Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: What's the next step?

  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    323
    Thanks
    87
    Thanked 24 Times in 22 Posts

    What's the next step?

    Hi all,

    It's been a while since I last visited you all. As per usual, I come grovelling back for advice

    Scenario:

    New client from a referral called me to help with an IT issue. PC format & re-install required.
    Job booked for Friday 25 may 2012
    Small company. 4 users. Stock standard LAN. No server. POP3 e-mail's. Standard DSL.
    Did consultation with client about problem they having, client very impressed with me so far.
    Client had an issue with online banking earlier the week. I popped around for 30 minutes, fixed it no hassles, didn't charge them. Client VERY impressed.
    Client doesn't have a dedicated IT pro / Consultant / guy

    My Question:

    When I return the workstation on Monday & everyone's happy, how do I go about setting up a meeting with the Manager for a possible SLA? You know, x-amount of hours per month for maintenance / labour for x-fee per month.

    I have met the Manager, very easy going guy. He saw me fix the internet banking issue, so I guess that's good marks for me so far.

    I ask because I don't want to return the PC & come on as blunt or forward saying, "Right, time to sign a contract now!" I really would like this company as a client, and I know for a fact they do not have an IT guy. They have made remarks like, "You're fixing issues that our previous IT guy's couldn't." I was also told that they do not have someone.

    I basically would just like to know how do I go about setting up a meeting with the boss without looking like I'm forcing an SLA down their throats. But I also don't want this client to be a "once-off" client.

    I KNOW they don't do backup's
    I KNOW they don't have network security
    I KNOW they are not well informed of the risks their business is taking as per the lack of backup's.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thx guys ( & ladies )

  2. #2
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Durban
    Posts
    3,437
    Thanks
    660
    Thanked 765 Times in 630 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    How do you normally sell your business? From what you are saying, it appears that you have already sold yourself to the customer. All you have to do now is close the deal by making a suggestion;"I see that you may require an IT guy to assist you. Can we discuss an SLA?"

    You may want to read up on some sales techniques - especially on closing the deal. Very often we sell and sell and do not notice the buying signs in either body language or verbal communication from the customer. In your case they already told you that you are doing a good job. You have solved problems that the previous guy could not. This was a buying sign. You should have locked on and said; "for a nominal fee I could be on standby to you guys. Let's discuss..."
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  3. Thank given for this post:

    KimH (25-May-12), Perform Computers (24-May-12)

  4. #3
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    4,403
    Thanks
    513
    Thanked 854 Times in 687 Posts
    I would request a meeting with the owner to discuss 'security issues'. I would make it clear that you will only deal with him directly on such a sensitive issue and it would be in his interests to make the meeting sooner rather than later before valuable information is lost or poached.
    _______________________________________________
    I am special and so is Vanash.
    _______________________________________________

  5. Thank given for this post:

    KimH (25-May-12), Perform Computers (25-May-12), tec0 (24-May-12)

  6. #4
    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    4,270
    Thanks
    1,656
    Thanked 439 Times in 386 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    It is the part of IT no one likes, the SLA, if I was you I would take AndyD’s advice. Make the appointment and express your concerns about the backups and so on and tell them you would like to offer them your services in the form of an SLA. You can do what I used to do and offer them a month to month just to see if they are happy. Do this for about 3 months and then continue the negotiations from there.

    The 3 month cap will provide you with a valuable insight and identify long term opportunities.


    Best of luck to you.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

  7. Thank given for this post:

    KimH (25-May-12), Perform Computers (25-May-12)

  8. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    323
    Thanks
    87
    Thanked 24 Times in 22 Posts
    Thank you so much to all of you for the excellent advice !

  9. #6
    Email problem KimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    362
    Thanks
    167
    Thanked 63 Times in 52 Posts
    Long time no see,... hope that means you have been kicking ass out there in the market place!

    Great advice from all the guys (of course) and I fully agree with tec0 on offering them a month to month at first - that way they don't feel like they are being 'forced' into a long term contract.
    "If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you."

  10. #7
    Platinum Member Neville Bailey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Morningside, Durban
    Posts
    2,377
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 393 Times in 340 Posts
    I am finding this thread quite interesting.

    Although I am not an IT consultant, I am in a similar service type business, but I don't have a single SLA with my clients.

    Generally I charge on an hourly basis, and all my clients are happy with that arrangement, and I don't have issues of clients jumping from me to another Pastel consultant and back again.

    Another variation of my hourly charge is my Support Bundles, in which a client can purchase, say, 5 hours upfront at a 10% discount.
    Neville Bailey - Pastel Accounting Consultant and Photographer
    neville@accountingsoftwaresupport.co.za
    www.accountingsoftwaresupport.co.za
    View Neville Bailey Photography

    *** 20% DISCOUNT ON PASTEL XPRESS / PARTNER SOFTWARE UNTIL 15 DECEMBER 2017 ***

    "Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value."
    WALLACE WATTLES (1860-1911)

Similar Threads

  1. one step forward 2 steps back by mark palmer
    By murdock in forum Electrical Contracting Industry Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 17-Sep-11, 02:44 PM
  2. What's the next step?
    By Perform Computers in forum General Business Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-Aug-11, 11:06 AM
  3. Next step: Business starting
    By Snoopy_inc in forum Entrepreneurship and Business Management Forum
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 24-Jul-07, 09:58 PM
  4. Improving your web marketing - a simple step.
    By I Robot in forum Marketing Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 22-May-06, 08:39 PM

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •