As an IT service provider, you know those conversations. Those conversations with new potential clients that go seamlessly.
The client has seen what you do and values what you have to offer. No objections, just the occasional clarification question to make sure they understood your process correctly. Your price point is well within their budget too. Now, you’re talking about the next steps and when to get started. The perfect sales meeting right? If only all new clients meetings went as smoothly.
In reality, those providing software and technology solutions often face much more friction when trying to secure a new contract. Questions about pricing points, projects scope and SLAs are just a few objections that come into the equation.
You try to convince the buyer that you solution is best for their unique situation and persuade them that your offering is better than the alternatives out there. You know full-well that the timing isn’t right for them but, you apply some urgency anyway which is then somehow perceived as pushy, resulting in a defensive prospect who no longer has any interest in doing business with you. So that’s it.. time and energy wasted on a low probability prospect that conveyed very little signs of buying from you in the first place!
The reality is, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Consistent, quality lead flow can help an IT service provider, providing and selling technology solutions open more and better sales conversations with prospects where there is a mutually beneficial basis for doing business together, resulting in more clients, greater revenues and less time wasted on prospective clients who have a low probability of buying from you.
Mutually Beneficial Business and How You Can Benefit As An IT Service Provider
A mutually beneficial relationship is one where both parties or groups benefit from their relationship together. For example, Oxpeckers (a bird) and Rhinos have a mutually beneficial relationship upon which each of them benefit from their relationship together. The Oxpecker benefits from being able to sustain itself by eating all of the bugs on the Rhino and the Rhino benefits from having parasites removed from its body. Simply put, it’s an arrangement that goes both ways and where both parties ‘win’ – an ideal partnership in both the animal kingdom and in the business realm.
Establishing a mutually beneficial relationship in the business arena makes for a much more friction-less way of doing business. Both parties see where each will benefit and it becomes a no-brainier to do business together. For instance, if you specialize in providing a technology service that will help your customers increase revenue and reduce costs, which turns out to be greater than the ticket size of your offering then that could well be good grounds for a mutually beneficial relationship. As a service provider, you receive payment for your services allowing you to generate revenue and grow your business and the buyer receives your service or product helping them to improve their business proportionally.
On the other hand, a symbiotic relationship where at least one party benefits (either negatively or positively) can make for a much more uneven and difficult grounds for doing business together and a more difficult proposition for doing business together. It is for this reason why you as a technology service provider would benefit from providing a service that is mutually beneficial. In the real world, this can often lead to less objections.
How to Find Mutually Beneficial Business Partnerships
In order to get more mutually beneficial business partnerships you need to first find prospects who have the budget for what your product or service and secondly, acknowledge that they need and want what you are selling.
The reality is that not every prospect who fits your ideal customer profile will want what you have to offer. At any given time they may not have the budget to release or current need for your offering. So, how do we establish if they do need what you offer? It may sound obvious, but we need to talk to the market and ask them.
The key to doing this successfully is to go against the grain of conventional and traditional selling (i.e. persuading, convincing and pressurizing) and instead try to uncover needs through a series of probing and investigatory questions. Establish if the prospect has the budget for what you offer and when they are ready to make a change.
If they don’t fulfill your BANT (budget, need, authority, time) criteria move on! Don’t waste time with low probability prospects as an IT service provider. There is enough fish in the sea so keep on moving and do it fast. Far to many providers get hung-up on a customer who fulfill just one or two of these criteria. By doing so, they come across needy, pushy.. all of the traits you never want to assume in selling. And it’s not hard to see why! Most people are not talking to enough people due to insufficient lead flow.
With enough lead flow and new sales conversations, you will be less hung-up on the client who was not interested in moving forward with your offer. We need to get in-front of these decision makers and a lot of them, whether it be a small business owner or C-level executive within a large enterprise. For many software and technology service providers this often is the challenging part… How do we find these people? How do we get them raise their head above the parapet and open to a new conversations with them to see if their a ‘good fit’?
Generating Lead Flow and Only talk to High Probability Prospects
A lead is a person who fits your ideal potential client archetype/persona who has the potential to become a customer one day. For example, to a managed IT service provider this might be the owner or CEO of a local doctor’s office or C-level executive within small investment management firm. Your ideal customer might look different.
The problem that is affecting most IT service providers is insufficient lead flow. In other words, they are not holding enough new client meetings or discovery calls necessary to get in contact with high probability prospects.
Instead, they are stuck with prospects who either don’t have the need or the budget to buy from them at that given time. A more effective philosophy is not wasting time with prospects who don’t fulfill your criteria and have a low probability of buying from us.
On the contrary, establishing a consistent flow of leads into your business will allow you to choose the best clients to engagement with, where there is also a mutually beneficial basis for doing business together – a far more fruitful grounds for doing business together.
This leads us on to the next question..
“How do I generate consistent lead flow?”
The answer: an effective marketing and lead generation mechanism.
Unfortunately, most business owners just don’t have the time or energy to learn how to implement such a system. It’s for this reason why it often makes to get support and outsource the process to someone who has a proven digital sales process to turn prospective customers outside of your network into one-to-one high qualified sales conversations.
If you are running a business providing or selling technology services and want to implement a proven digital sales process into your business to generate consistent leads that gets you in front of your ideal customer then take the first step and fill out the free evaluation to see if and how I can help – https://www.kieranmoloney.com/free-evaluation/
– Kieran Moloney