Imagine a person who refuses to see you for who you really are. They see you as another person, sure; but they strip you of all individuality. To them, you are just another cog in the machine, there to serve one purpose just like the billions of other people on the planet. Pretty rough, right? This seems to be the trend that plagues managed service providers. Through commoditization, potential clients and leads no longer see your company as an individual brand. It can make things difficult when trying to negotiate a sale. That is why it is more important than ever to have effective IT marketing.
What is Commoditization?
Managed service providers today face an interesting challenge in the form of commoditization. In the business world, commoditization is a growing threat to brand recognition and your profitability. Customers no longer recognize the differences between individual companies. Rather, they engage in a price war uninhibited by pesky things like branding or your business’ identity. Stripping products, brands, and services of any distinguishing attributes means that you and the competition look the same in the eyes of customers. This is a good thing for cost-savings for the customer; it does not bode so well for you or your profitability.
Dealing with Commoditization
“How can I deal with this problem if it’s so good for my clients’ profits?” The task of overcoming the process of commoditization might seem daunting. Especially considering how cost-effective the practice can be. However, there are ways to combat this phenomenon using IT marketing.
One of the best ways to deter the practice of simple pricing is to withhold that information. Don’t think so much about cost. Instead, focus on the value of your products and services. Avoid phrasing your sales pitch or marketing materials in such a way as to encourage decisions based only on price.
To stress the value of your business, you must have well-trained, personable salespeople ready to impress leads and potential clients. Your staff needs to be able to constantly speak to the benefits of choosing your brand over the competition. Set yourself apart by giving excellent service. Employees need to have the tools they need in order to build meaningful relationships with each and every client. If you can build an effective rapport with a customer, they are less likely to abandon you just to save a few more dollars. To accomplish this, it is important to tailor your approach to each customer. Don’t offer the same products across the board. Make sure you only pitch those things that fit the needs of your client’s business.
What about your products? If you’re supposed to tailor them to each individual client, how do you keep it interesting and relevant? Thankfully, if you’re already delving deep into the needs of your customers then you shouldn’t have a problem. Building your brand is about constant innovation. What your company has to offer needs to evolve dynamically in order to avoid losing business to the competition. Target those pain points and develop creative solutions to rise to the challenge. The more multifaceted your approach, the stronger your professional relationships become.
If you must give in to some degree of commoditization, do so intelligently. You want to serve your customers, but you also need to stay profitable. Never cut prices without cutting value. Offer lower-cost options so that customers have a choice as to how prevalent they want your solutions to be.
Negotiating sales is a challenge— there’s no doubt about that. Competition has made things better for the consumer, but it has made it difficult to stand out in the technology industry. You can combat rampant commoditization using effective IT marketing. Your primary goal is to avoid falling in line with the rest of the group. Make your brand stand out and you can not only build sound relationships with your clients, but you can also increase your exposure and profitability.