Listen first and right-size solutions
Listening to our clients is always our first – and in many ways most important – step. We have excellent engineers and architects who are part of the conversation from the beginning so that every solution we design is unique and custom built to fit our customers’ needs. “Right-sizing” means we don’t oversell; we involve the senior architects early to ensure we have the right solution, and our salespeople are not empowered to upsell and override an architect.
As an example, we do a lot of work around storage and virtualization projects, and we know there are ways to grossly oversize what customers need in these implementations: how big the servers should be, how much horsepower they require, and so on. We find a lot of our customers get inaccurate advice about Microsoft products and licensing and end up spending more than they need for solutions that don’t answer their challenges. We have two Microsoft-certified licensing experts on staff to help ensure customers understand their options and get what they need without spending too much or too little.
Take a relationship-building rather than transactional approach
Our model is not transaction based because we want more than just this one sale. We want our customers’ businesses to succeed so they’ll keep coming back to us. We’re willing to make less money right now if it means we gain their trust for the long term.
A great, recent example of how we use our expertise in support of relationships over sales is a healthcare customer we recently acquired, Aperture Credentialing. We won the deal, in large part, because we did the Microsoft licensing estimate accurately. We got questions from the customer, during the proposal process, asking why we were so much lower than the competition quoting against us. We went through all the details very carefully with the client to demonstrate how our quote was accurate, and that really helped us win the deal. It also cemented us as advisors that could be trusted to put our customers’ needs first.
Give away valuable IP to build trust
As I said before, knowing how much Microsoft licensing to purchase is often difficult for customers. We actually blog about how to do licensing correctly and these are some of our most popular posts. We’ve written posts about Lync, SQL, Windows and the virtualization rights around Windows, and a lot of our customers have found us through our blog. We believe our willingness to share our knowledge not only positions us as experts but showcases our commitment to putting customers first.
The value of right-sized solutions
“Don’t sell customers what they don’t need.” It seems pretty obvious, but at Mirazon, we’re surprised at how often this simple philosophy puts us ahead of our competition. Our customers know we’ll guide them toward the solutions they need – and only those solutions. As cloud continues to make long-term relationships with customers critical to business success, our commitment to listening to our customers’ needs means they trust us, recommend us, and come back to us again and again.
We’re often told by customers that we’re not like other IT companies they’ve dealt with in the past. We make the effort to educate our customers. We hire only those who have a passion to leverage technology to help people, not to make money. All four of the partners who started this company believe in that philosophy, and we work hard to keep it central to our company culture.