Conversations about business continuity sometimes seem to fall on deaf ears. Whether it’s a less technical client, a busy small to medium business (SMB) executive, or a stakeholder that hasn’t been exposed to the importance of business continuity planning, those discussions are difficult.
However, every business needs these services, and there are a few communication strategies that solution providers can use to help the listener feel more comfortable with the conversation. Here are four strategies for effectively talking to customers about business continuity:
1. Understand the customer’s perspective. Especially if the customer is an SMB, the decision maker for a business continuity-related investment may not be technical, and they may not inherently understand the advantages of some technologies. Don’t assume that business continuity is a priority for the client, and be sure not to come across as condescending when educating the customer about the importance of business continuity and the risks of unpreparedness.
2. Demonstrate the value. Many executives are tired of hearing “buzz words” that they deem as empty, trendy chatter that will fade away over time. Prepare for the conversation with relatable stories about how a strong business continuity infrastructure can save the day in the event of an outage or disaster. Identify evidence that will speak to the client’s industry-specific needs and highlight how having a business continuity plan/disaster recovery (BCP/DR) infrastructure will protect and support core business areas.
3. Listen to the customer. A conversation about DR is exactly that — a conversation. It is not a sales pitch or an opportunity to overwhelm the listener with technical jargon. Ask questions and gain a true understanding of the business’s most valuable data assets and current recovery process.
Demonstrate the ability to be a trusted partner in this process from the first interaction. Not only will doing so facilitate the open communication that makes for a great client relationship, but as the customer comes to realize the importance of a strong DR infrastructure, they will be grateful to be working with someone they’ve grown to trust.
4. Tailor the messaging. Each stakeholder has his or her own priorities, but everyone understands the value of a business’s most important assets: time and data. Focus on these two points as a way to show the value of business continuity planning. Even an unwilling listener can make an abrupt shift in attitude when the realization hits that a failure could permanently destroy hours of that person’s time and talents.
Even though discussions about business continuity can be initially difficult if the client isn’t fully informed about BCP and DR initiatives, there are strategies to make the discussion easier for both the sales partner and the customer. By effectively understanding the customer’s perspective, demonstrating the value of the solution, listening to the customer, and tailoring the messaging in a meaningful way, solution providers can be a huge asset to business leaders that are highly invested in protecting their companies.
To learn more about helping businesses prepare for DR and BCP scenarios, visit eXemplify Group online.