Managed services can be a major benefit to many businesses. By having contractors take care of IT, or payroll, or other aspects of business, a company can focus on its core functions. Imagine a lawn-care company. This business didn’t start with a goal of keeping up with technology. However, technology makes tracking where its vehicles are, and what yards need to be tended to much easier. Contracting third parties to find the best software and hardware, and then to manage those items, allows the lawn care company to be more efficient in their most important daily tasks. How can managed services make this possible?
The most important thing about real estate is “location, location, location.” The most important factor in gaining new clients is “timing, timing, timing.” Cold-calling doesn’t have to be completely cold if you sit down and make up a strategy about who to approach, and when to approach them.
Sometimes it even makes sense to scroll through a Google search and consider who has need for your services, yet your services are not that company’s main reason for existence. It would not make sense to offer IT management services to a computer salesman. It would make sense to offer IT management to a cleaning company, or to a maintenance company. These businesses could save money by contracting with someone to keep them online, and for someone who could listen to their needs and find the best software and hardware to meet their needs.
Timing comes into play because the lawn care company might realize they could be streamlined in late June when they have 20 lawns to mow a day, and worry about what will happen if their computer system goes down. That company could be approached in late June or early July and potentially be sold on how managed services can reduce or eliminate their tech downtime, and help them with the best tools to track vehicles and automatically find conflicts in scheduling.
The worst time to contact that lawn care company is December when they have laid off half of their crew for the winter and they struggle to keep the rest busy. A company should be approached when the fact they need assistance is at the back of their mind if not the front of their mind.
In addition to removing stress and fear in keeping a business operating at all times, a business wants to know is how contracting services will affect their bottom line. If you honestly believe that our fictitious lawn care company can save money by contracting IT services, then be ready to prove that to them.
When a salesperson approaches a small business and tries to sell them something, whether it be a product or a service, the “boss” of the small company just sees more expenses. If you are going to convince the owner of a small company that they should hire you, then you need to have a specific plan of action before you enter that business.
To learn about the specific plan of attack you will need when you have your face-to-face meeting, you may need to ask questions on the phone. Once again, using the fictional lawn care service: “Have you ever scheduled more jobs in a day than you had people to cover them?” “Have you ever worried that you aren’t sure some employees spend too much time on some jobs?” and similar questions.
Some people will not willingly answer questions like this. They’re suspicious of salespeople on the phone asking about the inner-workings of the business. But when you can find out answers to those questions and more, you know how to approach the business to prove they can save money.
One of the most important ways most businesses can save money by contracting services is that it frees that business to focus on its reason for existing. In the case of the lawn care company—it exists to maintain yards and grounds. That business does not exist to work on computers, networks, or programs.
The way to sell services to that company is to show them that if there have been mistakes with their current system—too many lawns booked, lawns being forgotten—or similar issues, they can actually save money with a system set up by contracted IT people. Whoever has the job of maintaining the current system could be better used doing something more productive, and something they are more qualified to do which also saves money.
Contracted services often look like a perk, or an unnecessary expense to many small businesses. The way to convince them to give your contracted service a try is to approach them at the right time, and to show them they will save money—or make more money—by using your services.