CommScope's COVID-19 Customer & Partner Hub Visit
(Note: The following has been submitted as a guest post to CommScope Blogs by Craig Thomasmeyer, executive vice president at Miller Information Systems, a member of CommScope’s PartnerPRO Network and provider of IT networking solutions in the Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, OH and Columbus, OH areas. Opinions and comments provided in this guest post, as with all posts to CommScope Blogs, are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CommScope.)
Business 101 for trusted contractors is knowing what your client wants, and why you are calling them. Do they have a need or a problem to solve? You can solve the problem, but make sure you do so in the right order.
In part one of this blog series, I explained why the sequence matters to build a relationship with the client as a trusted contractor. Step one was cost benefit analysis and getting your client a proposal so that management can perform the Benefit > Cost analysis.
In part two of this blog series, the client returns to ask for further details and a technical design to confirm that your proposal is going to work and solve their problem or data technology need. Get them plenty of facts, cut sheets and plans for the project.
In the final part of this series, I explain step three—when the client issues the order and signs the contract. This is also the time when someone from the client’s organization or someone representing the client wants to verify the investment value. Be prepared for this and you will succeed.
This outsider may not know all the details or even know IT (i.e., the client’s purchasing department) but they need to assure that the client is getting a fair price. It's not an unreasonable request, but you should be prepared to explain everything thoroughly.
If a contractor appears at this stage, don’t be offended. Take this in stride and be sure to lock up your preferred pricing by registering with CommScope. All manufacturers want to protect those who promote their solutions.
Make sure you emphasize your technical design, the project management team, and the installation crew. The rubber is nearing the road, and your IT client wants a successful and timely completion of the project. Assure them of your ability to meet their demands.
Sometimes the client just needs a reference point -- a way to compare total cost. This can often just be a past project or past proposal that was competitively won. Again, your IT client wants you to win this work. We all just need to satisfy this third party.
Return of the sales team
Now that your relationship with the client has been established, you are a trusted contractor and the IT team wants you to do this project. I don’t expect to hard close my clients, but I do want them to know we offer the best products, the best service and that we are reliable and professional.
I have often stated we are in the IT services business. The product we deliver as a contractor is chiefly service. While manufacturers can win with the unique features of their solutions, the contractor is now at the point of delivering services.
Build upon your position of reliability and professionalism. You have done all that you can do. You don’t own the step of issuing the order. The problem has been solved, you have delivered the technical details, and now have demonstrated a fair price and professional service.
No one can ask more of you. We own the process, but we don’t own the final decision. Work the process in sequence, work it diligently and work towards you client’s best interests.
Fortune “lies at the intersection of preparation and hard work” - Seneca