Archives For partners

August is almost here, and I want to thank Cisco for sponsoring me to speak to a select group of their partners…Seating is limited, but if you sell Cisco and plan to attend either the BlackHat or Defcon conferences this year, you can register here to attend this special session on selling security solutions.

We are meeting at the Rio on August 4th – in the evening; the location of this years BlackHat conference.  I’ll be covering some of the strategies and materials I personally use as I meet with executives all over the US, showing them why companies, no matter how much they spend on security, continue to be victimized by hackers.  I will also show you how my clients are leveraging this material to gain access to decision makers, and how justification is created to move forward.  Please plan to join me – I look forward to seeing you there!

Sign up Here (Click) while there are still seats available.

© 2011, David Stelzl

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Photo by David Stelzl

No matter how much value you represent, and no matter how well you communicate it, you will find that some prospects/clients, just can’t afford you.  In this economy, expect that number to grow within your current client base.  So what do  you do?

Move on!  But remember, every past client, every prospect, and those struggling to pay their bills right now, represent spokespeople for your company; expect them to pass on their experiences working with you.   So a couple of points are key here:

1. First, don’t be afraid to lose customers.  If it’s the economy, no problem, there are more customers out there.  On the other hand, if you have a service problem, fix it.  Over time, customers come and go, and hopefully your value grows (along with fees); while their business may be shrinking.

2. If they can’t afford you, you can’t afford them.  Don’t compromise to win a client that will continually struggle to make payment.  In the end, you lose, even if its just from the stress of waiting on payments.

3. Be prepared to refer them to a less expensive solution.  You want everyone you talk to, to perceive you as helpful, and wish they could do business with you.  One day they may be in a position to hire you, right now they are in a position to recommend you.  So keep a list of quality partners that target lower end markets.

4. Finally, don’t let your clients get behind in payments.  Extending credit may seem like you are doing them a favor, but you’re not.  Debt creates bondage… it adds stress to the relationship.

With this in mind, plan your solution strategy for 2011 based on the market you intend to serve.  Put brackets around the low and high end of your target, and serve them well.  Refer business to partners  that falls outside of your parameters, and charge for the value you deliver in your circle.  This is good business.

© 2010, David Stelzl

Social Networking

June 24, 2010 — Leave a comment

Some key points from today’s training on Social Media Marketing with and Business Service Management Sales Training with BMC Partners;

  • Sales and marketing must come together – sales people build their own brand
  • Buyers want expert advisers in business service management, ITIL, change management etc.  The sales person can no longer say, “I’m in sales”, but must rather be positioned as a consultant in one of more of these areas.
  • Every sales person should be commenting on blogs in their industry, using phrases that are searchable through Google, and considering building their own blog with links back to their corporate websites.
  • Publish,post, and tweet unique, edgy, controversial, and pointed information.  People want opinions not more bits and bytes.
  • Don’t advertise in social media.  No one wants to read another product special.
  • Build out your linkedIn profile – it’s your billboard so use it.  Use first person to create you summary, list searchable areas of expertise, and make is readable and interesting.
  • Connect with people – don’t be shy.  You’re in sales…
  • Join groups, create groups, and get involved in delivering unique content that will brand you as the expert.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of twitter.
  • Build a following.

© David Stelzl, 2010

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Lots of channel talk out there…Juniper is revamping reseller training online to address complaints from their channel, Fortinet coming out with an MSSP program, probably in response to the SMB and midmarket growth in managed services offerings – of course all of the AV companies out there are doing this or headed that way, and numerous comments on the CRN forums concerning whether partners should be exclusive or committed to one vendor in a given area.  The problem with just about all of the programs out there is this: Vendors are not always addressing the root problem – resellers need more GP (Gross Profit).  This won’t come through install services, and increasing product sales doesn’t necessarily mean more GP either.  Sales must come earlier in the sales cycle with shorter sales cycles driven by high touch solutions, consulting, and low cost of sales in terms of people resources.  So what do channel managers need to do?

  • Understand the reseller profit model – it’s nothing like the vendor’s…
  • Provide sales training that focuses on selling, not speeds and feeds
  • Help resellers build your technology into solutions that drag other product areas within that reseller
  • Learn about marketing and help/support VAR marketing efforts
  • Clarify how deals are protected from direct reps and competition
  • Don’t over distribute which hurts the street price
  • Remember that GP is what matters – not revenue.