Feature Article: Take Your POS Solutions To The Web
By Mike Monocello, Business Solutions magazine.
Sintel Systems is new school POS (point of sale). Whereas most POS VARs stake their claim in their hometowns and expand outward using traditional "feet on the street" sales methods, Sintel Systems looked to initially grow its business nationally via the Internet. That's not to say Sintel Systems is the bane of today's POS VAR — simply a box mover. No, the VAR is definitely a POS solutions provider, offering full services that include configuration, setup, troubleshooting, and other support. That said, by focusing on Internet-based sales, Marsel Saeedi, president/CEO of Sintel Systems, was compelled to take a different approach to his company's growth strategy that traditional POS VARs might find odd, appealing, or maybe a waste of time. You decide.
Having success online means Saeedi has some tips for those looking to improve their Web presence. But first, an important point: Saeedi has spent no money on Google ad words or any other services that increase his search rankings or relevance. All his online success is homegrown. So, what's he doing that you might be able to mimic?
First, Saeedi points to the nontechnical nature of his website. Rather than simply list speeds and feeds of the products it sells, Sintel's site also contains real-world explanations and examples of POS solution options.
Additionally, Saeedi writes a blog for the website. While many POS VARs might balk at the idea of writing and/or finding the time to do so, Saeedi has discovered that the blog isn't difficult to write, and he's seen proof that it can lead to actual sales. If you've ever wondered what type of content to include in a blog for your business, consider what Saeedi includes. From a search engine relevance standpoint, having original content with key words and phrases that are specific helps Saeedi's articles rank well in searches.
So Sintel Systems uses the internet to lure new customers. But how does the VAR close sales and provide service and installation to customers nationwide? First, to make things as simple as possible, the VAR standardized its software and hardware (both are from UP Solution; see sidebar), and created vertically focused bundles for the niches it serves.
When pitching POS solutions to customers, Sintel Systems offers demos via the Internet, hosted by a Sintel employee. This, rather than a self-demo customers can do by downloading the software to their PC. "Many times, when potential customers go to install a demo, there are complications, and they don't get a chance to even see the product," Saeedi says. "Rather, they get frustrated and give up looking at your POS solution."
Once a sale is made, Sintel Systems configures the solution at its offices and ships the components to the customer. By standardizing and creating bundles, Sintel Systems has been able to gain efficiencies in preconfiguring the equipment. Indeed, Saeedi says a bundle can be set up and shipped out within an hour. When the preconfigured system arrives, the customer plugs everything in and turns on the terminal. From there, Sintel Systems connects to the terminal via VNC, a free VPN (virtual private network) application, to perform the final configuration steps.