IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Talking Prospects Down the “Conversation Path”

Conversation is the best asset for companies. The conversation sets the ground rules, it establishes the brand, and it guides the prospect toward your company. All of this is achieved through an honest and crafted conversation. The “conversation path” is a way for marketers to collect information, respond to their observations, and to make the connection. Whatever stage of the 7 Step Sales Process for IT Solutions and Managed Services you are in – from prospecting to getting the referrals – talking prospects down the conversation path ensures control, context, and in many cases, a sale.

4 Landmarks on the Conversation Path

To establish a good rapport with prospects, the conversation path must include these 4 landmarks for a successful sale.

1.   Self-Reflection

Before you get started down any path, the inbound marketers and company must ask itself this one question: “So what, who cares?” It sounds abrupt, but it is honest. You must ask yourself what it is you hope to achieve out of the relationships with your prospects whom you hope will turn into customers and clients. Why should they care about your services? It is important for you to remember that the “who cares” part of this isn’t about why YOU need the sale, but why the prospect needs you and your services. What do you hope for the prospect to gain at this stage of the sales cycle so you can guide them closer to the sale and providing you with referrals?

2.   Creating the Content

At this landmark, you need to create the content that is exactly what your prospects are looking for. Here’s the catch: you will be creating a great deal of this online. Many face-to-face technology sales meetings have been taken out of the four walls of a building and put online. Regardless of where the conversation takes place, the need never changes. You just need to find a better way of putting your brand in front of prospects. The way you do that is with content. The content of your conversation must remind the prospects of what they need and provide a solution for that need. Solid SEO strategies can help you build the bridge at this stage. At this landmark, you create the urgency with action language. It’s time for the conversation to transform.

3.   The Big Reveal

The big reveal doesn’t come at the end of the conversation journey. Now is the time to present what you offer, provide context for the content, and fulfill the prospect’s needs. This may be in the form of brochures, but in the era of digital sales, it is your MSP website and landing page. This is where you reveal what you offer and why it is the only solution for the prospect’s needs. You aren’t here to talk about why you are the greatest option; that doesn’t work if you aren’t equipped to solve their problem. If you still aren’t sure what the problem is you are solving, it is time to restart the process. You must have a good understanding of the prospect’s needs and problems before the big reveal landmark can be successful.

4.   A Humble Close

Yes, being humble is part of the conversation path. This doesn’t mean that you have to downplay your importance or imply that you are inferior. In this stage of the path, being humble reminds you to stay grounded. You are reminding the prospect that you are honored to provide them with a service or solution. Stay grounded. This is achieved with personal email responses thanking prospects for their time, it is also achieved with special thank you activities. Thanking your prospects marks the end of the conversation journey.

It is time for your prospect to move into the buying process. If your conversation path doesn’t lead to the light at this phase, it is time to restart the conversation path again. Remember, the conversation path is the way to guide the prospect’s transition to the buying process. It isn’t a one-shot process and then you are done. The conversation path is a constant journey of understanding, creating and recreating content, and optimizing your brand and image online.

 

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The post Talking Prospects Down the “Conversation Path” appeared first on SPC Managed Services Blog for MSPs.

About the Author

An IT executive, advisor, author, speaker and consultant specializing in strategic business growth and improvement.

Erick Simpson is a strategic IT business executive and organization development consultant experienced in improving top and bottom-line business performance by increasing operational efficiencies, boosting marketing and lead generation outcomes, accelerating sales velocity and shortening sales cycles and maximizing service delivery efficiencies.

One of the most prolific, recognized and sought-after IT, Cloud and Managed Services business improvement and transformation experts, consultants, authors and speakers in the industry, Erick has contributed to numerous industry publications and events and has authored 40 business improvement best practice guides and 4 best-selling books including "The Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice", the definitive book on Managed Services, and the follow-ups in his Managed Services Series “The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!” and “The Best I.T. Service Delivery BOOK EVER!” and “The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER!”.

Erick leverages over 20 years of experience in the IT industry as an Enterprise CIO, VAR, MSP, Vendor, Educator, Advisor and Consultant; and hundreds of successful strategic vendor, manufacturer, distributor and IT solution provider, MSP and Cloud practice business improvement consulting engagements to deliver successful business improvement and transformation outcomes for his clients.

His considerable and unique expertise and experience on both sides of the channel allow him to develop and deliver focused Vendor Channel Program Development and Partner Acquisition and Enablement Strategies to improve Distributor, Manufacturer, Vendor and Franchise partner program performance and improve channel revenues.

Consulting Services for IT Solution Providers: http://www.spc-intl.com/businessgrowth

Strategic Channel Growth Services for IT Vendors: http://www.spc-intl.com/channelgrowth

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