Curing the Customer’s Pain15 Oct, 2008 By: Steve Breault imageSource
Curing the Customer’s Pain
The most common questions business owners ask are, “Now that I am
investing (or have invested) in all this fancy equipment to manage information,
what am I supposed to do with it?” And as importantly, “What is my return on
Can you provide the answers today? If you are struggling to sell document
management software, read on. It may be that no one has competently shown
him/her/you how a robust document management system can dramatically reduce the
cost of managing a company’s documents while dramatically increasing efficiency.
While this sounds obvious, it is not so easy to present without a
solution-selling strategy. For us at VircoSoft, we provide our Reseller
Partners with a field-tested selling strategy that works.
Pain is important
Without pain there will be no change. Sales people that focus on “needs
selling” are on the right track; however, without identifying specific pain
points, buyers simply will not take action regardless of your power of
Since identifying pain is the critical element of effective selling, how do
The good news is every business— small, medium or— large needs a document
management system in place. Your job is to educate every key player and reveal
their pain in a manner that results in action. That action is a closed sale for
Give pain to get pain
This may sound silly, but to earn the right to ask about pain, you have to
give some pain. Most salespeople are prematurely asking a prospect to share
with them before they have shared a similar experience. Sharing a customer
reference story is an effective way to establish your credibility.
The following questions will introduce the basic value of implementing a
document management system. Any question that gets your customer discussing
their storage and flow of documents will likely result in a more in-depth
discussion of the issues they currently have with the manual steps necessary for
managing paper. This creates a great lead-in to introducing the benefits of your
solution. Every day that the customer does not use a document management system
they are wasting money on excessive manual paper flow in their organization. The
main customer benefits are: Demonstrable ROI – Generally it is 10 to 50 times
more expensive to manage, search, retrieve & distribute paper manually than to
do so electronically; Leverage Existing Investments – Showing prospects how your
system leverages their investment in their existing network and business
applications is powerful. indicating how they’ll spend less money than they are
spending right now. Who wouldn’t want that needed benefit today?
Ask these questions:
Q: Have you ever requested a document from a lawyer, doctor, or
accountant? How long did it take for you to get it? Would you recommend that
professional to someone else if they faxed or e-mailed that document while you
were still on the phone?
A: Practically everyone has had at least one experience of this sort.
The typical answer is often, it takes several days or weeks to get a copy of a
document.” If the document was faxed or e-mailed while still on the phone, they
would clearly be impressed and recommend the professional to a friend or
colleague. The purpose of this question is to start a dialogue that is not
threatening and clearly illustrates the intuitive power and value of electronic
filing. Turn that question around to the customer with the next question below.
Q: Does anyone on your staff ever have a need to go back to a filing
cabinet because of a customer, client, or patient request for a copy of their
A: Once a customer agrees that it is valuable to have documents
on-line when he/she is at the receiving end of a request, it is generally simple
to get them to discuss what their business demands are in terms of retrieving
and communicating documents to their own customers. Discuss whether anyone has
every lost or misfiled a document and what kind of cost that was to the company,
then pull out a cost savings calculator.
Q: Does any of your staff work remotely?
A: When a customer realizes that they can remotely access paper files
normally stored in file cabinets, you’re on your way to selling your system.
Q: Would your company benefit from having all paper documents on-line?
A: At this point focus on the departments or users that have the greatest
need for managing paper and could benefit from an electronic filing system. This
will be the likely place to initially deploy your solution.
Q: Do you have a disaster recovery plan?
A: People will buy solutions based on a sense of possible loss.