Wednesday, May 22, 2013

All My Secrets....

So, you want to know my secrets?

In 1989 I started fixing people's computers to pay my way through college.  By 1992 it was a full-time job, by 1993 I had employees, and in 1996 I opened my first retail store.  Eventually we grew into one of Atlanta's top IT service firms, and then, in 1999, I founded Computer Troubleshooters USA.

With my franchise partners in Computer Troubleshooters Australia, we built the world's largest IT service franchise, with over 450 locations in 33 countries.

How did we do it?  "Whats the secret?", people ask.  And I'm going to tell you....

Today I run two companies, Bigger-Brains, the first and only channel-friendly online learning solution, and Computer Troubleshooters of Anderson, a local MSP in Anderson, South Carolina.  After 2 years CT-Anderson is on the verge of breaking the sales records my first company made in it's 6th year, and after just 6 months Bigger-Brains has resellers in 6 countries, partnerships with some of the top software providers in the world, and is already listed among the top 10 global eLearning content providers.

How did we do it?

Here's the secret.... we listened to customers.  Literally.  Especially with Computer Troubleshooters, we would literally ask customers what was important to them, directly and in surveys, and then work to implement processes to make sure we did those things.

In my final conference as CEO of Computer Troubleshooters-Global, before I sold the company, we actually had a panel of 4 real-life customers - small business owners and managers, who told the audience exactly what they wanted in an IT service provider, and then took questions from a room full of IT Service Providers who wanted to clarify exactly what appealed and didn't appeal to them.

The results are both mind-blowing and exactly what you'd expect.

Number one, hands-down, top-of-the-list is..... Knowledge.  Customers want to work with service providers who are knowledgeable.

But here's the catch - how does a client or potential client know how much knowledge their "IT Guy" has?  Some techs might be dumb as a brick, but spew jargon with such confidence that customers think they're Dumbledore.  Others might know everything from the right way to migrate a multi-homed network domain to a new location to the expected pinout voltages on an Intel LGA chip socket, but fail to reassure customers because they lack confidence, dress poorly, or some similarly unrelated reason.

Knowledge is key. Knowledge makes you efficient, Knowledge gets you more jobs, and the perception of Knowledgeability is what will keep customers flocking to your business.

How can you be more Knowledgeable, or at least be perceived to be more Knowledgeable?

I'm glad you asked!  All my secrets on winning customers with Knowledge (and the answers to what else customers are looking for) are coming out next month in my session at SMB Online Conference.

What's NOT a secret is that I'm just the opening act for some seriously great speakers:  John Armato,  Brian Sharp, Rayanne Buchianico, Manuel Palachuk and a host of others make this a guaranteed High-ROI event.

If you want to learn All My Secrets on Knowledgeability, plus get great insight into growing your IT business from some real gurus, THIS is the conference you want to attend!