Of course, the natural question many IT providers would ask would be if it’s really possible to target these prospects and close them.
To answer this question I will share my experience using my IT Services Marketing skills to close prospects with ‘latent needs’!
Setting Appointments with Happy Prospects
It better be possible to set appointments with executives that say they are happy with their current IT support provider. The reason I say that is because, as I described in the last article, nearly every prospect will say they are happy when you make prospecting calls. Of course, the reality is that many of these people do actually have some issues at the back of their minds but they have not gotten to the boiling point. The only way to secure a face-to-face meeting with one of these poker faced decision makers is to agree with them and put that thorny issue to bed. The idea is to talk about the future and get them to agree they are open minded when there is some new information they have not reviewed. This is completely possible because I have been following this IT services marketing strategy for nearly fifteen years.
Presenting To Prospect With Latent Needs
When you get one of these IT sales leads the last thing you want to do is to start probing for pain the way Sandler teaches cloud providers and managed services companies. This will only serve to push them away and put up a wall to prevent them from revealing any negative information that would make them look bad or take away their negotiating power. Instead, take the same tactic we just suggested to secure the meeting in the first place and that is to agree with them that everything is fine but now you want to show them new information in your presentation that they are not familiar with and impress them about the possibilities of new technology.
Following up is a Marathon not a Sprint
The fatal mistake many IT providers make when they are dealing with prospects that have ‘latent needs’ is that they stop following up when they don’t close right away. The reason this happens is because they are used to dealing with prospects that have pain and will typically close within a month or two. However, prospect that have ‘latent needs’ will still have a relationship with their current computer consultant that will have to be severed before you can replace them. This process is better described as a marathon race because you will have to continue following up on them and building rapport for at least six months to one year. I have been in the trenches with marketing IT services when I worked for CIT CLOUD for over a year and two months and only dealt with prospects that had latent needs. I stayed on top of every prospect with an array of follow up techniques that allowed me to build an amazing rapport until I asked them all to make the switch to cloud computing and dump their managed services provider.
The Bottom Line
There is a huge section in the market just waiting to be targeted but are ignored because they only have ‘latent needs’ and because of the false narrative that they can’t be closed. However, my experience show conclusively that you can successfully book meetings with this prospect, present to then and move them through the sales cycle. Finally, you can close sales with these type of latent need prospect if you treat your follow up strategy like a marathon race. The bottom line is that if I can sell these types of leads then every cloud provider out there should be able to hone their IT services marketing skills to do the same; if they could only believe that it’s possible!