching it because I had all kinds of stuff to do but I was like, really having a great time?

Sean Lardo 

I mean, don’t you feel that like every great business interaction I’ve ever had in digital ad 80% of it was fun and friendly and 20% was the business right yeah,

Mike Miller 

That’s the dream

Sean Lardo 

that’s right I that’s how I feel should go right but every time you made a purchase 80% was talking about your kids your your you know the food you ate last for what it was a conversation to get to know somebody that way you could be genuine to some degree and then you can be blunt and have a candid conversation on what you really want. And then 20% was the business right? And I think that so that’s kind of you know, when you talk about technical stuff, it’s you kind of have to get to the meat of it when you’re demoing so obviously it’s very tech you know heavy but even if you watch like Ray’s video ray is very good at that if you watch his videos with when we have other vendors on he is very good about bringing it back to the business value. He’s also able to wing jokes because I get on like we live we live stream from stream yard for hours right? So I purposely get on all this stuff just so I can say dumb stuff to him in the chat and say something and he responds to everything like like he sees it he’ll put it out you know you can put the chat on your on your screen write the comments you can go see hope on love and then he’ll be like yeah, you’re right, Sean. I should have used the better shampoo or something you know, whatever it is, you know, even though he’s talking about something way in depth on something.

Shelly Miller 

He’s on, top of it,

Sean Lardo 

is he it’s it’s weird. He’s a weird he’s like NASA. He’s like 25 screens, and somehow he’s talking to me while he’s chatting on this one on Discord. He’s on MSP geek on this one. He’s on slack on this one. He’s you know, and I’m like, dude, and he’s still talking to me hear me like, there’s no way and it’s weird. It’s the weirdest thing. And then he gets back because I can’t I’m taking notes on pen and paper. I’m like, hold on. I’m like, he’s like, I know what’s wrong. I’m like, dude, I’m doing the best I can. I’m not you. Weird. Yeah, I think you have somebody else in the room with you. Somebody else is doing stuff for you. Because this is just not one man job. But it is for me like a one man band too. So yeah, no, I think it’s important. We like I said, we made a decision to be human. We didn’t want to be boring. And people are people. And I’d rather have these kind of engagements interaction. So what he, like when we start doing tech bar, we had no agenda. First of all, we just said, we’re gonna start up a show, because the conferences aren’t happening. And our friend, we all miss hanging out with our friends. We’re gonna drink and tell jokes, and talk about technology, and talk about jokes about business, tell jokes. And we just made up the whole thing as we went. And then we were like, but then we realized, like, we were like, We were like, how long you want the show to be I’m like, I don’t know, an hour, two hours. The first job was like four and a half hours. And I was like, This kid. I was like, I have a life. I have to go to bed. You know. I mean, it was so long. I did put my daughter to bed during the course if I had to leave, go put it read a story and put it to bed and come back and continue. It’s like, I turn off my monitor. Like, I’ll be back. Yeah, so I was like, yeah, it’s not gonna work. So we actually have an agenda. We put together a complete show notes. And we never fought we follow like, 10% anyway, because we just go off the rails regardless.

Shelly Miller 

Gotcha. Well, it’s entertaining and fun. Yeah, it’s it makes it watchable. And something you look forward to watching. Yeah.

Sean Lardo 

Yeah, it does. It does. It does. I’m surprised. I we, quite frankly, we were shocked. We thought okay, maybe some people watch. And then now we have like over 500,000 viewers that have viewed our videos, like multiple videos, you know, not subscribers, because that would help me better. They don’t want some reason. Like, please subscribe, please. But no, we on all of our content. You know, we produce 30 pieces of video content a quarter.

Mike Miller 

Wow, that’s amazing.

Shelly Miller 

Yeah, that’s, you know, short videos.

Sean Lardo 

partner for us. webinars, tech bar, whatever. 30 pieces of video content. Regardless, that is our goal every single quarter.

Mike Miller 

that’s a that’s a big schedule. That’s a lot of work.

Sean Lardo 

Yeah, yeah. It’s it’s a lot. It’s, it’s I mean, that’s why I look older than I did when I started here. Because

Shelly Miller 

it’s why we see you everywhere. And that’s the point. Yeah,

Sean Lardo 

I’ve been working on my lighting, make sure it’s better. Like I was like, holy how my lighting look like, holy shit. What do I do there?  I’m like, we ghost the enigma. You know? What’s

Mike Miller 

great? Yeah, it looks great. It looks great. Thank you. Yeah. Well, we’ve kept you longer than we promised.

Sean Lardo 

Okay, it’s probably my fault actually.

Mike Miller 

Shelly Miller 

we’ve enjoyed

Mike Miller 

Yeah, we really have I have, or all the msps out there listening to this, you know, check out the tech bar, you know, check out Sean’s content it’s fun just to watch and it feels like we’re hanging out with you guys

Sean Lardo 

appreciate that we we want that’s what we want and and making sure we have a YouTube channel for it so it boy YouTube it’s all of our stuff. Subscribe. Don’t just view please, for the love of God give me subscribers and helps us with our algorithm. It helps us with future marketing purposes. Yes. We actually have we’re doing tech parties Thursday we have we have Rob Ray from datto so it was it coincidentally speaking robbery from that OBS on Thursday night. Protect bar and that’s followed by earlier in the day when I’ll be on ninja RMM doing their cybersecurity by the way everybody watches I don’t even know that much about cybersecurity. But I’m going to be on it and I guarantee I will still make sense of it regardless.

Shelly Miller 

That’s awesome.

Mike Miller 

Yeah, you can translate Yes,

Sean Lardo 

that’s what I do. I’m the English English translator lost their job sometimes. You’ll see sometimes I’ll be on my phone but looking up a word like what is that? In a sentence please use

Mike Miller 

That’s funny. I can help you out. Okay, what’s the word anodyne? A friend asked me what anodyne meant. There I used it. Alright, look,

Sean Lardo 

I might look down at my phone. I’m like anodyne.

Mike Miller 

It’s a It’s a family guy joke. Anyway. Hey, Sean, thanks a lot for being a part of the mindful marketing podcast and coming on and sharing a little bit about OITVoIP and how to really like market your business as an MSP because you gave it all away like if when an MSP re watches this or watches this and takes notes they’ll realize that you gave them like a masterclass in what they should do to get leads.

Sean Lardo 

yeah i mean i hope it helps.

Mike Miller 

Oh it will absolutely

Sean Lardo 

absolutely just want them to learn a lesson and in the apply it you know yeah I they’re all great people they’re great at what they do typically and they they deserve the world and they can have it and you know without growth you’re Where you headed?

Shelly Miller 

you know we couldn’t agree more

Mike Miller 

yeah exactly it’s it’s it’s oxygen

Sean Lardo 

Yeah absolutely. And I actually like these guys so I like to see them succeed right and then they can send me like gifts for Christmas if they succeed I really want

Shelly Miller 

to we have one of our customers has promised us a trip on his on his sailboat so we are we are really looking forward to that. Yeah,

Sean Lardo 

I don’t even want to go on a sailboat. I just send me a bottle of scotch I’ll be fine. I’ll do my

Shelly Miller 

love it. Well now we know what you’d like Sean. Yeah, great.

Sean Lardo 

Oh, yeah, he’s watching tech boy. You know what I like? Because I’m pretty buddy, and scotch and I’m in and you know, I’m yours for life.

Mike Miller 

Perfect. Perfect. Awesome. Yeah. Well, thanks again, Sean. Really appreciate it.

Sean Lardo 

Absolutely. Thank you. I really I enjoyed myself. Thank you seriously for bringing me on.

Shelly Miller 

Thanks again, for listening to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google podcast, Stitcher, Deezer or Spotify. Plus, check out my work on YouTube and subscribe. You’ll find a lot more marketing tips, insights and resources that will help you get your sales and marketing working together and moving in the same direction.

Shelly Miller

Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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