24 May IT and the Hard Sell ?
The IT Industry, in general, has always been known as a “smoke and mirrors” show, the predominant reason is the requirement for a reasonable amount of technical knowledge in order to understand what any sales rep is telling you, but then isn’t that the normal state of affairs, we tend not to buy products that we know or sell ourselves, what would be the point?
I have to say I am always surprised about how few times Clients and potential clients ask the “why” questions, .. Why is that the best solution for me? Why should I go with that brand? Why should I buy from you? and of course many more of a similar ilk.
The Hard Sell in the IT sphere is definitely there more and more, the low margins on hardware due to the so-called “power of the internet” means that Companies can’t spend the time with clients and this has caused a ripple effect of getting the top line numbers in as a priority and this had a detrimental effect on long-term viability of the client base.
I am proud to say that I have clients that have been with my Company for over 15 years, they are the ones that we have built partnerships with, it may take 2 years to propose a change and have it accepted, but it doesn’t matter as the right product at the right time does eventually create a win-win situation, anything else is just moving money.
I have to say that we are somewhat old fashioned in that relationships are important, you can probably go and buy (almost) any product that we sell a few pence cheaper on the internet, but is that really what you are looking for?
I can see that in 10 years everything will be purchased directly from a few sources, the like of Amazon are spending millions in ensuring that happens as it is their business model. Once this happens the requirement for additional services will be the “soft” parts of the deal. I have for many years offered clients the opportunity to purchase hardware from wherever the wish, we will still support it however the client has to deal with Warranty issues outside the contracted arrangement as we have spent time developing our relationships with the manufacturers for a reason.