Increasing Sales Through Creative Partnering14 Mar, 2003 By: Jay Wallus imageSource
Increasing Sales Through Creative Partnering
Has this ever happened to you? Your
dealership has been moving all of those new digital copiers out into the market.
The manufacturers reps are all telling you that these boxes are the best things
since sliced bread. You're calling on all of your current clients and telling
them about these great new machines - they copy, fax, print and scan.
You've pulled in a company that is
interested and ready to issue a purchase order, everything is a go…there's
just one more thing you need to do…speak with their IT (information
technology) guy. This guy doesn't work for the company - he's outsourced and has
to agree with all of the new devices that go on HIS network. "If he says
it's ok, we'll go with it," they say.
Preparing for IT
When this happened to me, my heart started to race and my palms got all sweaty.
"The IT guy?" I gasped inside. "This guy is going to figure out
in about two seconds that I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about and
the deal will be over." I had enough "Street Smarts" to know that
if I didn't figure this stuff out, I'd be in big trouble.
So what did I do? I got my hands on
anything that would teach me about computers. I went to classes that showed me
all the ins and outs of networks and the devices that were on them. What I found
out was that they weren't as scary as I thought they would be.
Then the light bulb went on in my
head. If I can show these computer people that I know what they are trying to
accomplish and can help them to succeed in their goals, then they would probably
refer me to their clients - clients that could really benefit from new digital
These computer people had leverage
- lots of it that could help me move more boxes. If the computer guy says they
should get a new server - they get it. If this guy says you have to get a faster
Internet connection - you get it. Creating partnerships with a great "IT
guy" (internal or contract) can open lots of doors for salespeople. The
"key" to moving lots of product is leveraging the other guy's
Developing IT Relationships
I was able to develop a partnership with an IT guy that not only helped out
on occasion, but that would actually help me get more business. This turned out
to become one of the greatest strategic alliances that I would ever build in my
office equipment career.
I had always understood that having
other businesses promote me and my services was the way to referrals and sales
success - but I never quite understood the power of having an "IT guy"
do it for me.
The following months turned out to
be absolute banner months. We sent out letters and e-mails to each other's
databases referring the other and we moved lots of equipment together - him and
Even better was the fact that never
again did I sell a digital box that was not connected. Because our relationship
was going so well, we even went in to see new clients together - on the same
call. In every call where we worked together, he made sure that all of the PCs
on the network were set up so that the default printer icon was set up to MY
MACHINE (you absolutely must do this).
We got all of the clicks (copies,
faxes, prints and scans) and the service revenue started to explode. I found
that the average service contract climbed by a minimum of 43 percent!
Our affiliate relationship worked
because of the following:
· We set up the ground rules ahead of time about how we were going to work
· We had a plan of how we were going to promote each other's businesses.
· We agreed upon an action plan to hold each other accountable to doing it.
This "holding each other
accountable part" was the single most important element to having this
relationship truly blossom. That's where most affiliate relationships fall
The byproduct of all this? I felt
more confident in front of my current and potential clients - they felt it and I
knew it. I had the ability inside of me to conquer this beast - I had to
"just do it" as the saying goes.
Why did it work? When I later asked
clients why they went with me, they said that it had little to do with the box
itself - it was my knowledge of how the network functioned (and the IT guy's
recommendation) that made them feel comfortable.
They said that other sales reps who
called on them would duck the issue of how they would connect the digital copier
to the network - and I didn't.
I knew that if I had any questions,
I could call my friend (my own personal IT guy!) on his mobile phone and get any
answers that I needed ASAP - now that's leverage!
I had developed the perfect
affiliate relationship - a true win-win. I also found out that they don't wear
those funny glasses with the tape in the middle - they're actually pretty cool
Wallus is the founder and chief visionary of Street Smart Training Institute in
Stoneham, MA. His STREET SMART Training Program brings management together with
salespeople in a team environment. Street Smart Training gives imaging industry
salespeople everything they need to succeed - sales focused technology training,
salesmanship, prospecting, affiliate relationship building and time and
territory management on an on-going basis - with accountability. If you have any
questions for Jay or his IT guy, Jay Patterson of Asys Networks, Contact Jay at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 438-5660.