You only have so much time in a day to go door to door. You can explain over and over again the same thing that you talk about regularly, but it takes to much time.
If you fall into any of these categories, this blog is for you, and I highly recommend you take a listen from somebody who has produced nearly seven figures for IT companies in the past.
Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this blog, I need to cover some of the challenges you may experience. These are some of the challenges that I went through, and there are simple ways to overcome most of them. In the later part of this blog, I'm going to tell you guys about how you can easily begin to leverage your social media and content creation abilities to start building more and more sales through outlets such as LinkedIn.
The first thing you're going to run into is businesses don't understand what you do, how you do it, and, ultimately, why they need your services. You don't go to a doctor until you're sick, or at least that's the case for most people. This is the same philosophy; most people have when it comes to their computer system; they only go seek help when things are going wrong. They don't take an active approach, and a more preventative approach, when it comes to IT, because they don't have what I love to refer to as pain. They're not in a big enough predicament to where they need to make a change. Because they don't need to make a change, they feel no need to say hey, let me get help. The first challenge you're going to run into regularly is showing value and showing that your services are worth spending money every single month. Now, I'm going to explain to you how you can overcome that in the latter part of this blog.
The other main challenge is people see high prices, and then people go to Best Buy, and they don't understand why things are so cheap there, but when you send them a proposal, everything is so expensive. They don't understand what high-quality technology is and the value of spending money on commercial products.
Because of this, not only do you need to educate your consumers. But there's usually a lot of misconstrued information online. Because of that, you need to be a clear voice and an industry expert in that area. So you can then begin to show your target market and target customer, why they should buy from you. Not only should they buy from you, but trust you with their business. You have to remember when you're selling it services, you're essentially taking over the health of a business, and if something happens, you're probably going to be the first person they blame. If you're a marketing company and you don't bring a lead, the company won't go out of business for the most part. However, if you're an IT company and the people you're working for can no longer work, and you can't get them back up and running, more than likely they're not only going to blame you, but they're also going to point the finger at you for being the cause of them losing out on money.
When you sell IT services, the key is to upsell. No one likes to be upsold, but the value is typically far greater than it normally would have been. Because of this, this is a challenge for most IT companies have. Businesses want somebody that can come in and solve all of their problems with a beer budget, and they have champagne taste. This is a tremendous problem for IT companies because there's always somebody willing to do it for cheaper. I consistently ran into this issue because most of the time, when I went into sell somebody, they always had a guy that would do it cheaper. However, that guy never did it on time, that guy never did it when they needed help, that guy was inconsistent. The rare times the guy did a good job, he was always so cheap because he was a one-man show and wasn't looking to grow a company. So how do you combat this? That's the real question that I'm asking. And how do you leverage social media to make more money, because everybody wants to make more money when they're growing their business.
The first thing, and I preach this all the time is you have to educate your customers. Now, when you go into a company, and you pitch them your services. Educating company after company, time and time again is not only going to cost you a ton of money, but it's going to take a lot of time. Sales pitches can take a long time, and most of the time, it's educating the customer on how you can help their company.
So how do you avoid that? I love taking time out and building blogs or educational videos for when I used to sell. I would create white papers or spreadsheets that I could send them to show them the advantage. I recommend sending them materials from the companies I was buying to show the value they were getting. I know that sounds strange, but the main companies have already created it. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Lots of these manufacturers such as Dell, or Dropbox or Microsoft make videos and educational material on not only what they're selling, but for you to use for your customers. You can also take time to write quality blogs, educating people not only on what they're getting but how it helps. This solves the issue because no one is ever expecting to read a blog and get sold; they don't read blogs to buy unless they're researching a future purchase. If you don't take time to create quality material that you can send out to your target customer, you're never going to get the advantage that you want.
This is true when you sit down in a sales pitch, and you're consistently explaining to your customer over and over again, things that you just told the last appointment about. It would be much easier for you to get a meeting on the calendar and send somebody a blog or send somebody a white paper or an E-book that they can read, before having a meeting with you. The reason why you want to do this is that is they're going to educate themselves in a format that they're not expecting.
They want a material that doesn't sell them. It should educate them on what they need to look for and why they might want to go with you because you can provide what they need.
Now you might be wondering, how do I get my customers to read my blog. Well, it depends on how you get your leads. If you get your leads online, it's very easy to have an automated process where an email can go out with all the information that they might have requested. That way, you can save time with your salespeople, and they can spend more time closing higher quality and more valuable leads. The people that consistently reach out to you who have consumed all of your material are more than likely going to be high-quality leads, where the salesperson is just going to close them and to make sure they're getting what they pay for. They're also going to be a face for the company to give comfort to the person buying, so they know it's not a faceless company.
If you get your leads from the blogs, chances are pretty good that the customer that's buying from you is very educated on what they need. I know it sounds strange, but more than likely, they've read more than one of your blogs before they've reached out to you and confirmed in their mind that you're an industry expert. If that's the case, all the hard work is done, and now you need to send a salesperson in to go analyze what they need, so you can close the deal. This provides tremendous value for not only that company because they understand what they're getting, but your company as well because you're saving time, energy and effort with that salesperson. Now they don't need to re-explain themselves to the customer.
You're probably wondering how does social media come into play with all of this?
I've told you to have to educate your customer and what you need to do if they reach out to you. Social media should not only be done by an outside person or one singular inside a person. Social media is a conglomerate of information that could be curated from anybody inside the company. I love using the example of if you have ten or you have 20 employees. You're in the fortunate position where you may have even more. You have a nearly unlimited amount of content that you could be pumping out to your social media.
If you're an IT company, chances are pretty good, you're in the business to business space, or at least that's where all the money is in the IT world. So how do you leverage this to start building those leads? It goes back to education again. However, it's not just going to be education curated by one person from one point of view. If you have 10 or 20 employees, you could then begin to curate a ton of content for social media. For example, you're going to have techs that go onsite. When they go onsite, they can take pictures of the work that they've done for you to post on social media. This also goes with security systems and software upgrades, and you can ask your technicians to take videos of what they're doing and why the customers need to see it. Somebody needs to review all that before it gets released to the public. However, having employees create content is only going to benefit you in the long term. It will build an archive of data that you could use over and over again.
I understand that not every employee is going to take the best photo or the best video, but if you have two or three onsite technicians who are making four to five stops per day. Hopefully, at least one of those stops, they can take a halfway decent picture or video for you to use. Then it's up to the social media person to add context to it and blast it out to the networks to make sure that the value that they're providing is not only accurate, but somebody would want to spend their valuable time watching, reading, or listening to it.
The easiest way to solve this is to teach your employees the basics of taking a photo. I know that sounds crazy because you're in the IT industry, and they're not photographers. Teaching employees how to take a high-quality picture is going to benefit you in the long term drastically. They're going to be able to understand how to take a picture, how to make a video, and ultimately will take less time from your social media person to edit or sift through bad photos.
You're probably wondering Harrison, I understand how social media can work and how I can put that out there, but I'm still not sure how this is going to relate to leads.
I'm going to give you two great ways to start building a ton of leads one on social media, and one in business.
The first thing with social media is not only doing the content has to be valuable, but it has to be targeted towards your ideal customer. For example, in the IT space, your ideal customer is going to be business owners, typically with five or more employees. It's just the nature of the beast because anything less than that doesn't make enough profit for it to be worth your time.
Business owners are unassuming when it comes to LinkedIn, specifically because they're never looking for specific information, they're looking to scroll through, or they're looking to find a future employee or they're looking to do research. The benefits of video and photo are the fact that you have a higher chance of it coming across their screen and have them view it. At the end of every video, or the end of the text, it should give a call to action. It should end with something similar to "Let us know if you need help. I'm here to speak to you if you have any questions". You can also leave the door for communication open and say thanks for sending us direct messages so we can help. This lets people know its ok to send a direct message.
Why does this matter? There are so many people searching for the right answers, and you want them to understand that you're not only the expert, but you could solve their issues. You're already doing it for others, so you have to convey that. This gives people peace of mind and lets them know you're an expert.
It also lets them know what's going to happen and how you're going to do it. Because of this, when somebody understands how things are going to get done. There's never a question of can you do the job because they know that you've done it and they know what's going to happen. This helps put everyone at ease, and this is something you need to make sure you communicate with your ideal customers.
Along with that, the SEO benefits of writing a blog regularly is tremendous. Having over 100 pieces of content produced every single year is going to be worth its weight in gold in just a short period. They typically say it takes between a year to two years for your blogs to start ranking highly on Google. Because of this, if you create 120 pieces of content in your first year. That means in a year or two, you're going to have at least 120, and then a handful of years, you're going to have even more than that ranking all over Google. That means you can get 10s of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of clicks on your website. Now you may not be able to do business with all of these people. However, you can sell those leads to other IT companies in the area. You could also provide value and affiliate marketing for those people. Either way, it's a win-win situation.
Now you might be wondering Harrison; I don't understand how to get those people to buy from me. Well, let's be honest, they're not all going to buy from you. However, people buy from people they know, like, and trust. If they know who you are, they like what you've written, and they trust that you're an industry expert, chances are pretty good they're going to buy from you.
If they can't buy from you, they're going to be able to self eliminate, thus saving you time, energy, and effort.
You never know when they're going to be ready to buy, I might research things, a year to two years before when I purchase. When I purchase, I know exactly what I'm getting, who I'm buying from, and what needs to be done because I've already done my homework. Starting a year or two years before when you want to grow your business is going to be the most effective way of creating content and leveraging those clicks. You also have to understand that. Just because people are going to be there, doesn't mean they're going to want to consume all of your content, and that's fine too. I always tell people it's like running a restaurant in downtown Manhattan. There are a million other options. However, the more people that you get to pass by your front door. Chances are higher that you're going to be a busier restaurant.
This is the same thing with websites and your company, creating more content is only going to benefit you, allowing more people to visit your storefront, even if they decide not to buy. At least they now know who you are. And chances are pretty good they might visit again sometime soon.
I hope this blog helps answer all of your questions on how to sell IT. This is a more broad overview of what you need to know. However, I'm going to create other blogs that are going to niche down more and more and how to sell software, how to sell hardware, and how to sell other IT services.
Thank you for reading this blog, if you want, feel free to go check out my number one LinkedIn checklist to clean up your profile so that way when you create content, people know that you're a real person.