It’s not easy to market IT services to firms with limited budgets, and in this day and age you’ll probably find that nearly all SME clients at least claim to have limited budgets! Even so, all businesses need effective IT systems, and someone to make sure that they work reliably and consistently.
Here are a few hints to help you market your services to those clients who seem determined not to hand over any money.
1. Try to establish what kind of IT budget your prospects actually have
It’s useful to ascertain how much money your clients actually plan to allocate to IT spending. You may well find that some small businesses haven’t even thought about putting a figure to it.
It’s down to you to help them define what funds they have available for IT. Obviously you need to do this rather more subtly than simply asking, “how much have you got?” However, if you don’t gain a general picture of their objectives and anticipated costs, you could get your pitch and proposal completely wrong.
Try to pin your clients down on their cost expectations early on in the sales process. Doing so will help you weed out clients who are, sadly, simply not worth your time. Clients must understand that if they only have “amateur money” to spend, they can’t expect professional service.
2. Give your clients more than one option
Thankfully, with the wide availability of cloud services and equipment leasing, there are various ways companies can get the infrastructures they need without a huge capital spend.
Make sure you have suitable options that will help clients spread their costs, but also make sure you’re honest about the total cost of ownership. Five years of using a cloud-based infrastructure can still end up costing more than an on premise system in the long run.
3. Work to demonstrate business benefits, not system features
Clients don’t want to be blinded with science and discuss features they don’t really understand. They want to understand how your IT services will help them make money of their own—so concentrate on business benefits rather than hardware and software features.
4. Explain the risks
Don’t be afraid to tell clients what risks they are exposing themselves to if they choose not to implement certain systems and procedures.
If a client says, “we can’t afford a disaster recovery plan,” ask them if they can afford to be without email for three days. It’s not a question of frightening them, so much as putting things in perspective. You may be surprised to find they actually have some budget hidden away somewhere once they realize the potential consequences of under investment.
How do you market IT services to cost conscious companies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on the Top 10 IT Marketing Strategies For Consistently Attracting New Business Clients to Your Small IT Business.