Wondering what you can learn about how to sell IT solutions from an S&P 500 computer software company, with $3.85B US in sales (2011) and 8,000 employees? Are there lessons to be learned for tiny IT startups?
Intuit, the business behind the accounting software QuickBooks, always has a big presence at most of the trade shows that I attend. I’ve not been in the market for new accounting software for a long time, but I was interested to find out how Intuit sells IT solutions in a highly competitive marketplace.
Their product does not undercut the competition on price. Intuit is in the middle of the pack as far as pricing is concerned, with monthly recurring fees of $13 US - $63 US depending on the service you choose. Yet Intuit is still the UK’s #1 small business accounting solution, as well as being prominent in the US too. So, what’s the secret that allows them to sell IT solutions so successfully in such a difficult market?
Making Their Audience Feel That They Are Important to Them
Intuit treats everyone that connects with them as an important individual.
From the get go, their employees make the audience feel that their business is understood, that helping you to be more successful is their goal, and that they are there to support your business’ individual needs.
Providing Their Audience with Added Value
Intuit provides useful and actionable seminars and workshops.
I attended the “Get on top of your finances” workshop, which was presented by Johnny Martin, who took a dry subject like the importance of financial fitness for your organization and made the audience sit up, take note, and take action. For Martin, the presentation was not about how to sell IT solutions to the audience. Martin was there to inform, educate, and inspire.
The training was highly appropriate and valuable to the audience, which consisted of mainly startups.
Don’t Treat Your Marketing Collateral as an Afterthought
Intuit provides a rich variety of quality marketing materials to enable their prospects to make informed choices.
Everything is easy to understand and as jargon-free as possible. Intuit offers training materials to take away and personalized on-the-spot demonstrations. All of these items should form part of your marketing collateral.
The marketing and sales funnel is well-thought-out and well-supported by all the marketing collateral. Everything is aimed at building trust and authority with the visitors, smoothing the way to convert them from leads to prospects and then to paying customers. This is a classic example of how to sell IT solutions by educating and informing your audience.
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Wikimedia Commons Image Source: User Coolcaesar on en.wikipedia