How to Uncover Hidden IT Sales OpportunitiesA Guide for Technology Companies                                   Raj Khera  ...
So Who’s This Raj Khera Guy?• Engineer turned business guy    – CEO, GovCon – sold in 1999 for $12MM    – Partner, FilterP...
Everybody: Start Conversations(Non-Sales People: Ask Lots of Questions)
Conversations lead to trust
Trust enables a lot of thingsto happen
How to startconversations
Clients think about morethan just technology
Look for trends across clients,opportunities to add new products
Get clients to say this:I didn’t know your company did that...Talk to me.
Avoid this:I didn’t know your company did that…We just hired someone else for it.
#1 Mistake: Talking, not ListeningQ: Do you do XYZ?A: Yes, here’s what we do… <list>
Don’t miss the bigger picture.Tell me about what you are looking to do?
Questions that uncoverhidden sales opportunities(if you’re talking, you’re not listening)
What kinds of things go wrong in your  daily operations? Do these matter?
Money aside, whatprocesses would you  change right now?
If a storm knocked out power at    your office for many days, how            would your staff work?How would you reach you...
If a hurricane or earthquakedamaged your office or equipment,how would you recover your data?
Have you calculated thecost of the time your staffloses due to technologybottlenecks?
Is any software or toolholding you back fromgetting things done moreefficiently?
How much time does your staff spend doing<name your process>?What would improve if you reduced this time?
What is the most common support question you get from your staff?                     Your clients?
What kind of growth are you expecting inthe next 12 months?     Number of newemployees expected?
What kind of  infrastructurechanges will youneed to support   this growth?
How are you managing productivity within yourorganization? Do you feel certain processes arepreventing you from producing ...
When training new employees, whatare the typical issues you encounter?
As you grow, how will you effectivelymanage communications and databetween your locations?
How do you handle network securityfor your teleworkers?
What could happen to your data, networkaccess and web site if a staff member lost a            company laptop at an airport?
What safeguards do you have in place toprevent a security breach?
In the event of a securitybreach, what process do you havein place to restore your company’sdata?
How does your data security process differ ifit’s an internal breach or an external hacker?
If a customer’s first interaction withyou was your web site, what wouldyou hope they do?What do you think they really do?
What are some of therecent mobile support     options you have            explored?
How long do you usually keep equipment   like computers, printers, phones?
Have you explored a business case tosee if you should upgrade to <you name it>?
What were some of your successesfrom last year? How will you capitalizeon these successes this year?
What were some of your missedopportunities or failures from lastyear? Still important? Plans?
Are you aware of any upcoming legislationthat could affect your business?
I saw your announcement about…
What really happens if you don’tmeet certain goals this year?
What are your expectations for theinvestment needed to meet these goals?
What are your competitors excelling inthat you are not?
What might cause one of yourclients to choose a competitor?
What kinds of things do you feelwould make you more profitable?
Have you looked for areas in whichyou might have hidden expenses?
Pitching Mr. Know-It-All:I can see that you have a lot of these issuesin good hands. So, what were you hoping toaddress by...
How is that working out for you?Are you getting the results youwant from that solution?
Don’t provide a solution        immediatelyAsk more questions…
So you don’t chase the    wrong problem.If you could integrate your desktops,mobile devices and telephone system,    would...
“Nice to Have”projects don’t get funded
Ask for a testimonial      BEFOREyou get the contract
The more you askThe more you uncover  The more you sell
Blog + Newsletter + Analytics = More Business               www.presstacular.com                 800-475-1415
The IT Marketing Crash Course:How to Get Clients for Your Technology Business              www.ITMarketingBook.com        ...
Non-Sales Questions That Lead to Sales
Non-Sales Questions That Lead to Sales
Non-Sales Questions That Lead to Sales
Non-Sales Questions That Lead to Sales
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Non-Sales Questions That Lead to Sales

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List of questions that lead to conversations that generate more technology sales. These questions are designed to be used by both non-sales and sales people to uncover hidden opportunities for IT sales. A checklist with how/when to use each question is available here: http://www.presstacular.com (See Resources > Guides).

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  • Deal closed. Sales people leave. Then what? Existing clients are your lowest bar for getting more business. Without a sales person constantly probing for needs, these hidden sales opportunities are often lost.Don’t worry. There is a way to avoid this situation. You already have a hidden inside sales team.Most technical people don’t like to sell. Some go as far as seeing sales and marketing as an activity on the dark side, something they would never see themselves doing. Yet sales are critical to business success.
  • The easiest way to get more sales is to offer additional options to existing customers. These are people who already put their faith in you for many of their technology needs. They may not see your sales reps anymore because they have already been sold.Small technology service firms may not have individual account reps to be the liaison between your clients and your technical staff. That means the people closest to your existing customers are your technical team members - the engineers, technicians, and customer support reps who interact with your clients daily. They are the problem-solvers that your clients have grown to rely on and trust.
  • Trust enables a lot of things to happen. When clients trust your technology recommendations and solutions, you become part of their inner circle of advisers. Your team’s suggestions mean a lot because without them, your client would have to find another reliable source for technology, or suffer the consequences of bad technical judgment calls. You are as important as their lawyer or accountant because they know you have their best interest in mind.
  • How do you use your technical people, your customer support reps – your hidden sales force – to start conversations?You have an advantage: the client doesn’t see them as threatening, like they might see a sales person. Many cases: peer to peer relationships with client’s team &gt;&gt; again, leading to trust. Teach your team what questions to ask and they will find new opportunities for you.
  • While you may be there just to support technical work, your clients have a broader view. They are dealing with many other problems that need solving. Try to see the world through your client’s eyes. Once you have established trust, you can inquire about their business plans and goals, the obstacles they are trying to overcome, and their wish list for an ideal world.The key is to engage your clients in an open-ended dialog about their whole business, not just their technology issues.
  • Your technical team may not have a business background, but they can be trained to ask leading questions that start a conversation about a client’s high-level needs. When they share this newly found data with your team at staff meetings, you may spot trends across multiple clients and opportunities for adding a new product line or service. You will also gain insight into ways to position your company to make these new sales.
  • You don’t want to see your valuable client choosing another company for, say, telecommunications services because they thought you only provided data backup and recovery and nothing else.
  • If you go to them after they’ve selected another vendor, you’ll hear unfortunate comments like “Oh, I didn’t know you guys did that. Sorry, we’ve already signed a 2-year contract with this other company.”Not only would that be a shock to your gut - and wallet, you’ve now let another cat in the house. That’s bad news that could have been avoided. You have competition because that telecom company probably also offers managed services and is itching to get a piece of your action.
  • One of the biggest mistakes that many of us make, not just sales people or engineers, is that we talk too much. When a client asks you “Do you do XYZ”, what’s your typical response? “Yes, here’s what we do” and then you rattle off a list.This way of responding forces you into a very narrow view of a potential opportunity. Sure, you can solve what the client thinks is their problem. So can a lot of other people. Remember, the client has a lot of business issues that go beyond technology.
  • By responding a different way, you can try to piece together the whole picture. Say “Tell me about what you’re looking to do?”When you say this, you are allowing the dialog to develop. You get to find out why they are pursuing certain technology options and not others. The benefit to this approach is that you can see if their line of thinking makes sense. You might have a better solution!
  • When Andy Rudin was a salesperson for a large services company, he learned the hard way just how important it is to ask the right questions. Andy was meeting with a prospect who was a large multinational company that ships its products all over the world.He asked them what kinds of things go wrong in their daily operations. He found out that sometimes people put the wrong load on a truck, so a shipment meant for Memphis ends up in Minneapolis instead. Andy felt he had hit on a major pain point for the company, so he went back to his office and wrote a proposal worth several hundred thousand dollars to help solve this client&apos;s problem. This was a tiny fraction of this company&apos;s operations and Andy’s company could save them significantly more than the investment.The client declined. Why? As Andy analyzed what happened, he discovered that there was one big question left unanswered: “Does it matter if the wrong products are shipped?” It turned out that receiving the wrong products really wasn&apos;t that big of a deal for this company. The stores would simply put the products on their shelves and sell them anyway.
  • Oracle upgrade – why are there 8 people in the room? Didn’t look like they would upgrade so he asked this. Senior execs – that was an expensive meeting. They started talking – what is going wrong, what matters to them, they basically laid out a task order for him.
  • When a company grows and has multiple offices, communication is the most important link to keep productivity, consistent processes and corporate culture in check. Dig a little to find out how a business owner feels about this as the company spreads across multiple locations.
  • There may be questions people haven’t really thought about. From my experience in running a software-as-a-service company, many people want high level security but don’t understand or, in many cases, aren’t willing, to put up with the inconvenience of having it – such as multiple layers of authentication. There was a case last year where Apple supposedly got hacked. A 19 year old socially engineered Amazon and Apple and used information he was able to figure out from Google to get into a journalist’s Apple account and delete all of his data, including a year’s worth of pictures of his baby girl that he had not backed up. All lost because somebody wanted to take over this guy’s twitter handle. You can read about the incident online, but it goes to show that even a technology journalist, someone who knew a lot about hacking and even writes about it, didn’t take sufficient precautions. He wrote later that if he had just added Google’s two-step authentication, all of this could have been prevented.
  • If this kind of thing can happen to a journalist like that, imagine what could happen to your clients. Share stories like that with them so they start to become aware of the risks.FUD – fear, uncertainty, doubt
  • Ask about the different ways they deal with security, if they are different at all.Could also ask: What additional measures would you like to put in place in order to protect your company&apos;s and customers&apos; data?
  • See if you can find an opportunity in their answer
  • Again, see if you can find an opportunity in their answer. Try to help them gain an understanding of how your technological solutions might help them overcome this going forward.
  • Another one of my favorites. Very few people think of asking this. If your MSP targets doctors or dentists, they need to comply with HIPAA regulations in the U.S. There are probably many other regulations in other countries. Your clients need to use technology to ease the burden of compliance. While HIPAA is well known, what about other legislation that may be coming down the pike at a state level – or a federal level.If you’re not already doing so, start reading the publications and blogs that your clients read so you stay tuned into what might affect them. There’s nothing more compelling to a client than for you to tell them about something (such as legislation) that will affect their business before they know about it. It really shows you are looking out for them.
  • Set up Google Alerts – describe how to do it – so you know when your clients (or prospects) are in the news. When you see something positive written about them, send a short email like “Hey Bob, saw your latest partnership announcement in the Gazette today. Great news! Keep up the good work.”Your clients will be flattered that someone they know saw them in the news and cared enough to write them about it.
  • Some prospects and clients talk about a wish list. But when push comes to shove, it is just that – a wish list. There is nothing compelling to make them move because there are no consequences. To find out if they really need something you are proposing, ask what the consequences will be if they do not implement it.
  • You need to find out if their budget is realistic. The last thing you want to face is a client who wants a Mercedez Benz on the budget of a scooter. This type of question will give you insight into whether there is a disconnect between perceived value and reality.
  • Your clients may be falling behind their competition just because they are not using modern technology solutions. I’ll give you an example: one doctor’s office I know still uses a paper schedule to set up appointments. They don’t even take credit cards. If anything happened to their log book, that would cause mayhem. To people like you and me, we can’t imagine our life not revolving around a sync’d calendar that automatically backs up to the cloud. I live off my calendar that’s on my iPhone, iPad, web and home/office computers.But when all you have studied is something non-technical and don’t read up on the latest happens with technology, all this stuff is magic. They really might not even know how much they can do with technology. A streamlined solution could mean faster payments from insurance companies, electronic referrals and prescriptions so there is less paperwork and everything is accurately logged. All this could mean more money in the doctor’s pocket.Offer white paper: 10 Best IT Practices for Your Doctor’s Office
  • This one might get them where it hurts. Nobody – really, nobody, likes to talk about why someone would choose a competitor. There could be a lot of reasons, but you want to look for an area where your technology services can help. If their real problem is that one of their account reps is a difficult person, there’s not much you can do. But if the issue is getting proposals out faster by having all of their boilerplate material in an very organized, easily accessible location that they can use from home, work a or a tablet, you can probably give them an edge. Remember, don’t give them a solution until you know you’ve identified a real problem. Keep digging for pain points.
  • This is an open ended question that might not involve technology at all. Ask it to find out what the client is thinking. Maybe they need to make a new product, extend their support hours (if that’s the case – can your technology help them do this remotely?), reduce their expenses (can a new billing or reporting system help?).
  • Most of us don’t recognize how much time we waste. While a business owner, a client of yours perhaps, strives to be efficient, he might not know about the productivity of his staff. Are there monitors you can put in place to check how much time staff spends surfing Facebook or eBay? Is there a way to eliminate repetitive human tasks through automation?If you feel comfortable enough, offer to spend part of a morning with them just following them around. Take notes on what you find and present a report on inefficiencies that you can help with – don’t be a tattle tale on others, just present a problem/solution case in a politically correct, professional manner.
  • In the early days of the Internet when I was building my first company, GovCon, I was asked to present some technical options for the CEO of a 1,000-person government contractor. He brought my company in because we had a very strong reputation for helping government contractors like his. He had the reputation of being tough as nails and I wasn’t looking forward to the meeting. As we started the conversation, I asked about their issues and was met very quickly with a quip for every turn I took.After asking this question, it completely turned the tables. Instead of shooting down everything I said, this question gave him the opportunity to stop attacking and start opening up. At the same time, it acknowledged his need for showing off that he had most of his technology issues under control
  • Some people delude themselves into thinking that the solution they have implemented is the cat’s meow. If you know you can offer a better option, use this two-part question set to diffuse a Mr. Know-It-All encounter. This usually forces them to acknowledge their problem areas, giving you the chance to delve deeper into ways you can help. If you have several people in the meeting, you will see some of them bring up topics on their minds.
  • Client testimonials are a powerful way to spread the word about your happy customers. It also enables you to create case studies that you can share with prospects. One of my clients brings up the idea of doing a testimonial on the first day of his sales process. He lets the client know that getting a testimonial at the end of the project is a key goal for the project team. Think about what this does: without coming out and saying it, he is communicating up front that he is so confident in his company&apos;s ability to deliver results that he is practically expecting them to write a testimonial. That leaves a strong impression in a prospect&apos;s mind. You can almost hear their thought process... &quot;Hmm, usually vendors think about asking for a testimonial at the end of a consulting engagement. Here&apos;s this guy talking about it before he is even hired. That takes confidence -­‐ so he must be good!”He is consistently impressed with results: clients usually provide a testimonial if his company&apos;s technical results are impressive.
  • If you want more information, Presstacular is a next generation email marketing tool that contains a library of click-and-use technology articles that keep clients engaged so when they are “sales ready,” they think of you first. We can also write custom articles just for you. Free trial at www.presstacular.com
  • If you want more information, Presstacular is a next generation email marketing tool that contains a library of click-and-use technology articles that keep clients engaged so when they are “sales ready,” they think of you first. We can also write custom articles just for you. Free trial at www.presstacular.com
  • Non-Sales Questions That Lead to Sales

    1. 1. How to Uncover Hidden IT Sales OpportunitiesA Guide for Technology Companies Raj Khera © MailerMailer LLC www.presstacular.com
    2. 2. So Who’s This Raj Khera Guy?• Engineer turned business guy – CEO, GovCon – sold in 1999 for $12MM – Partner, FilterPoint – sold in 2009 – Partner, MoreBusiness.com• CEO MailerMailer – Presstacular – email marketing tool that includes a library of articles just for IT companies – Author: IT Marketing Crash Course Presentation Slides © 2013 MailerMailer LLC
    3. 3. Everybody: Start Conversations(Non-Sales People: Ask Lots of Questions)
    4. 4. Conversations lead to trust
    5. 5. Trust enables a lot of thingsto happen
    6. 6. How to startconversations
    7. 7. Clients think about morethan just technology
    8. 8. Look for trends across clients,opportunities to add new products
    9. 9. Get clients to say this:I didn’t know your company did that...Talk to me.
    10. 10. Avoid this:I didn’t know your company did that…We just hired someone else for it.
    11. 11. #1 Mistake: Talking, not ListeningQ: Do you do XYZ?A: Yes, here’s what we do… <list>
    12. 12. Don’t miss the bigger picture.Tell me about what you are looking to do?
    13. 13. Questions that uncoverhidden sales opportunities(if you’re talking, you’re not listening)
    14. 14. What kinds of things go wrong in your daily operations? Do these matter?
    15. 15. Money aside, whatprocesses would you change right now?
    16. 16. If a storm knocked out power at your office for many days, how would your staff work?How would you reach your clients?
    17. 17. If a hurricane or earthquakedamaged your office or equipment,how would you recover your data?
    18. 18. Have you calculated thecost of the time your staffloses due to technologybottlenecks?
    19. 19. Is any software or toolholding you back fromgetting things done moreefficiently?
    20. 20. How much time does your staff spend doing<name your process>?What would improve if you reduced this time?
    21. 21. What is the most common support question you get from your staff? Your clients?
    22. 22. What kind of growth are you expecting inthe next 12 months? Number of newemployees expected?
    23. 23. What kind of infrastructurechanges will youneed to support this growth?
    24. 24. How are you managing productivity within yourorganization? Do you feel certain processes arepreventing you from producing more?
    25. 25. When training new employees, whatare the typical issues you encounter?
    26. 26. As you grow, how will you effectivelymanage communications and databetween your locations?
    27. 27. How do you handle network securityfor your teleworkers?
    28. 28. What could happen to your data, networkaccess and web site if a staff member lost a company laptop at an airport?
    29. 29. What safeguards do you have in place toprevent a security breach?
    30. 30. In the event of a securitybreach, what process do you havein place to restore your company’sdata?
    31. 31. How does your data security process differ ifit’s an internal breach or an external hacker?
    32. 32. If a customer’s first interaction withyou was your web site, what wouldyou hope they do?What do you think they really do?
    33. 33. What are some of therecent mobile support options you have explored?
    34. 34. How long do you usually keep equipment like computers, printers, phones?
    35. 35. Have you explored a business case tosee if you should upgrade to <you name it>?
    36. 36. What were some of your successesfrom last year? How will you capitalizeon these successes this year?
    37. 37. What were some of your missedopportunities or failures from lastyear? Still important? Plans?
    38. 38. Are you aware of any upcoming legislationthat could affect your business?
    39. 39. I saw your announcement about…
    40. 40. What really happens if you don’tmeet certain goals this year?
    41. 41. What are your expectations for theinvestment needed to meet these goals?
    42. 42. What are your competitors excelling inthat you are not?
    43. 43. What might cause one of yourclients to choose a competitor?
    44. 44. What kinds of things do you feelwould make you more profitable?
    45. 45. Have you looked for areas in whichyou might have hidden expenses?
    46. 46. Pitching Mr. Know-It-All:I can see that you have a lot of these issuesin good hands. So, what were you hoping toaddress by having me come here today?
    47. 47. How is that working out for you?Are you getting the results youwant from that solution?
    48. 48. Don’t provide a solution immediatelyAsk more questions…
    49. 49. So you don’t chase the wrong problem.If you could integrate your desktops,mobile devices and telephone system, would that be worth pursuing?
    50. 50. “Nice to Have”projects don’t get funded
    51. 51. Ask for a testimonial BEFOREyou get the contract
    52. 52. The more you askThe more you uncover The more you sell
    53. 53. Blog + Newsletter + Analytics = More Business www.presstacular.com 800-475-1415
    54. 54. The IT Marketing Crash Course:How to Get Clients for Your Technology Business www.ITMarketingBook.com +1-301-825-5658

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