By Lizelle Le Roux, Business Unit Manager: Product
The days of simply selling products or solutions are over for ICT distributors. Leading entities today understand that services are the lifeblood of any good partner.
Providing services places customers in a position where they can deliver more effectively to their customers. In turn, this brings value for everyone along the value chain and guarantees consistent income and profits.
However, few distributors understand how to take IT services to the next level. No one wants to be sold something they don’t need, so it’s important to understand what your customers require, and what will bring them the most value.
There will often be occasions where a discussion with a customer will uncover a benefit they didn’t know they needed or could get. However, the key to selling services is pinpointing what will bring customers the most value and combining that into an offering that benefits their business.
When it comes to HP Services, the vision is about reinventing how companies work by empowering the people within the organisation to work at their best anywhereand at any time.
Understanding the objectives
But what does this really mean? It means when assets, services, or workplace solutions come into the discussion with customers, what is key, is understanding the end objective that the customer wants to achieve?
This would include asking the customer:
Are they on a digital transformation journey?
Are they on a maintenance optimisation journey?
Are they on a security journey?
Where are they trying to go?
Ensuring an amazing experience
And at the foundation of all of this is ensuring that every single user in that organisation has an enjoyable experience, irrespective of whether they are in the office, whether they are working from home, or on the go. This means that if anything goes wrong at any time, they can log a call or get the support that they require.
It is also important to bear in mind that asking these questions can be really intimidating for customers. Often, even in large enterprises, customers are not a hundred percent sure of what they are after, they just know they want to do things more effectively.
Establishing the end state
In these instances, it helps to ask the client for the end objective they are hoping to reach and for them to provide you with a range of metrics that would mean success for them and provide checkpoints along the way.
For HP, enabling customers to get the best out of their IT investments is crucial and alongside this are real opportunities to help customers with solutions that will help them do exactly that. These could be better warranty products, manageability solutions, security products and much more.
What HP is attempting to do, is to get to the point where they make sure that everyone in the value chain, from the vendor to the distributor, to the partner, to the end user - understands what the customer needs to achieve and where they need to get to.
Demonstrating real value
In addition, it’s all about getting the customer to that point and giving them a fantastic experience while doing so. It means demonstrating the value to them, so they understand that without the value chain from the vendor and distributor, they would not have been able to get there.
Finally, it’s about delivering on promises and building long-lasting relationships with clients. Too many service providers do not quite live up to their promises, so build excellence into everything you do.
The best service providers succeed because they never cut corners. Business leaders need quality work, trusted partners, and technology that brings them tangible results.