Regardless of all the ways you sell your IT services, you’re probably keen to convince your customers to sign up to a computer consulting contract. This ties them into using your services over a long period, guaranteeing you regular work and regular revenue.
Aiming to have a computer consulting contract with each of your clients is obviously far safer for you than selling all your time on an ad-hoc basis. In addition, having a number of active contracts makes your business far more valuable as a going concern, as ongoing income is assured.
In this article, we provide seven sales tips to help you to persuade clients to sign up to a computer consulting contract. These tips should help you address any concerns your customers may have and encourage them to “sign on the dotted line.”
Build your reputation. Sometimes, “going in for the kill” and trying to sell a computer consulting contract to a brand new client is the wrong strategy. Most customers will, quite rightly, want to see you prove your skills before they sign up to a long-term arrangement. So, to start with, happily perform ad-hoc support jobs and make sure you do them perfectly. This way, you can steadily build your reputation with each client, as well as mutual trust, which will strengthen your sales proposition when you suggest a more solid arrangement.
Make sure the figures work. A good way to sell a consulting contract is to demonstrate to customers that buying your services in this way is more economical than paying on a daily or hourly basis. If you have a history with a client, you may be able to do this by showing them what they’ve historically spent each month and offering them a cheaper “all in” contract. If the numbers don’t add up, you’re unlikely to persuade them to sign – unless, of course, you include substantial additional services as part of the contract.
Explain how you work. It’s important to make sure clients understand how you manage your own workload. If, for example, you have some clients on support contracts and others who just use your firm on an ad-hoc, break/fix basis, you probably prioritize calls from the contract customers above others (and if you don’t, you undoubtedly should!) While it should never sound like a “threat,” your clients should know that if you were to have two technical emergencies at once, they would only be the priority if they were on a contract.
Consider your overall service offering. With IT service businesses moving more in the direction of the managed service provider (MSP) model, you should definitely consider packaging your services as an all-in MSP-style deal. This can include everything from day-to-day support to supplementary services such as online backup and disaster recovery. Ideally, you want to present customers with a significant (and compelling) list of what they get for their money.
Consider incentives. There’s no harm in thinking about offering incentives to persuade your customers to sign up to a computer consulting contract. Why not think about offering 20% off their first three months or suggesting one free month each year? Everyone likes a bargain, so providing one may be just the persuasion your target clients need.
Think about time periods. The longer your contracts are the better it is for your business. Annual contracts guarantee you income and cash flow and, as stated above, increase the overall value of your business. A common tactic for selling longer-term contracts is to offer a discount for a longer commitment period. For example, you could discount an annual fee by 10% for clients willing to pay for a year upfront. It’s probably well worth missing out on that 10% of revenue to bring the money quickly into your business, and be sure the client will continue to use your services.
Provide superb service. The last (but probably most crucial) point is to always provide your clients with superb service. If you do, you can be sure that they won’t want to lose you and the service you provide, making signing up to a contract a practical “no brainer.” If you provide a sufficiently great service, those contracts should sell themselves!
How do you go about selling a computer consulting contract? Share your tactics in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to watch the Inbound Revenue Acceleration Webinar for Managed Services & IT Consulting.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr stellabella
Topics:- Computer Consulting Business