How often is it that a product or service being presented to you is exactly what you need? Far too often the lazy internet salespeople feel the need to promote their product without the hint of knowledge of what a person needs. As if there is some magic product out there that will accomplish 100% of what every potential customer wants it to. LinkedIn, although it is a service I really like and use often, is full of these types of “salespeople”. A random person will ask a question and several people simply chime in with their product name and a “contact me” plea. This extreme form of lazy salesmanship is transparent and, let’s be honest here, pathetic.
After straying off topic, as I’m known to do, it’s back to the point. One product may actually be everything you need. Most likely though it’s not. In the case of video conferencing, there are so many products out there that it may seem incredibly confusing but you need to test/demo as many of them as possible or you end up with the ultimate failure – paying too much for something that you didn’t need and you end up not using it at all. Before you talk to any vendors about video conferencing for your company, have an internal meeting with the people who intend to use it.
Ask yourself and your coworkers questions like:
How many locations are going to be meeting?
How many people will typically be at each location?
Do people want to video chat from home?
Where at our physical location can we have meetings?
Do we want to dedicate a conference room or all chat from our desks?
Is data sharing less important, more important, or equally as important as video?
That’s a simple beginning of the questions that should be answered before talking to any vendor (and that didn’t even touch on BUDGET). Salesmen will paint the broad picture that no matter what you think you need, their product will suit the task and will save you money in travel. So, it is best to go into it (it being vendor meetings) as well armed as possible.
When I get around to it, I will write up a thorough internal checklist sheet and throw it up on my website, just like I did for those wanting to build a veterinary hospital.
Until next time