Adapting To Change6 Feb, 2014
One of the most common questions I get asked over and over again is, “How is our Business Changing?” I answer that by saying our business is not so much changing as it is adapting. More and more manufacturers are focusing on applications and software rather than hardware. However, a key money maker for them is still hardware, thus adapting is in order vs. changing as a whole.
Here are three key adaptations that you can make to help ease your transition into our ever evolving marketplace:
Adaptation # 1 - Sell a New type of Hardware
I see more and more dealers taken on LCD Displays and interactive whiteboard displays. This has been a proven easy transition to look literally outside the box sale. Also in many cases selling hardware displays, it’s only natural, to partner up with software and tools to allow enhancement for the product.
Adaption # 2 – Look for the application
In today’s market, when selling hardware look for an application or software to tag along with a customers need to enhance your offering such as:
• Customer needs Mobility – Hand held devices; tablets.
Key Application/Software – Cloud Printing
• Accessibility – Mobile customers want flexibility; access to documents, 24/7 on any device.
Key Application – Evernote, GDocs, Google Drive
• Unity – Technology evolving at record speed; customers need solutions to unify multiple data sources & workflows.
Key Application – Google Apps, Sharepoint connector, Office 365
• Security – Always a good talking point with IT. As they becomes more comfortable with the bring your own device “BYOD” concept, they will want ideas & support for increased security.
Key Application – Cost Control Software, IP Filtering, Access Control Application
Adaption # 3 – Increase Customer Service via technology
In effort to establish some differentiation for your business, be sure to enhance your technology offerings to your customers’ direct needs. Some key Customer Service enhancements are as follows:
Remote Support: Be sure your company has the ability to provide remote support to your needed customers. This allows for on demand service and is a must. I recommend ScreenConnect (www.screenconnect.com/) or Go to Assist (http://www.gotoassist.com)
Automated Meters/Supply Fulfillment: Some think this is just for the MPS offering, yet today customers have come to expect total automation from their supply, service, and meter reporting needs.
Customer Portals: Our company, which is based in California, recently launched personal customer portals to allow for ease of ordering and service call dispatch. These portals allow for customers to view service history and purchase history. It also allows for on demand ordering for all HP and MFP supplies.
As one can see by making slight modifications and adaptations, you can quickly change the overall image and perception of your dealership in order to match the needs of your clients and our evolving industry.
Eric Stavola MS.CIS, M.ED, MCSE, MCSA, N+, CDIA+, is Chief Operating Officer at WITT COMPANY for Office Technology Products & Services / (619) 379-3009 cell or visit http://www.witt-company.com