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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Three Ideas for Copier People Selling Managed Services

The move into managed services is well on its way and traditional copier reps are getting caught in the middle between selling boxes and selling services.  Pundits and consultants lament "copier people cannot sell managed services" unless they attend a day of specialized sales training.

It is true, I've seen plenty of managed services or IT sales destroyed by copier sales reps - from Cali to N.C. I've written about a couple of instances.

The thing is, for all the challenges and failures, the rep is not to blame. We train them to always be closing, find pain and twist, to hunt, take-down, close, trap and "increase share of wallet" - armed with this mentality, its a miracle anybody sells anything, let alone a nuanced offering like managed services.

So, as a copier rep, what can you do to secure more managed services contracts/agreements?  Should you heed your sales manager's advice and  treat help desk like a fax board?  Does your OEM offer any clues? How about a few days of off-site training followed up with a phone blitz?

There are 100's of legitimate hints, ideas and suggestions around successfully selling IT services through a copier sales team.  But there is no silver bullet, secret sauce, don't pay for or expect either.

Here are three simple truths we've seen in the field - from both the seller and buyer perspectives:

1. Find the easiest service to talk about

Hosted email, Helpdesk, Backup Disaster Recovery are all great ideas to get to know and build conversations around.  But you've got to make it simple for you and your prospect.

2. Know your pricing

Again, keep it simple and open.  For instance, if you're reselling help desk services, know pricing for 5, 10, 15 and 20 user installations.  When pressed, answer with a clear, definitive response.

3. Sell the result

Most Apple customers don't know care how many pixels the Retina Display incorporates or which processor is inside their iPad.  They know it looks great, works fast enough and is reliable: the experience is supported but the results of the technology not simply the technology.

It's the same concept, only different, with managed services, unified communications or luxury underwater vehicles - speeds and feeds don't sell, getting there sooner and enjoying the view along the way does.

Remember the "benefits" of duplexing? What is the result or impact?  "No more Saturday mornings in the office and fewer missed soccer games..."

Look at these as starters,

"More Time..." - to work on strategic projects...
"Less headache..." - for end suers...
"Less stressful..." - work environment...

Not Old Fashioned Ideas

These hints are familiar, basic sales understandings.  Nothing new. And there, as the Barb is quoted, " the rub..."

Colleagues and I have been discussing this for years; the reason for struggling sales and missed quota's has to do with not covering the basics of selling.  Sure, the technology has changed and yes, the business environment is in transition, but the everyday drudgery of selling remains the same.

When hasn't this been the fact?

These aren't old-fashioned ideas, they are proven classics...

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