How to Sell Information Technology Solutions to Your Non-Technical Prospects
Stuart R. Crawford / Stuart Crawford
Ask Yourself the Five “W’s”
As an MSP it’s your job know how specific IT solutions can help your prospects and clients. Communication is critical to the success of any MSP client or prospect relationship, as well as potential sales. Most of your clients/prospects won’t be interested in the technical details. So, you must convince them or your worthiness using “plain language.” The first step in making a sale to a non-technical prospect is to ask yourself the answers to the “Five W’s.”
- “Who” are you speaking to, and how much do they know about IT?
- “What” IT problems are they facing? What solutions do you have to offer?
- “Where” do they want their business to go (what are their goals) and how can you help your prospect/client achieve them?
- “Why” should a prospect/client consider using your services or solutions?
- “When” does your prospect/client expect to see results; define and set their expectations.
1. WHO Are You Speaking To?
Does your prospect have a very limited knowledge of IT? Or are they interested in hearing the details? If the individual doesn’t know about ,or care to know about technology, use everyday language and explain how the solution will help them. In rare circumstances they may be interested in knowing about the inner workings of your IT solutions. But in most cases, you should leave out the technical jargon and details.
2. WHAT Problems Are They Facing, and What Can You Do To Solve Them? Always try to go beyond a client/prospect’s specific request. Talk to the individual to learn their frustrations or problems with IT, their short and long-term goals, and their budget restrictions.
This communication will be invaluable when it’s time to plan solutions, deployments, integrations, upgrades, migrations, and other critical strategies.
To help with budgetary restrictions, always make recommendations for several alternatives with varying costs and service levels your prospect/client can choose from. In the end, it’s entirely up to the client to decide what they want and can afford.
Be sure to relay the advantages, disadvantages, risks, and potential impact of each option.
3. WHERE Will Your Solutions Lead Their Business? Showcase the Result, Not The Solution.
You must include a discussion about the equipment and services you’ll propose to use, but try to focus on how these solutions will provide the results your prospect/client is looking for. Most clients don’t want to know the technical details, they’re more worried about how the solution will impact their business. Will the solution you’re proposing result in quicker order processing? Will it enable more up-to-date files? Consider recent trends of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and remote work; will the solution enable employees to embrace BYOD and work off-site?
4. WHY should they use your services?
Telling a story about how a client who accidentally deleted an extremely important file that you were able to quickly recover using a current backup, will likely persuade your prospect/client to consider the same service. This and other success stories prove why they should consider using your MSP for a particular service or solution.
5. WHEN? Set Clear Expectations!
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, and be clear about what you can.
Furthermore, understand what your prospect/client expects from you. Discuss the likelihood of certain disaster scenarios. For example, ask he or she, “When a server goes down, what do you expect my response to be? How much downtime is acceptable for your business?”
Ask yourself these questions and listen to the answers supplied by your “non technical” client/prospect. With this information in hand you’ll increase your chances of getting the sale!
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