VARs: 5 Steps to Selling New Products, Services to CustomersVARs: 5 Steps to Selling New Products, Services to Customers
In my previous blog I shared some social media marketing tips to help VARs more closely engage custom
April 27, 2011
sales-tipsIn my previous blog I shared some social media marketing tips to help VARs more closely engage customers. This time, my focus is on sales growth. Finding and gaining new clients certainly will grow your business. But don’t overlook cross-selling opportunities, working closely with your top vendor partners. It’s important for VARs to carry a diverse line of products and partner with vendors that release fresh, innovative solutions on at least a semi-regular basis. But how do you go about introducing those new products to your established customer base? Here are five steps worth following…
… they include:
1. Work with the vendor to create the appropriate messaging for each list
Make sure you understand the messaging and key benefits of the product. Attend any webinar, meeting or conference you can that will present information regarding this new product. Often times the vendor provides tips for positioning the product in different verticals and discusses how the product can solve major pain points for your clients. Those discussions are great opportunities to ask questions and see the product in action, often well before it is released.
2. Assess the needs of current clients
Ask yourself how the new product will benefit your clients. Hopefully, the vendor has asked for partner input into their product roadmap so you were already aware the product was in development and you can start the process of identifying potential customer benefits. Also, if you’ve attended the seminars and talks regarding the new products you will be more prepared to take this step.
3. Create a list of customers who may be interested in this product
Now, decide which of your clients will (1) most likely benefit from using this new product and (2) most readily understand the product’s benefits. Only the VAR, who has built a relationship with the client, can identify these first-mover organizations. Create a list of all the clients that may be interested in the new product, rating each based on how receptive you believe they will be to the product. This will give you a tiered approach as you pursue primary, secondary and perhaps even tertiary sales targets.
4. Communicate the message to your clients
As a VAR your most important resource is your relationship with your clients. As such you probably have multiple vehicles for communicating to your customer base. Newsletters and email campaigns are great ways to introduce a new product or concept. Use these resources to invite customers to a webinar or information session of your own where you can discuss the product in more depth.
5. Follow up
Finally, be sure to follow up with your customers via phone to make sure they are aware of the product. Let them know you why you thought this product would help their company specifically. Then offer a demonstration or free evaluation. And of course, follow up using a variety of methods so you are sure to get in touch with your audience. Use the phone, email and any other communication method you have.
Bob Darabant VP AmericasBob Darabant is VP of Astaro Americas. This monthly guest blog is part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship program. Read all of Darabant’s guest blog entries here.
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