By Sean Berg, Shift4 Payments
There are many ways to sell technology to business owners. Resting on your laurels of being a 30-year industry veteran and focusing on product features is not as effective as it used to be. While that approach helped many VARs and MSPs sell cloud-based software, hardware, or services in the past, the impact is fading as competition increases. The selling approaches of struggling resellers and service providers versus successful ones in today’s market are notably different.
Breaking the “Product-Features” Mentality
It is common for VARs and MSPs to develop a “product-features” mentality. When someone sets out to sell any new product, you do your homework. You would normally learn everything you can about the product, including its specific features, how it compares to competing products, and the technology space in which it will be used. You become an expert and, as a result, you may become hyper-focused on the product’s capabilities. The problem sets in when those features become the core of your sales arsenal.
Consider this example: A VAR offers a POS system to a restaurant owner after listing off features the restaurant “needs.” The system can automatically notify the kitchen if a menu item is to be served as a different course than the default (e.g., serve the dinner salad as an appetizer, or the mozzarella sticks as an entrée). It can also let expediters know what food goes to which seat and where the female customer is sitting at the table so they know whom to serve first.
To the VAR, these are all critical features the restaurant owner absolutely needs in a POS system. They know these features inside and out and can show even the least experienced server how to use them with ease. However, the restaurant owner may not have called these features “needs” when the VAR first walked in the door.