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Technical Support Contracts: Sell What You Don’t Do

Technical Support Contracts Sell What You Dont DoIf you sell technical support contracts to your clients, your first inclination may be to focus on your firm’s core strengths…and make those strengths the centerpiece of your program.

However, that first inclination may be anywhere from mildly to completely wrong, because often your small business clients want something altogether different.

Most small IT services providers work with smaller clients – perhaps up to three total sites, maybe 120 employees, with revenue under $15 million. Your clients are the growth engines for the economy. They create almost all of the new jobs in the country. They grow by providing superior products and services at competitive prices. This set of outputs drives their consideration of what is important to them in an IT services provider.

Learn Whether B2B Clients Are Really Motivated by Price

The typical small IT service provider believes that the top three considerations are Price, Price, and Price. Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong. The price of your technical support contracts must be competitive. After that, price takes a back seat. 

As a small firm you already know that managing complexity is one of your hardest jobs. You and your associates can: 

  • Sell

  • Deliver

  • Manage vendors

  • Keep the wheels rolling on the business

  • Perform QC

  • Stay current with professional development, and

  • Several hundred other things

You try to pay as little as possible without compromising quality. And you really wish things could get less complicated. So do your clients.

Find Out if There Really Are Too Many Chefs

The typical small company has separate providers for:

  • Web Development

  • IT Consulting

  • Server/Desktop Management

  • Call Center

  • Phone System & VOIP

  • Technology Selection

  • Et Cetera 

The IT Director/CIO is usually measured on getting the lowest price for each separate service. This increases his or her workload, along with the work for purchasing, accounts payable, and several other departments. And overall service usually suffers. 

Your client’s focus is on superior delivery and growth. So sell your technical support contracts to the client’s focus. 

Perhaps you can only provide server and desktop management. Offer to sell him the rest of the services, including the ones you don’t provide.

Build a Virtual Team to Deliver the Complete Solution

Unless you live in Mud Lake, Idaho (population 297), other services firms are nearby. Create a virtual “we do everything” firm. And “nearby” is relative. You cannot provide Break/Fix remotely. Otherwise, you can provide everything. 

A small technology firm in the Caribbean is a one-woman show. She sells:                                                                  

  • Management consulting provided from Ohio in the US

  • Accounting provided from South Africa

  • SharePoint provided from Australia

  • IT consulting provided from the UK

  • Web development provided from North Carolina in the US

  • Custom programming provided from Romania

  • System selection provided from Canada, the US, and the UK

  • Call center services from the US

  • Other services provided from a dozen countries, and

  • Desktop/Server management and Break/Fix provided from her home town

Her small-business clients get simplicity and quality. How did she do it? 

She joined an existing network. 

Take Action

Most high quality solo management consultants have established global networks to provide a broad range of quality services to their clients. It can take years to build a network including everything above plus another dozen or so services from marketing to industrial engineering.

You do not have to reinvent the wheel; you just need to climb aboard an already-rolling wagon train. Take a month or two to contact solo management consultancies and explore their existing networks. Join the one that best matches your clients’ needs. 

Then sell things in your technical support contracts that you do not even do.

Share Your Thoughts

How comprehensive are your firm’s technical support contracts? What’s included? What’s not? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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Creative Commons Image Source: flickr Official GDC 

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