A few weeks ago I found myself in a meeting with Adam Stone (CEO of D-Tools, perhaps you’ve heard of it?). He told me that the idea that started D-Tools was when he closed a competitively bid six-figure job in the mid ’90s with a rack elevation drawn in Visio (you know, that Microsoft program that most of you use to draft system diagrams and rack elevations). This really helped kick-start the entire company, and Adam thinks the new RealPic feature in the upcoming SIX can have the same effect of closing more jobs quicker. He’s enlisted me to help find any integrators who use D-Tools or not to prove his point. RealPic can be used to instantly communicate the value that the integrator can bring to the customer, instead of focusing on the 20-page proposal you spent hours on. It takes that concept to the next level and instantly communicates value, competence and trust. A well done drawing can instill confidence that you are the right person who can deliver.
Adam told me that he/D-Tools can and will produce a rack elevations using as manyRealPic shapes* for integration companies with no strings attached. All you need to do is want to “close the deal sooner.”
This campaign is all about closing jobs sooner; what would the impact be on your company if you could take a three-month sales cycle and boil it down to two weeks? I know for me (not every integrator out there), there have been some jobs where I didn’t bid because I had that huge project that “strung me along” and made me think that I wouldn’t have time to do these other ones. If I only could have cut that time in half or shorter, I could have given the project manager this project and I could have bid more projects and of course gotten more work/money, and who doesn’t want that?
*RealPic shapes are dependent on a decent front panel image. If no front panel image can be found they (D-Tools and Adam) will substitute a generic D-Tools shape and/or they will contact the user and see if you can provide a photo of the equipment if they have it in stock.
Simply follow these instructions to achieve the above mentioned feature.
The story that started a company:
In 1996 I was working for Performance Electric in Pleasanton and was using Visio 4 (Rich Fregosa is the person who told me to try Visio, BTW) to draw rack elevations for my projects. One of Performance Electric’s previous homes was resold and the new owner contacted us to give him a proposal for installing new electronics. I met with the owner the next week and took a lot of notes as to the type of system he wanted. He didn’t have any real opinions except he wanted a Faroudja Line Quadrupler (remember those?). I told him I would get back to him with a quote.
A week or two later I was in front of him again and I noticed that he had two quotes from other companies “casually” arranged on his desk. I handed him my proposal and he did what every client does with a proposal, goes right to the last page and evaluates all of your hard work putting together the proposal on the just the bottom line price. He seemed distinctly nonplussed with my proposal. In fact, he asked how is this different that these other proposals.
At that point I broke out my 11×17” rendering of his new theater and equipment rack. He grabbed the paper out of my hands and said “the other guys didn’t do this.” Called to his wife who was in the next room and said, “honey, come and look at our new theater.” He asked a couple more questions, the most important one was “when can you start”?
It was a six figure job and I left with a 50K deposit after a 30 second meeting. I realized I was on to something at that point because my sales cycle was usually many months and many meetings before I closed a job. I started doing elevations on all of my proposals, and closing deals on the second meeting became the rule, not the exception.
SIX doesn’t come out until next month in Indianapolis at CEDIA, however I’m going to help you streamline the process of accessing my favorite feature now to help you close deals faster and get more work for your business.
So now that you know the story and have a viable solution to “close more deals sooner,” are you ready to excel your business to that next level yet?
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