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Need Help with Business

By almcneil ยท 9 replies
Jun 25, 2007
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  1. Techies,

    Well, I'm hitting a dry spell and I need some help. 3 months ago I launched my own in-home PC servicing business. It's local to a suburb I live in. I hand deliver about 400 to 500 flyers per week and then canvass door-to-door trying to persuade homeowners to book a service call. Although I hate going door-to-door, I discovered it was the only way to get homeowners to make a decision, for or against. And some decided to book. My business started to get better but then June hit. I was warned by the owner of a local computer store that June/July is DEAD for the computer business. School's out (both high school and university) Plus people go on vacation. Or they are putting their time, money and effort into summer home renovations. It isn't until mid-August that it picks up again and BIG TIME!! Parents start buying new computers for their university age kids and/or decide to fix up that buggy computer for their high school kids since they will need it working right now.

    So, what can I do to pursuade homeowners to use my service NOW?!?!? I could use some innovative pitches at the door!! I confess, I'm not a good salesman. I actually hate it. I feel like I'm interrupting and imposing on people. I woulnd't do it if I didn't need to. But since I have to, I need some good pitches at the door! So make some suggestions please!
  2. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    Perhaps talk about the benifits of wireless internet. On-sell a wireless access point, intall it for them and manage it from thereon.

    You need to get a bigger business as a client rather than home users.

    Good luck :grinthumb
  3. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    Thx for your suggestions but they don't fit my business model.

    First, I don't carry an inventory of hardware or any products. I just do in-home servicing. Carrying an inventory would cost $$$ and make my business too complex. I want to keep it simple, hassle free.

    As for bigger clients, I only focus on the home market. I know it is under serviced where I live. Getting into the business office market would be a big mistake. First, I would have to get training for those products plus there are scores of on-site businesses in that field. It's the home and home office market that is under-serviced.

    In know that once I build a clientele and get known in the area, then I can weather the slow times. I find some homeowners don't use me is because I'm unknown. They answer the door and "who the **** are you?!?!" Once I've serviced enough people in the neighbourhood, I'll get known and the trust will develop which will lead to more service bookings.

    In the meantime, I need to make some money!! It's hard selling something that's not in high demand at the time!
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Wireless Security.
  5. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    Sounds like you need a better lead generation program and a better sales pitch. I founded a website manned by veteran sales professionals who volunteer to offer free advice to folks such as you. Despite the website being a free service, I am not sure if I can post the url on TS, so PM me and I will send it to you.
  6. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    That's what I was thinking. Find out if people's networks are secure (a wireless-enabled laptop would help in this). If not, offer to secure them for a set price.

    A web site might also help; you can get $1-a-month hosting from Hostica.
  7. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    Thx for the feedback my fellow techies, but I was looking more for a good pitch. Most home users don't know squat about comps. They just use it for a few things like e-mail, checking the weather forecast, ... Nothing intensive. Remember, 95% of my customers are computer illiterates so arguing techno jargon will just confuse them. I was hoping for a good line at the door that will grab their attention.
  8. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    Tell them you'll give them a free security/malware evaluation of their computer. Then if it's infected/vulnerable, give them a quote on securing and disinfecting it.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    You have a good market in home users (ie pleanty of them), but I have always
    been concerned for the price-sensitivity of this market. Sure they will download
    stuff or purchase software online -- but it's ususally the low end software like
    shareware. When the cost of what they want reaches a certain point, they just retreat and give up.

    Repeat business is also hard to get. It's too infrequently and there's always the
    possibility that while they wrote you the check for your first service call, it doesn't
    always mean that you left a happy customer. They can be unhappy due
    to choices that had to be made or consequences beyond your control.
  10. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    That's not my experience Joe. I'm finding the opposite! The price point is not the issue. In the 3 months since I started the business, I must have spoken to 1,500 homeowners at the door and only 4 have complained about my price. I charge $99 (flat rate) for 1st time customers. When people decide to book a service call, they just pay it. Compared to other repair services, i.e. A/C, furnace, plumbing, ... I'm not that expensive and homeowners here know you have to pay a decent sum of money for someone to come to your house. I rarely get haggled or told it's too expensive. Also, I am getting a lot fo repeat business. I've already had two customers who have had me back 3 times!! And I charge $169 for a repeat call too! In fact, all my customers rave about my service. Once I get that initial call, I've had repeat business and referrals. It's just getting that initial call.

    I've found it's a combination of two reasons. First, most homewoners just use the comp for simple things such as e-mail and that's it. Unless the comp is completely unusable, they just live with whatever nuisances/problems they have. It's not a high priority to get it fixed. The second reason is that since they can wait, they try to think of a friend, neighbour or relative who's into computers to help fix it, i.e. free labour. A distance 3rd reason is the lack of trust at the door. They don't know me.

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