Learning everything you can about your customer’s needs:

  • Helps you recommend the best solution.
  • Helps you differentiate your recommendations from the competition.
  • Helps your distributor build a custom proposal for you to sell and close.

Learn the “process of discovery” to:

  • Identify customer needs.
  • Position yourself as their best IT consultant.
  • Nurture the prospect toward a successful sale.

Process of Discovery

Start with the big Picture:

  • Get a clear picture of their business and what the company does. (I go out and research their company and information they require for their customers.)
  • Learn about their high-level business needs and pains.
  • Talk about the competition.
  • Discuss their view of how IT solutions could help drive their business.
  • Review their current IT assets, licenses, and infrastructure.

Get the details:

  • Confirm the number of desktop PC users.
  • Inventory current licenses, including OEM, retail, and volume licensing agreements.
  • Inquire about payment preferences, and their interest in financing options. (Would it be helpful to minimize up-front costs?)
  • How do they typically develop their IT budgets?
  • Is their purchasing centralized, or do many employees order IT equipment and licenses?
  • Get their “wish list” of software they need – or want.
  • Talk about their ideal level of maintenance and ongoing support.

Take the long view:

  • Encourage your customers to rely on you as the single, most well-informed source of information about technology products and services.
  • Reinforce that IT investments can top more commonly listed corporate assets, lay the groundwork for a Software Asset management service agreement.
  • Help them plan for the future – by communicating how this solution can be the first of many solutions that you can provide to solve their business needs.
  • Walk them through the strategic steps they needs to take as an organization so that their employees have the tools they need to do their best work.
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