By Elizabeth Sparrow, Managing Director – Blabbermouth
Service led propositions are dominating the Telecoms and IT space however nurturing long term relationships should not be at the expense of new business generation or the commitment to your UVP.
It is natural that leading with service, and offering a complete communications package, positions you close to the clients business and when done effectively you can be viewed as an outsourced IT department or expert for them. They will begin to turn to you for all their questions and when technology advances they will speak to you first. You will be able to secure the business via a light touch approach and avoid the vulgar ‘sales’ word entirely.
There are many benefits to this approach including locking out your competitors from your clients, you build long-term relationships with your clients, they trust you and engage with you strategically and often, over the course of time, cost becomes irrelevant – they want to engage with you.
This approach also assists in targeting the ongoing margin challenge by balancing higher margin solutions with lower margin solutions, and it keeps the overhead associated with business growth at a minimum. The cost in gaining more sales is cheaper when you look to your existing base and the risk is less; ensuring all customers take all products gives you more flexibility in where you make the money.
But, what happens when you have exhausted your base? And, what happens when all your competitors start to do the same thing? What happens when the sales person that built this strategic relationship leaves your business? How do you achieve business growth without a compelling reason to engage? If you, and your nearest and dearest competitors, are leading with service what sets you apart?
A light touch approach to nurturing business growth can be effective in generating long term relationships, healthy margins and a good return to the business. However, positioning yourself as a ‘Jim’ll Fix it’ of the Comms Community runs the risk of turning your business into an administration nightmare and impossible to scale. It is important to not neglect what makes your business unique and to continue to address new business generation so that your pipeline is a remains healthy.