Archive for Secrets to improving an I.T. Services Practice

Face-to-Face Sales Meetings in the Era of Digital Efficiency

Face-to-Face Sales Meetings in the Era of Digital Efficiency

Many businesses have taken the office out of the office and placed their operations on the web. Digital tools have made it easier and more affordable to do business even when employees are away from the office. Your business can follow the 7 step sales process via the phone, or one of the many digital tools – but there is one side of your business’s success that we can’t forget about – face-to-face sales meetings.

About Face-to-Face Meetings

There is something to be said for in-person sales meetings, but is it necessary for all meetings? You be the judge. The success of each approach, face-to-face, in-person or digital face-to-face meetings, depends on your company’s image, brand, and budget.

 

Benefits of in-person meetings

The benefits are hard to match when you can sit directly in front of a potential client. Benefits of in-person sales meetings are:

  • Ability to shake hands
  • Easier to read body language
  • The conversation can be completely private
  • You can tour the operations
  • You can work off the “small talk”
  • You get to see where the prospect works and thrives
  • You get the opportunity to deliver the critical first impression

 

Benefits of face-to-face digital meetings

You company can benefit from video conferencing as well. While it is not physical face-to-face contact, it does share some of the same benefits. Benefits of face-to-face digital sales meetings are:

  • Better record of the meeting
  • Can schedule anywhere and anytime that is convenient for both you and the client
  • Telecommuting is easy with a fast internet connection and the proper equipment
  • Reduces travel-related expenses
  • Lowers the overall cost of sales

Tips for Face-to-Face Sales Meetings

You can’t beat the power of a face-to-face sales meeting. You learn so much more about yourself, the company, and your prospective client. Digital meetings try to bridge the same gap, but in some cases, it just can’t match the effect of personalized attention. To prepare for your first face-to-face, consider a few tips to help you make the best first impression, to maximize every minute of the meeting, and to close the deal.

 

Send a reminder

The first step to making a good impression is to send a quick reminder to your potential client. You have a couple options for this – email or phone. If you send an email reminder, consider sending a calendar invite to your client, along with a warm message about the meeting. If you prefer to make a personal call, that will be to your benefit. The more you can talk to the potential client before the sale, the stronger the connection when you do finally meet face-to-face.

 

Dress the part

Know the territory before you go in. You don’t have to overdo it to make a good impression, but you do have to dress the part. You won’t dress the same for every sales meeting. How you dress reflects the type of customer with whom you are meeting. Do your research so that you can show the prospect that you are the best fit for their company and its needs.

 

Don’t isolate a single person

If you followed the first step, you have already established a relationship with a single contact in the company. Don’t assume that this is the only person with whom you are meeting. Doing so sets you up for challenges, and without knowing it, will isolate others in the room. Sales meetings aren’t always with a single person, so make sure you address everyone in the room – especially the women. Sales meetings tend to focus on the men in the room, but women have just as much say, if not more, at many companies.

 

Listen

You have a lot to say, but sometimes the best conversation is one where you don’t do all the talking. Listen to your prospects’ needs. You must understand their concerns and needs if you want to sell any of your services. Before you arrive to the meeting, you should prepare a list of questions or doubts that may arise in the meeting. When you arrive, listen to the customer to see how your company addresses these concerns. You will be better prepared, which allows you to optimize every minute of the meeting. If you can listen now, the prospect knows you have willingness to listen to and address their needs for the remainder of the business relationship.

 

You may be selling your technology, but you are also selling yourself and the personalized attention your company offers. That is something a digital meeting can’t quite live up to. Every time you have a face-to-face meeting with potential new clients, you will refine your approach and close more sales.

 

Want to learn more marketing and sales techniques to sell on value and increase your profitability during difficult economic times? Get The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!

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How to Use Events to Sell More Services

How to Use Events to Sell More Services

Finding time to market your services as an IT provider can be challenging. No business owner wants to throw a ton of money into marketing and sales tactics if they’re not going to see a return on investment – so choosing the right activities to focus your time and effort on is important. An often overlooked method for marketing your IT services is through events. If you’ve never hosted an event, this may seem a daunting prospect, but there are a few types of events that don’t require a ton of time to organize, won’t kill your marketing budget, and offer a good return on your investment.

Host a Lunch and Learn

Inviting people to enjoy a free lunch is a great way to get your presentation in front of multiple people at the same time while not breaking the bank. You can host a catered lunch and learn in your own conference room or book a banquet room in a restaurant. Engage with your strategic vendor partners to help with the costs and the presentation.

The key to successful lunch and learn events is to keep them to about an hour – the typical length of the corporate lunch break. This means you need a presentation that is attention-grabbing, direct and to-the-point, and offers a good mix of educational content and sales. Aim for the 80/20 rule; with 80% of your content providing valuable information your prospects can learn from and 20% offering information about your services. Make sure to leave enough time before and after the lunch for networking and scheduling follow-up appointments with your attendees.

Schedule Regular Webinars

Use GoToMeeting or Skype for Business, or any other online service that allows you to present your screen to multiple online attendees with audio, to educate your prospects on a new topic every month or so. You could host a cybersecurity information session, or present on how to avoid becoming a victim to the latest virus to hit the digital world. You can include information about your services or offer a promotion to attendees at the end of each webinar and invite them to contact you for a limited time offer.

You can create a simple PowerPoint presentation to provide visuals for webinar attendees, and polling slides to get a better understanding of your audience. There is also the option of recording your live webinars to use on-demand in other marketing efforts later, making your time investment for each webinar more valuable to you.

Hosting a webinar is extremely inexpensive and many business owners and managers appreciate the ability to log in from wherever they are to take part in the presentation. Just keep in mind a webinar is a bit impersonal, so try to make your presentation sound as though you are talking to someone on the phone directly. You’ll get better results the better you are at sounding conversational and personable when using webinars. Allow time for people to ask questions at the end of your webinar, too.

Networking and Social Events

Join your local chamber of commerce if you are not a member already, and show up when they host networking or social events. Ask to be a speaker at upcoming events, and share security or business improvement tips with the other business owners at the events. By utilizing events hosted by other people, you start getting your company in front of new prospects and widen your networking circle.

You can also hold an open house at your own business, inviting local business owners to stop by during a certain window of time. Open houses are great for celebrating business anniversaries, to announce your move to a new office location, or can be advertised as a meet and greet for local businesses. Advertise your open house on social media, through the chamber of commerce, and if your budget allows – direct mail. At a networking-style event, you will need to get good at working your services into the conversation casually – it’s more of a conversation and less of a sale, but you’ll be surprised to find how effective it is at building relationships, establishing yourself as a trusted advisor, and growing your client list. Make sure to provide snacks and beverages along with tours of your facility, and have all of your team on hand to help in this effective networking and socializing effort.

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