Understanding our client’s business is more important than talking about the latest feature or device.
Don’t get trapped in the jargon of modern communications. Many professionals in our industry have become so accustomed to following every new technology and feature, that we don’t recognize the gap between what is normal for us IT/communications professionals, and what is readily understandable for everyday people.
At various industry conferences, we see demonstrations of some pretty awesome capabilities that are coming to market or are just over the horizon. But when we are on sales calls and speaking with our customers, we experience something very different: busy business professionals trying to keep up with the ever-changing needs of their day-to-day business. While these people would like to think strategically about the future of their communications needs, in reality they really are focused on knocking out the next critical business item on their agenda.
As a communications provider offering a range of solutions, it is our job to understand our client’s business well enough to quickly direct them to the types of offerings that will meet their business needs – both today and into the future. We must avoid the temptation to take them into the weeds on new features and technology that is still in the distance, and keep the dialogue at a level that they understand.
The rapidity of technology change only continues to grow. A lot has changed in the last five years alone, and many companies have a communications system that is five or 10 years old. Today, smartphones and tablets are everywhere. Millennials are entering the workforce in droves. When our team is working with clients who are considering a technology upgrade, we spend a lot of time educating them about what new technology can do for them and their business.
While the new stuff is clearly more exciting than the outdated technology we are replacing, we need to remember that our customers are often overwhelmed and confused when we throw too much new stuff at them at once.
Ultimately, technology is intended to address business problems. Many times, it’s not the very newest device or feature that solves the problem. The answer may lie in something that is simply newer than what the client purchased seven years ago.