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The First Thing an Integrator Should Do When Selling to a DIY Customer

Selling to a DIY customer

About six years ago I was having a beer with a business development director of a system integration client of ours.  He shared a memorable story with me, which I’ll paraphrase below.

“Chris, I’ll tell you what concerns me – and it’s not our competition.  A few weeks ago, I was waiting for Robert in a Marriott lobby and watched a service tech climb up a ladder to work on a camera.  As he was climbing down, I was looking at his shirt to see which competitor was in there.  When the guy turned around, I saw a big Marriott logo on his shirt.  That’s what scares me – our technology is becoming so easy to install and service that our customers are doing the work themselves.”

So, I asked him if he thought Marriott was making a mistake, and this is where my friend showed me his professionalism.

“No, I don’t know why they should pay us to do these simple tasks when they have a staff.”

We’ve all been hit by the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) phenomenon.  However, most of the comments I hear from salespeople are unfounded scripts that their boss most likely told them…

“Who’s going to fix it when their staff screws it up?”

“They should do what they do best and let us focus on their security.”

And my favorite… “You get what you pay for.”

Guess what, none of these comments hold any logic in the DIY vs. pay for a specialist argument, and this type of thinking won’t win any sales back from the DIY customer.  The salespeople that I’ve seen make opportunities from DIY customers do one thing before any other move.

Once they take this action, they’re able to act on a plan to win more and more business from their customers.

What is it?

“As a salesperson being challenged by a DIY customer, the first thing you should do is ask yourself why they should buy from you … and don’t buy into the marketing fluff.” Chris Peterson, Vector Firm

If you’re honest with yourself, many times it doesn’t make sense for them to pay for your services.  Some of our technology has become so simple that anyone can install it.  Once you accept this, then you’ll begin to find other more valuable ways to service your customers.  You’ll continue to push your progressive envelope and truly differentiate yourself.  Once you accept that they’ll be fine doing it themselves, then your communication won’t be combative.  You’ll become a trusted advisor and when you tell them “You should let us do that – it’s more complex than most people realize”, they’ll listen to you.

Ask yourself why your customer should buy from you instead of doing it themselves.  As you start doing this more frequently, you’ll become much more creative in finding problems that only you can solve.


This is a guest blog post from our partners at Vector Firm.

Read the original story here: The First Thing a Salesperson Should Do When Dealing with a DIY Customer

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