Services are the lifeblood of any IT provider. Having a number of service contracts ensures that you have consistent income and profits, and that you can keep the lights on. But for many providers, there’s a question of taking IT services to the next level. What can you do to sell more services to clients you already have, and how can you dazzle new clients with your offering? Here are six suggestions.
Nobody wants to be sold something they don’t need, and indeed you’ll have a much tougher time convincing people they need a service if they really don’t (plus, is that even ethical?). Although there will always be situations in which a discussion with a prospect will reveal a benefit they didn’t know they could get, it’s crucial that everything you suggest to them falls within the realm of necessity. A big key to selling your services is identifying what will bring the most value and distilling that into a solid sales message your prospects will understand. Which brings us to …
Make Your Services Understandable
When there are so many potential services you can provide, services can get complicated fast—particularly when contracts and service agreements are part of the mix. Among the biggest benefits a client can get from hiring an IT provider is simplifying a major component of business. It won’t seem simple to them if your first interaction involves a complex list of services. One popular way to present services in a simple way is to organize them in three or four easy-to-digest tiers. This way, prospects can easily see what they get from each tier and quickly decide which might be most beneficial.
Set Clear Expectations
While a basic tiered approach makes things simple, there are still some nitty-gritty details you can’t avoid. If something goes wrong, what level of service are you expected to uphold? What circumstances call for what types of action? While selling in tiers works perfectly for a basic sales document, you still need to have a service-level agreement that defines what it is you are responsible for and what a client is responsible for. Making these things clear to a client upfront avoids ambiguity and helps you manage their expectations about what happens when.
This should go without saying, but overcharging for services or nickel-and-diming customers for every little thing isn’t a great way to build trust with them or to inspire loyalty. Aim to price services within a fair market rate, and be reasonable when it comes to the little extras. This doesn’t mean you should give your services away. There’s nothing wrong with being expensive, as long as you’re worth it.
A great provider becomes a trustworthy consultant who offers advice, takes the time to get to know clients’ hopes, dreams, goals, and employees, and works to make sure their businesses are successful. It’s not just about looking after IT, it’s about being a partner and helping them take business to the next level—IT is a massive part of that process, and as a provider you’re their most reliable resource in that field.
The other side of building trust is consistently delivering (or over-delivering) on your promises. Do what you say you will, and your clients will have great respect for you. You might be surprised how often service providers don’t quite live up to their promises.
Lastly, from pricing to managing customers to doing work you can stand by, the best service providers are successful because they never cut corners. Business owners need quality work, partners they can trust, and their technology taken care of. When you can prove yourself with the clients you have, you’ll have plenty more breaking down your door to see what all the fuss is about.