Are tech skills bad?
Of course not, you do have to be great at what you are doing in order for your customers to leave satisfied. Yet great skills in testing only are not enough in the modern world. You may be the best at what you do and some slick will be selling more of less quality testing services. And in my opinion that is absolutely fare. It’s a tough world we are living in and competition only makes it interesting and is eliminating the weakest links. How to be amongst the strongest? Here is one of the most fitting marketing strategies you may combine with your testing services.
The Counselor Sales Process
This process is mostly around communication with customers. That is one of the most important aspects in all IT service sales. The catch is that the clients are mostly from the business side and are not too much into all the technical mambo-jumbo you are Sorcerers Supreme in.
This process may be divided into four steps.
- Relating – the part when you are getting in your customers comfort zone and are establishing trust and credibility.
- Discovering – Discover the customer’s needs and motives, give advice from your professional point of view.
- Advocating – you are serving the customers purposes. Solve his problems, meet his personal motives.
- Supporting – maximize the potential for your customer.
Now to get deeper into these steps.
Focus on establishing some solid trust between you and the client. He needs to be sure his money are in the right pockets. Or he will be giving them to somebody else. A client requiring testing services may be anybody from an IT company that is looking for some outsourcing to a businessman, doctor, writer, whoever. And trust is the key to further collaboration.
There are lots of factors for a tester to discover before and during the new project. Things like the following tend to be as crucial as it gets.
- Initial focus
- Understanding of the projects context
- Project mandate
- Business drivers and priorities
- Target customers
- So much more
Discover the project and empathize the client. Explain, advise, and show. Keep collaboration on a high level. Feedback is always curtail.
The advocating stage is the toughest. You will need to be translating your tech experience-based language to the client. You will be the guiding star for him. You will be talking him out of bad decisions by showing that they are not just 'lame’ but they are not what HIS business requires. The hardest par indeed and as addition it requires perfect soft skills.
Help the client achieve his goals. Make sure that these are the goals he actually needs. Cause if everything is working great and the software is still a commercial disaster the blame will be on you. And that is bad for image. Good luck with your own sales!
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Created: 12 Sep 2014
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