Archives For channel partner

Meeting today with a group of entrepreneurs – some key points from this discussion group:

1. Most people charge too little…that’s right!  Your client gives you the sob story about how they can’t afford it.  In fact there’s a value disconnect and a natural tendency to want a discount.  Hold your ground, you can’t afford not to.

2. Wrong metrics.  People tend to watch the wrong metrics or none at all.  What are you watching?  If you’re in sales, forget about trying to equate number of calls leading to number of meetings etc.  Improve you ability to communicate value, reduce the number of calls, and increase close ratios.  The number you really need to watch is GP per deal, profit per project, and close ratios with an eye toward improvement.

3. Not every client is worth having.  Some clients suck the life out of you.  They will take up tons of time, nickel and dime you, and only buy on their terms.  They don’t value your expertise and are wasting your time.  Tell your story, look for synergy, and conduct business.  If not, move on.

4. Make sure you are working on your mission.  Deals outside of your focus waste your time.  Move on with a focus on what matters and what contributes to your business long term.

5. Deliver quality.  You can’t afford a bad reputation.

© David Stelzl, 2010

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Notes, comments, and reminders from our partner security workshop in New York City…keep these things in mind.

  • Most deals are lost when you fail to communicate value before providing price
  • Budgets are lost part way through the deal when the focus is on product, or even data value.  There must be a measurement of likelihood, applied to high-value data, in order to justify a security sale.
  • Managed services deals dry up or get unseated when the deal is not based on maintaining an acceptable level of risk.  ROI may work short term, but will be replaced at some point by a cheaper alternative.  After all, if there is no perceived risk, the client can choose a cheaper solution and get the same perceived value.  Perception is reality.
  • Waiting on security disasters is a risky way to make quota.
  • Use assessments to drive sales – download my “Creating Sales” booklet, now available on my LinkedIn Profile. If you are not linked to me – please do…
  • Use sound bites to sell – I will be sending out more sound bites through twitter, so make sure you subscribe to dstelzl… these should come from sources such as the Wall Street Journal.  This strategy works.  IT will not be able to challenge you.
  • Refuse to propose to influencers.  Instead, connect them with your technical people, provide them with the things they really need to be successful (technical wisdom and direction), and make your move to the asset owners.

© David Stelzl, 2010

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After attending and speaking at dozens of channel partner meetings and hundreds of reseller workshops I’ve had opportunity to interview and speak with many business owners and sales people on the topic of value – just how much value is there in attending these events.  Listen to what I’ve learned about channels, resellers, distributors, and vendors…

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Social networking is a great marketing tool; no doubt.  Marketing events are equally as good…both require precise execution.  Tomorrow I’ll be speaking to 40 decision makers in Richmond VA.  These are largely new prospects – how did we get this audience and what will make tomorrow a success?

  1. Practice!  The sponsoring company and I have done this seven times in the past two and half years.  They’ve been coached on the process, practiced it, and know how to execute.  Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, underscores this point – get a process that works and perfect it.  Trying things once and moving from method to method is destined to fail.
  2. Provide valuable information to your prospects.  Product pitches are cheap, and most lunch and learns are just that…a free lunch if you’ll sit with us for an hour and listen to a product pitch.  No one likes to tour time-shares with a free night stay, and no one wants to hear about your product.  This goes for both manufacturers and resellers.  I will not mention product tomorrow…not even once.
  3. Sponsorship.  This event will be professional, held in an upscale establishment, and has been well orchestrated from it’s inception.  We plan to succeed in turning attendees into clients, so we’ve made the proper investment.  This requires marketing funds (JMF, MOU, Co-op, or whatever your partners call their marketing support money) and support from distributors and manufactures/partners.  If you’re partners don’t help with these types of events, consider eliminating the partner.   Note: Zenith Infotech is a primary sponsor of this event and to my knowledge, they are the only managed services company with marketing support dollars (correct me if I’m wrong).
  4. We have an effective follow up program that actually delivers value to the client regardless of whether they buy anything. Because there’s value, we’ll end up building relationships with most of them. Some will have immediate needs, others will return when the need arises.
  5. This event is invite only.  It’s been specifically designed to deliver value to higher level managers and business owners.  It won’t be about technology, speeds and feeds, or t-shirt give-aways.  Our topic is educational and offers value to those who have responsibility over the success of the business.

Old school marketing programs are out – people want education, knowledge, and understanding.  Success means making wise decisions in the coming months and quarters, and that means they need sound advice.  Be the best one to give it and you’ll find the relationships will come.

© David Stelzl, 2010

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