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March 8, 2017 | POSTED BY Jodie Paradis
Let’s say you have an idea of how you want to update an office conference room with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. You’ve managed to secure a budget and have gotten the green light from management to move ahead with the changes. You’re shopping around, and CBCI Telecom appears on your radar. You’re interested in CBCI’s products and services, and so you set up a meeting to discuss the big plans.
Then what? How can you prepare for that first meeting with a CBCI representative? What should you know in advance, which questions should you ask, and overall what can you expect?
CBCI Account Manager, Yasser Abdelkader has met with hundreds of customers on their journey to plan the spaces of their dreams. Yasser explains that he is most interested in educating the customer about the solution that would work best for their organization.
But going into that first meeting can be nerve-wracking for customers who aren’t sure how to approach their audiovisual overhaul. “I think what most customers wonder is, ‘will I get honest advice from this organization, or are they just looking to make the most commission they can off of me?’” Yasser said.
Yasser explains how he approaches his meetings with customers. “A differentiator with CBCI is that we approach every meeting by considering the long run. If I suggest something to a customer and recommend they go over budget to do it, and they agree to it, later they may never use it because they never needed it in the first place or it’s too complicated to use. That’s why I approach a first meeting with a customer by talking to them, understanding their needs, and educating them to make sure they are buying only what they need.”
Although CBCI representatives like Yasser will be helpful in supplying information in that first meeting, there are some things that a prospective customer can also do in advance to make sure they get the most out of the meeting.
Some questions you should ask yourself in advance:
Your internal discussion should also separate the “need to haves” vs. “nice to haves.” It’s important to make sure that the everyday challenges of your general staff who will be using the space every day are well understood.
The biggest question, however, before investing in audiovisual equipment is about your organization’s unified communication roadmap. This takes into account the programs and platforms your organization sees itself using in the long run.
Some questions to ask about your organization:
If you don’t know the answers to those questions yet, CBCI can help provide some advice and direction, but it is helpful for an organization to have tried different products and decided what works and what doesn’t. For instance, some organizations prefer end-to-end video, whereas others opt for Voice Over IP (VoIP), Telephony, or others. Once CBCI knows these preferences, our organization can design a space around yours.
Ultimately, most organizations seek to get a 5-10 year investment out of what they select from CBCI. After all, turnover for a conference room or board room is not as rapid as smaller consumer devices like laptops or tablets, which can be replaced after a year or two. When an organization spends tens of thousands of dollars on a new, state of the art boardroom, they want to see a longer-term return on their investment.
And of course, don’t forget about budget. It’s good to come into that first meeting knowing how much your organization wants to spend on the project.
On CBCI’s end, Yasser shares some insight into how he prepares for a meeting. “I approach it as a fact finding mission,” he says.
CBCI has a huge range of products and work with hundreds of manufacturers; it’s important to understand the needs and tailor the solutions exactly to customers. Yasser notes that he understands just because one solution worked for one organization, it won’t work for everyone. That’s why he tries to dig out the facts to ensure that each organization will come away with the solution for them, not something that is just a piece of trendy or “flash in the pan” technology that might be obsolete in a year or two.
While customers should research the solutions that they think they may be interested in, CBCI will also consider the technologies to make sure that it’s the right fit and will really work for their organization in the long run.
Once every aspect of the solution is explored in that initial meeting, CBCI will establish an implementation timeline with customers. Customers should also make sure they are aware of their budget and know whether they have the capital to support the project.
CBCI integration leaders will put together a quote based on the discussion; quite often two quotes are provided to give customers a comparison of different options. Next, CBCI will call or arrange a video or in-person conference to discuss the quote. Then it’s up to the customer to decide.
Bottom line, CBCI’s goal for that first meeting is focused on becoming a trusted advisor to customers, explains Yasser. “It makes a huge difference to be a trusted advisor. Customers look to us as an organization that will give honest advice. That’s why we’ve been around for over 25 years.”