We have all seen the scene in the movies where the ‘deal’ is about to go down where one shady party has the money in a silver brief case and the other party has the ‘goods’ in their brief case, either secrets or some other illegal contraband. Of course, in most cases since neither party trust the other the question arises as to who exactly is going to be the first to hand over their case to the other party and wait to get back what he wants in exchange. Many times these exchanges in the Movies end with one side killing the other and taking both brief cases. So how easy is it to make the same switch in the IT marketing process? The switch we are discussing is where you have a proposal that the IT sales prospect wants, but they have the network audit information that you want. This is where the marketing standoff usually begins and this ‘switch’ almost never ends up happening!
If you’re an MSP that has been in this situation before then you might be thinking that you can’t give an accurate sales proposal without having all the detailed network audit information. The piece of information that gets lost on most computer consultants is that the average business doesn’t want to give out that information unless they feel that there is a really good chance that they will end up doing business with the computer consultant that is requesting this information. Here is where the standoff begins and the information switch never takes place. This is a practice that can destroy the opportunity that was generated by a diligent IT sales leads campaign.
The solutions to this Mexican standoff is to be aware of the prospects security concerns and make sure that you make every effort to convince them that they will end up doing business with you. Of course, the first step is to agree to give them ball park pricing information. This is not to be confused with an actual proposal but rather a close estimate based on the limited information that you already have like the number of users and servers. The ball park should be given in a range so that there is room to raise or lower the prices depending on what is discovered n the network audit. When you do have to give more of a formal proposal without having the benefit of the network assessment data then just put the caveat in the proposal that all the prices hinge of performing the network assessment. This way you can get around having to stare down your prospect to see who is going to blink first or worse just walking away from the opportunity.
John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years experience marketing for IT providers and var marketing to help get more IT sales.