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Conversations with Clients [1:00:15]

Refresh their IT. Grow their business. Grow yours.

It's easy to be a reactive reseller, but would your customers do more business with you if they understood how affordable a major IT investment could be and how it can pay for itself over time? Join Bill Hersh, D&H Solutions Coordinator, as he steps into your shoes acting as the owner of ServerWerkz, a fictitious SMB IT consulting firm, and shares the in-process SMB IT conversation that he is having with an equally fictitious client. Throughout this scenario, Bill will explore how he has built this customer relationship, how he is handling client concerns and objections through the delicate conversation of a major infrastructure refresh, and justifying ROI for the customer's impending investment. Using real-world examples, Bill will also go over how and why he selected the particular hardware, software, and services for this client to make their business even more efficient, productive, and successful.

Cloud got you curious?

How can asking my customers to spend more money be good for them?
Well, let's start by taking the focus off of the money spent and look instead at the potential money saved in the long-term and the potential improved income of the customer. If you are adding efficiency to the business, that efficiency is measurable as improved productivity. Improved productivity is measurable as improved income (the same number of employees can offer more services, sell more products, talk to more customers, etc.). Before we offer any given upgrade to a customer, you should be comfortable that there will be long-term cost savings for the customer, otherwise you're not doing what is best for them. Once we have done some of the math (how much more productive will employees be, how much more income will they generate), then we can do a simple comparison to the cost of the upgrade and get an ROI figure. If the ROI figure meets whatever bar the customer and you have set as a minimum, you know to go forward with it. The key is not price, it's value.

I don't know where to start as far as offering improvements for my customers...
Start with what you know: if you're most familiar with hardware, is all of their hardware up to spec for what they do in their business day-to-day? If you're better with software, are they using the right software tools for what they do? Next, take a look at what they want to change and improve in their business: how can technology impact those goals? That's the next step, finding short-term and long-term goals and prioritizing them with the customer. Finally, figure out which will offer the best payback on investment, both in size of return and in shortest time to return.

What they have is good enough for what they do, so I'm done, right?
Sure, if "good enough" is their goal, too. If they want to continue to spend money just to keep up with their competition, good enough is fine. If they want to be strategic, if they want their customers to have to keep up with them, then you need to look at "optimized", not "good enough".

My customers are dead set on never replacing client or server systems unless they are broken. Do you have any tips on ways to break this habit?
That depends mostly on what kind of customer they are: cheap or thrifty. If they’re cheap, ie, they spend no more than they absolutely have to, no matter what, save your breath. If you want to keep this customer for the break/fix work, fine, but they’re never going to be a strategically-thinking partner. More importantly, your value will never be clear to them. If your customer is thrifty, then it’s simply a matter of showing them what their investment will be getting them. If they’re okay with lower productivity for an extra year or so, that’s their call, but the overall strategy with them is the same as a decent customer: help them to figure out what they want, then work with them to find what “affordable” means to them.

I have a customer that would like to move to a 100% cloud solution (Office 365™, AZURE®, etc.) but I don’t see how I make money on this other than break/fix on the clients and yearly licensing. What else can I offer?
The answer to this is going to be “services”. A cloud environment requires maintenance, just not the same maintenance as an on-premise environment. Client machines still need to be kept up to date, networks still need to be kept secure, and applications still need to be customized and tweaked to best suit the customer. Please note, if part of the their cloud environment is Microsoft’s cloud products, you become more important than ever, because Microsoft is adding features to all of its cloud platform products every single month. That’s a lot of opportunity to get in front of your customer to talk about the new thing that they can do now.

What leasing resources does D&H offer?
From an in-house perspective, D&H has worked with Marlin Leasing for over a decade. You can check out the details on our leasing programs here.

Is that LeaseRep form available for D&H customers?
Absolutely, check out the link just above.

Is there a roadmap available to offering cloud, Office 365™, hosted exchange, etc.?
Yes, there is, it is available at This roadmap covers Office365; there is also a Dynamics roadmap for CRM Online at Finally, if you’re interested in the broader server and tools cloud platform roadmap, you can find that at

How do you suggest getting specific overhead costs to use in my presentation?
If you are talking about costs for downtime costs, the best place to get those is from a Business Assessment Checklist. During that conversation, your customer will give you those costs. That way, when it comes time to discuss the actual cost of downtime with the customer, you’re using the numbers that they gave to you, personalized to their business.

When are we going to be able to re-bill the customer for cloud services on our own invoice?
D&H’s CSP program, which will enable this functionality, should be launching shortly. Please contact for more information.

Has LeaseRep been used for Office 365™ quotes?
Absolutely. The key thing to keep in mind is that Office365 is an annually renewed product, so don’t lease it for a term longer than 12 months.

To what degree can D&H help with an opportunity for either public or private sector for a technology or such that we are not expert in?
That is a broad question. If you are looking for product recommendations, process recommendations, or links to vendor guidance, we can absolutely assist. If you ask us if one way is better than another to solve a customer issue, we will likely direct you to online resources, where you can ask such questions of your peers. Regardless, your best bet is to email us at and we can help guide you from there.

Feel free to contact the Solutions Lab team at or contact Solutions Lab team members individually at their contact information below:

Bill Hersh
Bill Hersh, Solutions Coordinator
800.877.1200, Extension 7626

Trevor Schubert
Trevor Schubert, Solutions Specialist
800.877.1200, Extension 7976

Chris Phillips
Chris Phillips, Solutions Specialist
800.877.1200, Extension 7976

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