In today's world, everyone likes things to be cheap and easy.  Instead of losing weight the old fashioned way (by eating less and exercising), everyone is looking for the easy way – whether that be in the form of a pill, or a piece of equipment that you can use to burn off "your gut" while watching TV or any other new method. 

In light of this, I want to show you how to be a master of M2M sales by asking your customers three simple questions:

1. "Do you currently pay for any landlines to only access the Internet?"

Ok, now, if you work for a carrier that has a large customer base for both landline and wireless, you may wish to check with your bosses before you ask for this question.  Some of these companies are not too happy to have an expensive landline replaced by a lower cost cellular connection.  I refer to these companies as "Mad Men" companies.  Your thinking is really old.  Sure, it may mean that you have a loss of current income, but if you aren't asking, you can be sure that your competitors are.

Most of these lines are currently being used to provide information to/from the head office, or to access vital circuits (like Point of Sales systems).  There is no reason that the vast majority of them cannot be replaced by a cellular connection, and usually at a fraction of the cost.

2. "If I gave you an Ethernet or Serial cable virtually anywhere, with almost no setup time/cost, what could you do with it?

Now, I have heard some very funny answers to this, so you may too.  However, the idea is basically a good addition to the first question.  In the first question, we were referring to replacing existing landlines, so that obviously means that a landline was already available.  For the most part, we are referring to locations that did not have a readily available landline or ones that the landline was cost-prohibitive.

Most companies have some assets that they want to get more information from.  It could be that the assets were mobile in nature, so a fixed line was not feasible.  It could be that the assets were in locations that landline access was controlled by a third party (such as items at customer locations, located in large department stores or at an airport).  By providing access to these assets, you are allowing the customer to change their business, in essence.

Many customers will readily point out assets.  Remember, they know their business much better than you ever could know it.  Going in pitching all kinds of applications about assets they may have will not be nearly as effective as asking this me.

3. "Do you have any landlines that if they were cut or damaged would cause significant impact to your business or operations?

The last word to this question is important, as not all customers have lines that process financial transactions.  However, for most customers, their Internet connection is now becoming their lifeblood. And, it isn't just Point of Sale.....Internet connections are used to:

•   Receive orders from customers (both online and for in-store pickup)

•   Send Purchase Orders to suppliers

•   Send/Receive real-time inventory updates

•   Send/Receive email (if you still host your own Exchange servers)

•   Allow remote staff to access key information

•   Process Gift Cards and other promotions

So, what is the impact to your business if this line is damaged?  In most cases, it can cripple a business.  What surprises me is that this is not a new application....I have been talking about this for over a decade, and amazingly, most customers do NOT have any sort of backup.  What is also amazing is that many companies who do not have backup do not even have an SLA agreement with their landline provider, so in some cases, outages could take days.

Finally, if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters (such as earthquakes, hurricanes, avalanches and ice storms), you have even more reason to do this.  Landlines often have downtimes much more frequently than cellular networks, so a landline backup may mean that your connections can be re-established days or even weeks faster.

Bottom Line

Ok, so are you now an expert by asking these three questions?  Well, maybe not, but you certainly vault to the head of the class among your peers.  These questions allow you to start to learn about your customers, which is always a path to success.  And, don't worry if you get questions back that you cannot answer.....the "experts" at Novotech can help you through it!

As always, Novotech is ready to assist with your M2M needs. Whether you’re looking to control, track, monitor or back-up, Novotech has the solutions and products you need. View our Line Cards and let us know how we can be of assistance.

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