Tuesday, February 17, 2009

IT Service Contract Tips For Building Stronger Client Relationships

If you are a computer consultant and don’t yet have an IT service contract plan, you’re missing a huge opportunity to build revenue and a strong, long-lasting business.

Creating a solid IT service contract offering requires a lot of advance planning and the ability to inspire real trust in your prospects, customers, and clients. You need to be aware of which benefits and prices you will offer well before you roll out a strategy and be able to build a very compelling case for why each and every client needs to be on an IT service contract.

The following 4 tips will help you as you build your computer consulting business around service contracts.

1. Remember That IT Service Contracts are Crucial to Your Company's Survival… and That One-Shot Deals Are for Amateurs! The value of your entire business is tied up in the recurring revenue you can generate through steady, high-paying clients. Think very carefully about accepting any customers that are not IT service contract clients. Without steady clients, you can’t plan growth or make all the necessary decisions that keep your business moving forward. Successful computer consultants insist on service contracts that bring recurring revenue. Those that don’t use service contracts cannot possibly predict where their companies are going to be in the next few months or years.

2. Make a Rate Card. A rate card is an integral part of your IT service contract business model. Basically, your rate card is a one-page document that shows typical "retail" prices weighed against the prices attached to on-going, long-term contracts. In order to create a strong rate card – and a strong case for your service contracts – you need to come up with at least a half-dozen benefits for why someone would sign an IT service contract with your company, instead of paying by the hour on a more ad-hoc basis. You need to have an established rate card before you try to sell your service contracts.

3. Consider Travel Distance. If you are currently serving people within a 10-15 minute driving radius of your business location, when you offer service contracts you might need to extend that distance. A lot of your competitors will go 45 minutes or even an hour away, so you have to come up with an economical way to match their efforts. You can charge for travel time to help compensate, or enforce a minimum to protect yourself (preferable) and give more benefits to more long-term clients.

4. Know When to Offer an IT Service Contract. There are two really great times to offer an IT service contract to a client. The first is right after an emergency service call. Because you’ve just saved the day, you’ll be at a high point. Part of establishing strong relationships with your clients is getting customers to know, like and trust you. After an emergency, your customers will LOVE you because you saved the day. They know you because they just spent many hours with you and they trust you because you delivered on the solution you promised. Another great time to offer an IT service contract is after conducting an IT audit. At this stage, customers will be wondering what to do next. If they agreed to an audit, they are probably looking for someone they can call regularly. And they almost always want someone that will look out for their IT needs and take a genuine long-term interest in helping them implement results-focused business solutions that leverage technology.

In this article, we discussed 4 tips you can use to set up a business based on IT service contracts, as the foundation for long-term client relationships. To learn more about how IT service contracts can get you more steady, high-paying clients, sign up for free IT service contract tips now at http://www.ITServiceContractSecrets.com .


articles taken from here

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