The go-to guy for schools that want great deals

The go-to guy for schools that want great deals

Michael McKean and his sales staff let customers call the shots
 

It's a salesperson's dream — having customers tell you it would be "almost irresponsible" not to buy your products.

But it's no dream for Michael McKean. He and his sales reps at CDI often encounter similar sentiments from customers, many of whom are so pleased with the deals they receive on certified, refurbished computers that they're happy to either provide testimonials for prospective clients or appear on the company's behalf at trade shows.

 

"We honestly believe that the customers come to us for the price and stay for the service," said McKean, CDI's sales manager. "We will do absolutely anything our educational customers ask of us."

McKean oversees 16 account managers and helps keep tabs on the rest of the 70-member sales force. What makes the sales team unique is the leeway each rep has to get things done for customers, from flying in a technician to assist with a school installation project to arranging a conference call between district tech coordinators and the company's knowledgeable technicians.

"We have a saying here: We'll do anything that an educational customer asks us to do as long as it's not breaking the law," McKean said.

CDI has made a commitment to that level of service even though it's customer retention rate is high enough that it probably doesn't need to go to such lengths.

"It may not make much business sense to people," McKean said. "But what we've found is that 99 percent of the time customers are not going to ask us for something unreasonable."

McKean has worked at CDI for almost five years. He came to the company after previous stints in sales for retail companies, and the change was refreshing, he said.

"In retail, you're kind of filling a want instead of a need," he said. "Someone may want a new stereo or TV. We believe here at CDI that technology should be a need for students, something to help them move on to college and the right career path. How to use a PC and a notebook—there are not a lot of jobs out there that don't require a background and an education in those."

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