How To Get More Product Reviews From IT Professionals
IT professionals aren’t afraid to tell it like it is and they say they’re fed up with self-serving corporate marketing.
When today’s IT pros need to buy something, they tune out vendor ads and instead look for recommendations from their peers. A Google study found that 60% of B2B technology buyers seek peer product reviews before they make a purchase.
“I always check reviews before I buy,” said Eric Solomon, Network Systems Administrator, Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group. “If there are no reviews, it’s a big negative for me.”
At SpiceWorld 2014, Spiceworks’ annual IT conference, information technology professionals and industry experts spoke out about what it takes to get a good product review. Here are summaries of what they had to say on the topic in various sessions and on the expo hall floor:
“Put yourself out there and ask for honest product reviews.”
Jennifer Slaski, Executive Director of Marketing Communications, Spiceworks
It takes courage to put yourself out there and ask for honest product reviews. No one wants to hear that their baby is ugly. Reach out to IT pros on a one-to-one basis. Have an honest conversation about what they need. Ask how you can improve and help them do their jobs better. When IT pros feel like they know you personally and have a say in your product’s development, something magical happens. They will be happy to provide feedback when you ask them for help.
“Be honest about what your product can – and can’t – do.”
Jesse Simms, Manager of Resort Tech Support Services, Tapestry Resorts
If I love something or hate something, I’ll write a review. One factor that prompts me to write product reviews is truth in advertising. For example, I recently spoke with a sales associate and went through a lengthy checklist of everything that we needed. His product didn’t have the right reporting capabilities, so we didn’t go with him. However, I appreciated that he was straight up and have since referred him to four others.
“Give IT professionals a great product experience.”
Sanjay Castelino, VP Marketing, Spiceworks
To get good reviews, you first must give IT professionals a great product experience. IT pros don’t expect everything to always go perfectly, but when they have problems, they expect you to stand behind your product and provide great customer support. How you engage with customers when they have problems has a big impact on your recommendations. Right after you solve an IT pro’s problem is a good time to ask for a review. When you ask “in the moment,” the IT pro will see the value of your interaction and will be more willing to take the time to say that he or she had a great experience.
“Don’t waste my time.”
Chris Hornfeldt, Network/System Administrator, Tempur Sealy
One of the biggest mistakes that vendors make is trying so hard to get their foot in the door that they muddle the details and their products don’t work as sold.
IT pros are constantly slammed, so the least amount of back-and-forth that we need to do with vendors, the better. Don’t waste my time if your product isn’t a fit or say that the features I need “might be available in a later version.”
“Don’t overload me with information.”
Brian Simmons, Systems Architect, Spiceworks
Too much information is overwhelming. You can have the best product in the world, and it can solve 100 of my problems. However, if you overwhelm me with information, you’ll create a negative experience for me. To engage IT pros, you need to drop the marketing speak and have honest conversations. If IT pros know that you have their needs in mind, they will be more willing to review your product and recommend you to others.