Why maintenance agreements?

We all love the sale of a big-ticket product, but it's the maintenance agreements that sustain our business. They keep a healthy cushion on your bottom line and help you form lasting relationships with your customers, which means steady revenue and more opportunities to convert what would be one-time clients into long-term customers.

So, are you keeping track of how many maintenance agreements you have coming in? If you're falling short, you may need to update your sales approach, and if you aren't organized, you could be costing yourself time and money.

How do you keep up with maintenance agreements? I've got a few suggestions:

1. Start a scheduling program to keep track of clients and appointments. More often than not, you'll need to contact your customers to remind them they have a maintenance appointment coming up. A good scheduling program will make setting service calls, sales calls, and reminder calls a snap and present you and your business as reliable and organized.

2. Brush up your sales techniques. Encouraging customers to go the maintenance agreement route requires confidence and strong communication skills, especially if they didn't set one up when they first purchased your services. It's not enough to just know your business, you have to be able to connect with, and meet the expectations of, the 21st century consumer.

3. Keep your accounting up to date. I know it's often the least favorite part of the business, but it is imperative to maintain your accounts. Knowing how much money you have - and don't have - is almost like having a crystal ball. Keeping your books in order and current will show you where you stand in any area of your business, making projections for the year and setting sales strategies less of a headache.

Maintenance agreements help keep you in the black during the slower parts of the year, so keep encouraging confident and communicative employees, and review your processes for tracking and maintaining service appointments and financials for sustained success.

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