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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

IT Service Agreements: The Offer is About Timing

The best time to offer IT service agreements to clients is immediately following emergency service calls. Since you’ve just rescued a client, you are in their best graces, and they are at their highest point of liking you, knowing you and trusting you, three critical elements that make up a good client-IT professional relationship.

DAMAGE CONTROL FOR THE FUTURE

Right after you handle an emergency, a client is most interested in talking about how to prevent future panic, since the feeling of helplessness and frustration is fresh in his mind. Give them a proposal for ongoing maintenance from your firm under the protection of IT service agreements.

AUDITS AND IT SERVICE AGREEMENTS

Right after IT audits, many customers will be thinking about the next step, so this is also a good opportunity to offer IT service contracts. Particularly if clients have agreed to the audits in the first place, they will be looking for someone to be regularly available to them. They want to find a consultant who can pay attention to their needs and approach them as long-term projects.

In order to sign IT service agreements, the party needs to be your paying customer. An IT service agreement will create a long-term client relationship because they have stepped beyond being a transaction-oriented customer.

LONG RANGE OPTION

Another way to get clients to sign IT service agreements with IT audits might take somewhere between a couple weeks and a couple months. It involves helping your customer realize he is not happy with his current technology provider.

There could be a range of things wrong with the provider: it doesn’t deliver the promised product; it has a bad response time; it’s too expensive; or personalities don’t match. A lot of different things can happen, but it will send them shopping for a new consulting firm. The thing to do if this happens is to take a lot of notes on the client’s business and suggest an IT audit. The IT audit will give you an excellent “in” for IT service agreements.

Blogged By: Computer Consulting 101 Professional Kit