At Boot Camp, I shared with the audience research I’d compiled on what clients want from their IT provider, based on examining the responses to a testimonial request e-mail we have our MSP clients send to THEIR best clients. I compiled and keyword-analyzed over 1,000 candid, unedited replies to those e-mails to determine the commonalities of what IT buyers – your clients – truly valued.
Out of ALL of those responses, not one – and I do mean NOT ONE – said they wanted the “lowest price” or “cheapest price.”
So why does it seem like so many IT services sales are lost to cheaper competitors, or are lost over price?
For starters, the seller (you) is ALWAYS more emotionally charged about price than the buyer. Because the SELLER is nervous about discussing price, they tend to only “see” and “hear” those things that verify their belief that people buy on price and don’t want to spend money on IT.
Second, the salesperson’s discomfort with price manifests itself in the sales meeting, showing up as a lack of confidence or that they are hiding something – which breaks trust. And since prospects sense uncertainty like a dog smells fear, they react to it, causing them to hesitate, often not even knowing why they don’t “feel right” about doing business with you.
Finally, “the price is too high” is the easiest objection to throw at a salesperson. They don’t want to tell you the truth – that they didn’t think you were very professional or competent. So they say price because it doesn’t require an explanation.
While it’s foolish to spend too much, it’s FAR WORSE to pay too little and get less than you need or a lower quality. After all, if you pay a little too much, the worst you’ve lost is a bit of money. But if you pay too little, you could risk it ALL when the service you bought and the company you bought it from is incapable of doing what you bought it to do in the first place.
We all know you get what you pay for – and if you pay too little, you cannot expect high quality. Common law in business prohibits that from being a reality in every field and profession – but that goes double when talking about professional services.
So, what DO clients want to buy?
1. TRUST. Clients want to feel as though they are in good hands; that YOU are taking charge of IT for them and all that comes with that.
2. EASY. We are living in a world that prizes convenience and ease over price BY FAR. Why else would someone pay 20X more for food to have it prepackaged, premeasured, with a recipe card, over going to the store and buying it for a fraction of the cost?
According to the Lux Research Report, the average consumer is willing to pay an average of 11% MORE for common goods if they’re delivered to them or made convenient. Your clients want a partner that makes IT/compliance/technology EASY for them. That includes EASY to get in touch with, EASY to get answers from, EASY to get things done.
3. RESPONSIVE. By far, “responsiveness” was the #1 word mentioned in the testimonial e-mail responses. But responsive NOT just with urgent problems. When I call your office, do I get voicemail or a live person who can help? If I have a request, a project, a need, do I have to e-mail and remind you, and remind you and remind you, that I need it? To get updates? To find out where things stand?