Extreme Technology Makeover

Hello from Chicago O’Hare airport.  I’ve been through a lot of airports lately – doing market visits across the North Central Area.  From Licensing Boot Camps to Partner Briefings, I have been lucky to meet many of you over the past several months.  Last week’s trip was to attend an interesting partner event in Kansas City.  It was an Extreme Technology Makeover!  Think of Extreme Home Makeover – but instead of Ty Pennington, moving a bus and someone getting a remodeled house…Kansas City got  John LaLonde, in a rental car and someone won a $130,000 technology makeover!   How cool is that!

The Technology Makeover consisted of hardware, software, a phone system and services.  HP donated the hardware, Microsoft the software, Avaya the phone system and Midwest Technology Connection (MTC) the services.  We all started working together on this program about 7 months ago and the winner was announced today.  I’ll share with you who won in a bit (suspense is building).

Technology Makeover campaigns are a great way to promote your business in your local community, and are an exciting marketing vehicle for lead generation.  MTC put together an application form, and interested organizations filled them out and submitted them for consideration.  A group of folks from MTC, Microsoft, HP and Avaya combed through the submissions and selected a winner.  There were about 100 submissions.  One winner and 99 warm leads!

Obviously, programs like this are a lot of work.  I have seen some succeed, and a few fail.  Is there a secret ingredient for success?  First and foremost, don’t go it alone!  Create a bundle offering and start building a team of partners to contribute product and services – and promotion of the campaign.  In doing so, you will be able increase your marketing reach, share program costs and create a community event!

As mentioned before, MTC partnered with Microsoft Local Engagement, HP and Avaya.  But we didn’t stop there.  I brought in the local Chamber of Commerce.  MTC brought other local organizations to the table, including media partners.  While MTC did most of the heavy lifting – they had help! 

Vendor Partners:  Line up your Hardware, Software, Connectivity and Training vendors.  ·        Chamber Involvement:  Promote how the makeover could integrate and work with the Chambers goals…  Invite your Chamber to be a co-sponsor and fully participate as a partner.  Together invite other communication outlet sponsors that will promote and add credibility to the program.         Communication Partners:  Invite media sponsors such as radio, TV, print – business journals, newspapers, etc.  

Technology Makeovers are a great way to drive brand and be altruistic….but the number one reason to do it – LEAD GENERATION.  MTC walked away with 99 warm leads for their sales force to close.  We are in the process now of putting together a program to close those leads, financed through Microsoft Financing.  A packaged solution with hardware, software and services – financed with great terms…and the partner gets paid up front.  How cool is that! 

If you are interested in learning more about Tech Makeovers, contact me or check out the following on Blogtalk Radio:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/smb/2008/10/31/extreme-technology-makeover


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