Exposing Your Base Through Education1 Nov, 2006 By: Eric Stavola, Witt Company imageSource
Exposing Your Base Through Education
Don’t worry, this is not another solutions article. I am not going to talk
about document solutions, business solutions, or even copier solutions. Instead
I want to ask, does your current customer base know all the services you
provide? How do you define a solution to your clients? Remember, you’re not
just a copier company anymore.
If you are selling solutions, you need to educate your customers to create a
need and interest. Solutions need to be defined to your clients as value-added
services and one of the best and simplest ways to expose your current and
potential customer base to all your services is through a Technology Seminar.
Now, I am not talking about your typical open-house or some lackluster show. I
am talking about a technology show that brings the one factor we all want to
bring to our clientele: V-A-L-U-E!
A Technology Seminar should have three main goals:
1 Generate activity
2 Educate your customer base of services provided
3 Provide real value
A Technology Seminar presents a forum to demonstrate your expertise and
experience in hardware, software, and methodology for implementing solutions to
meet your client’s needs. In the hope of encouraging you to hold your own
seminar, I have created a "who, what and where" outline below: \
1 WHO COULD BE INVOLVED?
Sales Reps: seminars provide a great reason to call their customer base.
Sales Engineer: creates a forum to expose their skill set.
Manufacturer Rep: good way to expose your customer base to add to your
relation- ship with your manufacturer
Software Vendor: always willing to be part of a venue.
Leasing Rep: brings value and financial capacity to the table.
Document Movement Vendor: always willing to be part of a venue.
Guest Speaker: any one that will bring people through the door
2 WHAT TOPICS COULD BE COVERED?
Remember to always gear a broad topic with how your professional service
department can come to the aid of the problem. Always create a need; fill the
need; remember the FFB: Feature - Function - Benefit.
The list of topics below is just the beginning:
- The Cost of Printing - possible topics include: Price vs. Process or Fleet
Management. Educate your customers on the high cost of printing. Expose your
base to your printer control program. Most companies today are looking for a
solution to their growing printer population. Remember, if you are not servicing
all your customers’ machines, you’re not coving your base!
- Document Management - possible topics include: Creating Workflow, Disaster
Recovery, and Maximizing Productivity. How does your customer capture, process,
and route their documents?
Remember to focus on scalable services for small, medium, and large business
- Organizational Technology -possible topics include: Google Desktop, Paper
Port, or your own particular vendor’s software. Teach your clientele to organize
themselves utilizing your software and expertise.
- Security - consider topics such as: Copier Security, WLAN Security, Cisco
Security, and File Security. Security is always a hot topic with IT personnel.
- Forms Management - possible topics include: Creating Your Own In-House
Letterhead or Losing Your Three Part Forms. You will be amazed at the possible
business that’s out there,especially in your current base.
- Microsoft Education - possible topics include: Microsoft SharePoint Services,
Maximizing Exchange, New Vista OS, Microsoft Office, etc. Any seminar geared to
educate your base will pay dividends in the end.
- Linux/Unix - possible topics include: Doing More with Less. More and more
companies are looking for low cost software solutions or more alternatives.
3 WHERE WILL IT BE HELD?
This is always up for debate, but you can hold your seminar at a local
hotel, convention center, or simply your own office. Any space that is easy to
get to and has the resources available will do.
In the end it really is not brain science; any action that will help generate
activity is always good. Holding a Technology Seminar is a phenomenal way to
expose your current base to all the services you provide. As you venture down
this road, remember to provide great value! If you continually provide value
through education and support, you will assuredly gain the respect of your