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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

When to Offer Retainer Agreements

A good time to propose retainer agreements for customers is right after an emergency service call. This is when you are on great terms with customers.

Because customers must know, like and trust you in order to agree to long-term retainer agreements, you can really take advantage of emergencies. After an emergency, they love you because you have saved the day. They know you because you’ve probably worked with them closely for the past 16 hours non-stop. And they trust you because you came through with what you promised.

Damage Control and Retainer Agreements

After you’ve handled an emergency, customers will be receptive to listening to how they can in the future prevent the same situation. Offer a proposal that includes retainer agreements for on-going maintenance – support contracts.

IT Audits Are another Opportunity

After IT audits, customers will want to know what comes next. If they have asked for an audit, they will be more likely to be looking for a regular support person to look out for their needs and plan long-term maintenance and protection of their investments.

In order to get a customer to sign onto retainer agreements, you need to make sure he/she is PAYING. Once you have a paying customer with a retainer agreement, he/she becomes a client and beyond a transaction-based customer. You are dealing with a long-term agreement.

The Long-Term Approach

You may also confront a long sales cycle that can take a couple weeks to a couple months. Your customer will realize at some point he/she is not happy with a current tech provider for some reason and will actively shop for a new consulting firm.

At this point, you can gather notes and then propose that you come back for an IT audit. This can lead to retainer agreements.

Added By: Computer Consulting Kit