Resistance to new technology is common, and often this hesitance exists for valid reasons. Forcing new technology on a business partner is never a good idea – it won’t be good for the business relationship and your local partner may never be motivated to make the best use of technology. There is a better way.
Try to understand what the concerns are
Yes, sometimes pushback against new technology occurs simply because people don’t like change. Often though the reason lies deeper. Chances are that you’ll be able to alleviate your business partner’s concerns once you know what these are.
First however, identify who is involved in decision making. Is there a refusenik IT vendor or local IT manager? Or is IT managed centrally and simply beyond the remit of local staff? You need to motivate your proposal to the right person. Once you know who the decision maker is you can probe for hidden concerns including:
- Your service partner may be worried about costs but may not clarify the implications with you. Think about staff time lost to switching over, software licensing fees, etc
- There could be a history of technology failure and your local partner may simply not want to go through the same difficulties again
- Staff could be worried about the implication on their workload, and whether your proposed tool will fit in with their long-accepted working methods
- Finally, technology tools often imply improved transparency and sometimes individual staff members or indeed leadership teams are not eager to shed light on their operations
You won’t always be able to counter concerns, but chances are you can massage away enough of the barrier in order to move ahead.
Set your partner at ease
As always in business, it is worth considering the issue from the other party’s perspective. A local property manager may be highly driven by efficiency and feel that a new tool will upset a long fought for balance, for example.
Address this problem by highlighting how your technology proposal will, in fact, reduce costs and improve efficiency by automating manual tasks. Assure your local partner that licensing fees are paid for, if appropriate, and if the situation demands it find ways to compensate your business partner for time lost due to staff training, etc.
Where your solution is cloud-based make sure that your local partners know this so that they’re not concerned about locally hosted servers, etc. In short, make it clear that your proposal won’t impact your partner negatively.
Outlining the benefits is important too
You’ve alleviated some of your partner’s concerns, but you can make adoption even more effortless by clearly elucidating the benefits to your business partner. For example, here at Proprli, we know that our software solution offers several advantages:
- Speeds up and simplifies the bid process with standardised online bid forms that make bid comparisons easier, more transparent and compliant
- Aggregates and stores historical data, giving better insight into costs and capital management and supporting clarity between the asset owner and asset manager
- Improves communication which speeds up projects, flagging issues before they occur and reducing the likelihood of sudden spikes in project costs
Proprli advantages are enjoyed by both property owners and their local partners, the property managers. It’s not a one-way street, in other words, local partners can be motivated to adopt Proprli as a software solution.
Note that your technology vendor can help you in this respect, providing white papers and case studies that make the case for a software product abundantly clear.
Try a trial period to demonstrate the benefits
Finally, today’s cloud-based solutions are so easy to get started with that there’s little reason why a software tool can’t be trialled. The initial costs are insignificant. So, consider trialling your tool on a single project.
For example, asset owners can trial Proprli on a single property, before moving over management of their entire portfolio. It provides the opportunity to illustrate practical benefits.
In conclusion, selling a new technology solution to a hesitant business partner is a step-by-step process. It is almost always worth taking your time to effect a change of heart, rather than forcing over an unwelcome change, but your persistence will pay off.