Sharepoint – how to “sell” the concept?


If you need to “sell” the concept of Sharepoint to a client or even in your own organization, there are a few pointers to keep in mind, so I will try to sum up the dos and don’ts.

Before the list, keep in mind that Sharepoint is not a complex platform, but it provides MANY functionalities and solutions, and sometimes that is the hardest part . . . how do you explain what is Sharepoint and what can be done with it.

 

First lets talk about what you SHOULD do:

  • Know Sharepoint – this seems a bit obvious, but it is so important for the person that is talking about a solution or product to have REAL knowledge. It is the only way you can “sell” the idea for a specific client or context. Someone that really knows what they are talking about can adapt his speech in a presentation or conversation to the needs and desires of the client, and can clarify any doubts that may appear.
  • Know your client – when you go to an external or internal client, you should know as much as possible about him. This is an advantage when addressing someone, and enables you to adapt your speech / presentation to the clients context. This is so important even for internal clients, if you must have this presentation internally in your organization, try to know exactly to whom are you going to be talking so you can be prepared.
  • Adapt your scenarios – If you are going to talk to Lawyers don’t take them a retail presentation, clients need to have their scenarios or as close as possible, so they can relate to what you are presenting. Even if you are talking to someone in your organization, do adapt your speech and facts to the reality of the clients needs.
  • Take the numbers with you – so you do need to persuade your client to choose Sharepoint, try to have some licensing information, because one of the first questions will e “how much will this cost me?”, this question usually comes from financial or administration profiles. Another typical question is related to hardware, this one comes from the IT departments, “How many servers will I need?”, “What Software will be needed?”. So the architectural knowledge is also important.
  • Prepare and rehearse  your presentations – If you are well prepared for a meeting or presentation, the success probability is huge. By preparing you can improve your own speech and presentation, and at the same time gives you confidence for the talk itself.
  • Keep it simple – if you cannot explain in simple terms what you are talking about, you will not be able to talk clearly to so many client profiles. You need to be ready to talk to administrations, IT departments, Human Resources, Administrative sections, or even profiles like industrial workers.  In your speech do abuse the technical terms, remember that not all people know what you are talking about.

 

Now lets talk about what you SHOULD NOT do:

  • Do not try to teach your client his business, usually they do not like that.
  • be carefull with your speech, keep it clear and simple without the abuse of technical terms.
  • do not go to a presentation without rehearsing it, one of the worst feelings is to be talking about something without knowing the sequence or the subject.
  • At least google about your client, jus to know what they do.
  • If you do not know about what someone asks you, DO NOT make things up!!!

 

These are some of the pointers that I usually use for myself and my team.

Computer developer/consultant from Portugal. You can find me at ricardo.magalhaes@gmail.com

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Posted in Other, Sharepoint, Sharepoint 2010, Sharepoint 2013

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