I recently had an end-user ask me the most efficient way for a consumer to choose a quality integrator in today’s day and age. My answer was simple: bid it out and go with the most expensive option. Now, my statement obviously goes against the “Groupon” and “Coupon” age we are living in. However, in the ever-changing and increasingly complex automation market, doesn’t it make sense to choose an integrator who knows his/her value and has the team and infrastructure in place to support the job from beginning to end?
There’s a saying my wife always brings up when she is trying to convince me why she should invest in a new Louis Vuitton purse or pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, “Buy nice or buy twice.” The last thing you want in an automation system is to buy twice. A customer wants to make an investment that will benefit them for years to come. A customer wants to be educated by their integrator, they want to feel like they understand how your system works and exactly how their money is being put to use. What they often don’t understand is that they can’t just get that from any integrator that’s willing to drop his price to get their business.
The most beneficial thing a business owner, in any field really, is to give themselves value. Everyone tries to show the customer how little they’ll have to sacrifice by working with them, but not everyone tries to show the customer how much they’ll gain from working with them. Show the customers your value, show them how you are indispensable, and show them how you can offer them the best deal out there, and they’ll choose you every time. Make sure that you show them that not only do you have their best interests at heart, but their best interest lies within your company. And to do this, you, as a business owner, have to start with a successful bid, and then follow through with it.
Here’s what I believe doing a bid right looks like, in order to give yourself the most value as well as credibility to your work:
Provide the most reliable solution: Put together a solution that has the equipment and functionality your client wants and combine that with your expertise and capability.
Don’t give it away: If you give the job away and call that a sale, you will ultimately be in a cashflow disaster, hoping to make it another week. Allow yourself the resources to properly support both yourself and your team. Remember, the role of a sales person is to generate profitability for the company, not just to keep the pipeline full.
Know what to sell: When you’re the highest bid on the table, it is important to know how to talk about your work. Speak about follow-up service and what that entails, the strength and longevity of your team, the transparency to never hold them hostage or extort them, and most importantly provide endless education about how to make them an informed consumer.
Educate your client: Building bridges of trust with your clients will only solidify your relationship. Remember you are speaking to a concerned homeowner or businessperson making a huge decision. If you can find the right balance of technical jargon and relatability, you will undoubtedly close the deal on merit not price.
Be confident enough to know your company is the best and be humble and honest enough to sell it, and make sure to always follow through on your promises.
Thanks for reading!