A sales person walks into a prospect and simply says "Would you like me to do a free assessment of your network to help you identify its strengths and weaknesses?" Will the customer agree or tell the rep to get out? It probably depends on the trust-level of the sales reps in the eyes of the prospect. If the sales rep is trustworthy, I think they will get more yeses.

When you do assessments of any IT system to uncover its weaknesses or where it can be improved, it can open a conversation about its risks, value and importance to the prospect. These are all triggers that could get prospects to open their wallets.

Personally, I think selling through assessments is professional as well as easier for sales reps. Finding out what is wrong first before suggesting a fix is always a good thing. The worst case is that you discover nothing is wrong with the prospect's IT system and you have reassured them that they are in the clear – you made the prospect happy and opened a door for next time. Best case is you uncover some major deficiencies in the prospect's system and you get some work to fix it – you helped the prospect's business and made some money).  You win either way.

The big question is how easy it is to do these assessments. You will need to ask the folks at Rapidfire about that. Based on what I heard from Mathew Koenig, even I could do it…so that means it could be really simple. Ask him at ChannelNEXT Central on May 16-17.

If that's true, would be interesting to know why any sales rep will not want to sell on assessments.