Saturday, August 02, 2008

I Had No Idea KPE Provided These Services

Well, it happened to me. I hear people say, and I hear myself say, that you need to make sure your clients know what you sell.

So yesterday, a tech forwards a client email to me. I do some research, provide a quote to the client, and remind her to contact me directly for sales. She responds:

Hi Karl,

I had no idea KPE provided these services. I accidentally sent this email to Dan at KPE instead of my Dan at Sierra. The consequences of outlook saving our email extensions. However, I will keep this in mind for future orders, that you are able to provide these services for us.

Thank you!

In this case, we're looking at toner supplies, which are a microscopic piece of what we do. It's not like they didn't know we can do network audits.

But clients put us in boxes. They might not call you for phones because you do computers, for example.

At some level, you can't win this battle. Client personnel keep changing. Roles get shifted. And you begin offering new things.

Here are a few things we do:

  • Monthly printed newsletter. Gets a lot more attention than the email newsletter. And we can include articles on "did you know we did this?"

  • Line cards. We print lists of all the products and services we sell. But, of course, not 100%. "I didn't know you could test the network wiring."

  • Flyers for specialty products and services. These are literally "Did you know we did this?" flyers.

  • Employee training. Our guys always make sure to mention to a client when we can help.

Clients like to find out when an existing vendor (you) does some thing they need doing.

We've had clients ask us to produce their newsletter because they like our newsletter. They know we're not in the newsletter business, but they like us, trust us, and like the product we produce.

Mixed in with everything else is the fact that clients are busy and keeping track of your business is not their job.

So, we just plug away, putting our information out there. And on the day they need something, we hope they'll remember that we do sell toner cartridges.

We could have a big push on this. And we might. But we make more profit from the regular sales of Cat6 cables. We don't want to be Toner World.

As a result, we do low level marketing of these products and services. And we know that a lot of clients don't know all the little things we do.

I sure hope they know the big things we do!

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