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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Computer Company Tips for Overcoming Sales Objections

When you’re approaching your computer company clients with network upgrade proposals, often they will dwell on cost. They don’t think about the great cost to them of failing to invest in a network: lost employee productivity; downtime when they don’t think about fault tolerance and additional service costs from computer consultants when dead-end or impossible-to-support solutions are chosen just because they are cheap.

No matter how great you are at explaining your solutions to prospects, customers, and clients, inevitably some sales objections will crop up before you can get authorization to proceed. One minor concern can derail a whole sale, which is why you need to know how to overcome objections so you can close the deal on big network installations.

Use these 3 strategies to overcome common computer company sales objections, so you can be less emotional and defensive, and better prepared when you are trying to turn non-paying prospects into paying customers and clients.

1. Overcome Apathy. Apathy is a formidable force in the sales process. If small business decision makers have an apathetic outlook toward implementing a network, they might take weeks, months or even years before they feel a sense of urgency about your proposed network. Maybe these small business owners don’t see any problem with their peer-to-peer network. Luckily for you, sometimes all it takes is just one little disaster for those who are apathetic to see the light. Maybe a person working on the PC acting as a server accidentally hits the reset button with his/her knee, or maybe the server inadvertently performs an unannounced shutdown and restart due to a software setup issue. Situations that cause catastrophic data loss or interrupted business can be great ways to combat apathy. Suddenly a small business owner will be very receptive to your suggestions and solutions. You can also overcome apathy by discussing your prospect’s or client’s competition (without naming names), citing examples of those you are working with that are buying into more sophisticated computer solutions and changing the landscape of the industry.

2. Overcome Unrealistic Expectations. You may not think there is such a thing as a prospect being too enthusiastic about jumping headfirst into a major IT project, especially if you are a new computer company owner. However, too much enthusiasm can be dangerous. Succumbing to hype is essentially the exact opposite of succumbing to apathy. Be careful to manage client expectations regarding undue optimism … as soon as possible. As an example, maybe a small business owner returns from a trade show with a glossy brochure for an industry-specific application and is incredibly excited, seeing it as the next big thing. While the small business owner may have been really impressed by the demo at the trade show, you need to overcome the hype surrounding the application and save your client from making huge investments in anything that will not be best for his/her business. Part of your responsibility as a computer company owner and outsourced Virtual CIO is to make sure your clients don’t squander scarce IT budgetary resources on ill-advised solutions that fail to deliver as advertised.

3. Overcome Denial. A big question you might get from prospects, customers, and clients, when you’re trying to sell a major project is, “Why do I need something as big and powerful as the system you’re recommending? We’re just a seven-person company and our network works great … most of the time …” Also popular is, “My staff has been with me for years, is very careful about sensitive data and I trust them completely,” as well as “It could never happen to me!” The truth is, in order to overcome denial, you have to sell fear. Be ready to tell horror stories about catastrophic data loss, employee betrayal and other security disasters. Small business owners rarely think about issues like IT security until it’s already too late. You need to get small business prospects, customers, and clients thinking about sensitive files such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, trade secrets, payroll data and annual employee reviews. You need to get them thinking about the big picture and why your solutions will help protect them, so they can understand the pieces of their business that are at risk, and what you can do about this risk. This helps you overcome the “it could never happen to me” denial.

While you will encounter more than just apathy, unrealistic expectations and denial when it comes to small business sales objections, those are three big obstacles you need to be prepared to confront and overcome. In this article we talked about 3 tips to help you overcome computer company sales objections. Learn more about how you can attract great, steady, high-paying clients to your computer company now at the attached link.