Making Voice and Data Cabling Accessible
For the majority of Americans, network cabling is a large meandering mess of snake like equipment that is supposedly what makes things like phones and computers function. Most people have absolutely no idea how everything fits together or what is needed to make the most basic office run smoothly. Even office managers will be hard pressed to tell you the difference between things like regular voice grade cable and CAT3 cable. With the jargon being so foreign, voice and data cabling companies have to take the extra step to explain their services to clients.
So what exactly are clients looking for? The same thing every customer is looking for: a great product at a great price. They prefer a company that has been in business for several years and has a strong client base. If you are a new company, or an independent voice and data cabling contractor, then encourage everyone you’ve worked for to provide a positive review of your services. Also be sure to list all of your experience and expertise. If faced with a choice between a large, established company and a smaller, newer one, a client has little to rely on except prices and reputation.
Make sure you provide a preliminary assessment, generally called a pre-fielding, for your customers. In order to establish a trusting relationship with your client, they want to know that you understand what they are working with. Then they want to know how you are going to make it better, efficiently and in a cost-friendly matter. And coming in, taking a look around and saying you will contact them will just not cut it. Your clients want to know what is going on, what you see now and what you see for the future. They also want someone who can speak to them in a language they understand. Break down your terminology and explain the basics – use analogies if possible. Remember when making assessments that some companies are looking for a full upgrade and some barely have the funds to pay you. Create your plans accordingly and try to offer creative solutions to the companies with less overhead. If you treat them right now, they may grow to be your best customers.
When sending back RFP’s (Request For Proposal), realize that you are probably one of many in a bidding war for this project. How are you going to make your voice and data cabling company stand out above the rest? By answering every question clearly and providing extra information that may help the buyer make a decision about a certain part of the installation. Telling a client that there is a more cost-efficient solution than the one they proposed may lower some of the overall project cost, but your honesty will probably land you the job. And on the flip side, encouraging them to pick a more expensive solution that will last them 5 years longer than the cheaper option is also important. Nothing’s worse than a company scrimping on an installation and then blaming their voice and data cabling contractor when the technology starts to become obsolete. Best bet – cover all your bases and explain everything.