You know how we all try hard to sell our customers on the Routine Maintenance vs Break-Fix model and how often we have issues with the customers understanding it. Yup – it’s a pain right. A pain in the ass. Customers often can’t see the value in getting things checked up on a regular basis when in fact this could really prevent small problems becoming much larger problems. They think at times that we are like used car salesmen trying to take their last $ from them without regard for their future. Maybe this can help you relate to your customers the importance of Routine Maintenance vs the Break-Fix model.
This week I had a personal experience that to me proved that regular maintenance vs the break-fix model is oh so very valuable. You see – there is a history of cancer in my family – I won’t go into it, but suffice to say that its something not to be ignored. My fathers parents both suffered from it and whilst it was caught early in them they didn’t lead as full a life as they could have. Therefore when my Doctor recommended that from the age of 40, I get regular checkups on this particular region, I thought “oh – no – I don’t have the time for that”. I figured “It can’t happen to me”. You know – the same things our customers say to us when we are trying to sell them on a routine maintenance business model.
Personally – I’ve delayed having this check-up for 2 years now because it’s not all that nice a process to go through. Being both a guy and a small business owner – I really didn’t want to take the couple of days off work to have this done to me. Having said that a few weeks back I had a health scare of a different kind that resulted in my 11 year old son having to call 000 for me (911 for my US buddies). That ended up with me in the back of an ambulance with paramedics working on me… I was fine and back home later that same day. To me though this was a wakeup call. A wakeup call for me to get my butt into gear and start paying more attention to ME ! So finally, reluctantly I booked the appointment with the Dr to get things moving on that other checkups that I’d delayed for 2 years.
Well this week, I went through the preparations for the test – not nice at all. Then went to hospital on the day, got into the lovely hospital attire (sorry bout that nurses) and got on with it. I’m afraid of needles myself, and I normally pass out at the thought of having one… yes – I am serious. The Anesthesiologist came and chatted to me and I told him of my fears and how it affected me. Not to worry he said – we can deal with that. He instructed the nurses, and then we were off. I remember going into the operating theatre and then talking to my Doctor about his IT problems and how I could help him with them…the next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery with a nurse offering me ice… wow – the Anesthesiologist had done such a good job, I never even felt or saw the needle. I had no chance to become apprehensive or stressed by it at all. Later in recovery my Doctor came round to see me. Yes they had found something unexpected during the tests, so it was bloody good that I’d gotten them done. The great news is that he’s 99% certain that what was found is not an issue, but he’s going to do further tests on what they removed. I’m sure it will be just fine and will go for the follow-up visit with him in a few weeks.
What has this got to do with IT. Well – an awful lot from different perspectives.
First – those of you that are small business owners – stop and look around you. Look at the things you’ve put off that maybe you should reprioritise such as your own health, a holiday and so on. You like me probably tend to think you are indispensible. WRONG.
Second – if you are trying to sell your customers on the Managed Services, or Routine Maintenance plans – use this analogy from my experience to help them better understand the value. Help your clients understand the value of routine service by using analogies like this one. Had I left it and not gotten things checked up, things might have been a whole lot worse.
Third – Be like the Anesthesiologist and REALLY listen to the clients requirements before trying to sell your particular plan to them. Maybe they need something special that you can help them with outside the scope of your normal offering.
Fourth – don’t be afraid to speak up to other guys about mens health issues. Guys tend not to talk about this stuff because we are all men… but seriously – do your mates a favour and start talking. Knowledge is power.
Thanks for reading – I know this is a bit of a diversion from the normal topics from me, but I figure it’s important enough to say in public.