Saturday, February 19, 2011

Joy Of The Walkaround

Here at Expert Laser Services we refer to our analysis procedure as a "walkaround". We do not utilize USB keys to do an analysis other than as a last resort and almost always walk to each and every device in an organization, networked or local and gather the necessary information by hand.

multiple reasons this kind of analysis is superior to that of those done with a USB key however In this post I will be speaking solely about the value of the walkaround in regards to developing relationships with customers.

All of the walkarouds that I have performed have been done either with the IT manager of an organization or a member of the IT department. In many of these cases these people are my first contact within said organization. It is the IT pro at any given organization that accompanies me through both stages of an analysis and is my "go to" guy or gal when I need to speak to them about products, services, software updates and etc.

What I have discovered to be the most important aspect of getting a contract signed is to develop a real, honest and organic relationship with the customer prior to meeting with them to discuss a proposal.

The walkaround is absolutely key in accomplishing this.

During the walkarounds that I have performed (which generally take multiple hours to complete) I take the time to learn not only about the organization, their goals, their clients, their needs, wants, expectations and so on and so forth but also about the individual who is taking time out of their day to walk me around their place of work.

From conversations with my own customers during a walkaround topics discussed have included not only their monthly print volumes and what kind of devices their fleet contains but also more personal topics such as their opinions and perspectives on

● Music

● Food

● Art

● History

● Hobbies

● Spirituality

● World Events

These are just a sample of some of the topics discussed in the conversations I have enjoyed with my customers during the walkaround.

Now these conversations may seem trivial to some however I cannot stress enough the importance of the bonds created during these times. Conversations which include not only the necessary MPS talk track dynamics but also these more organic elements of human interaction will lead to a much more robust relationship with your customer before you even schedule that meeting to discuss your proposal.

In closing I would say there has been a real element of enjoyment in all of the walkarounds I have done. They have been catalysts to meet new people and to learn not only about the needs of prospective customers but also to forge new relationships with other human beings. Some of these conversations have lead to opportunities to learn new things about my self and have spurred curiosities about things that I would not have discovered otherwise.

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