The Story of Joel
During a recent IT channel event, a gentleman by the name of Joel Zaidspiner stood out from the rest for several exceptional reasons which are worth taking note of within your MSP’s marketing department. Many vendors that sponsored or attended this recent ChannelPro event had a chance to meet with Joel and experience his unique take on sales firsthand.
If you did, here is what you would have seen. Joel was:
• Human— he made connections
• Personally interested
One thing that really makes Joel stand out is the last category on that list: that of personal interest. Like many salespeople, Joel has realized that the best way to sell a product is to sell oneself, and the best way to sell oneself is to be a real person to real clients. So, what he does is take a personal interest in their affairs. Before making any pitches, he gets to know the individual. He carries on a conversation with them. He’s patient— an aspect of persistent professionalism— and human in that his method of approach improves connection on a person-to-person level
While there is some advantage in the “All Business,” or “Straight to Business” approach, it is somewhat status quo. It’s what everybody does. When everybody is “all business all the time,” the one who isn’t stands out like a spire of blue in a sea of red.
What It Means To Be Truly Personable
However, being personable requires a bit of personal sacrifice. Joel of IT channel understood this intrinsically. Say a person attending the recent trade show had a book which was soon to be released. Say this person had asked a number of MSP vendors at the trade show to consider it, perhaps even provide a review. Now, say not a single one took the time to do that— and it’s obvious why. Anyone who has written a book understands how hard it is to get people to read it in today’s society. You’ve got to have recommendation. You’ve got to have views on that thing, and oftentimes, the best you can do initially is pester friends and family. Nobody likes doing that, but until you attain momentum, it must be done.
Now, imagine a client comes to you and drops off a book. What will you do? Give them lip-service, and then ignore the book? Or actually read what they’ve written? If you do the latter, you will be like Joel, who not only read the book the hypothetical person brought him, but wrote a very real review the author felt confident featuring on the book’s back. Joel simultaneously acquired free marketing.
If you’ve helped clients out in this way, you’re very likely to secure them. So the “Joel principle” here does involve a small sacrifice— you’re going to have to be a human to potential clients, and then have actual social interactions that are meaningful and authentic. Perhaps, if you’re asked to do a review, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to be a little complimentary. But then, perhaps it would, if they feature your review on the dust-jacket of a tech volume which now has your company’s name on it. It had better be a volume you’re actually willing to endorse! Whatever you do, know the situation.
Facilitating Authentic Interaction throughout Marketing Strategies
The point is, at your IT marketing division, it is absolutely important that salespeople be motivated and educated in ways of interaction which are authentic and effective. You want people who are interested in other people and would retain friendship with them even if a sale wasn’t made. That’s the only way to get true authenticity in such an approach. But at the same time, tenacious professionalism is fundamental to finally securing the clients beyond the “friend zone” stage of acquisition. You want sales Don Juans, marketing Casanovas— you get the idea. Joel Zaidspiner of IT channel has a successful technique because of this authenticity combined with tenaciousness. Provided your sales strategy incorporates this sort of attitude, it is very likely that you’ll secure increased clientele on a regular basis. When your professionalism includes humanity, it’s going to resonate at a core level with potential clients.