Some of us love everything computer related, some of us just happened to get into the workforce when technology was the hot thing. In any case most resellers in his space want to make their living in technology an area they enjoy. I still see this as an excellent growth space, but today's resellers need to be smart and fast on their feet. They needs to cover more than one area of expertise. In the this blog over the next months I will share some of my thoughts on what resellers need to do to stay on top of the game.

Resellers that are doing well are IT generalists with network infrastructure skills and resellers focusing on network security. Other areas that are hot, are all conversion spaces like telephony which is undergoing a transition from analog/digital phones to IP phones as well as the CCTV surveillance space also moving from analog cameras to IP cameras. This is followed by access control, alarms, public addressing and paging solutions which are all are beginning to move to IP.

Today without any doubt we are in the era of IP communications and the world of IP Technology. With the advent of IPv6, soon every device we buy, touch and use will have an IP or MAC address. Superficially seen, technology seems to get easier.  Things appear simple with ever improving clean and intelligent user interfaces, however at closer inspection everything is becoming more specialized and requires trained professionals to "Do it right". 

Technology gets more complex as layer over layer of new protocols, interdependencies, security aspects that have to be learned, interoperability with other equipment and processes have to be assimilated. Businesses are more dependent than ever on having access to a reliable resource to help them select and implement the right IP Solutions and Infrastructure to support their business objectives. 

Business owners realize that technology changes fast and they need access to experts outside of their organization. Consequently they prefer to get mission critical solutions and security related elements from a Technology Partner they trust. Professional Technology Resellers who act like consultative partners will have an excellent business outlook, and also will be respected partners that can earn a premium for their work. 

The value of the reseller to his customer is based on trust in his integrity and competence. This requires the reseller to establish rapport and earn the confidence of the customer, as well as a thorough analysis and understanding of the customer's core business, process flow, strengths and weaknesses and potential areas for improvement. In essence the reseller must be a true consultant that will show his customer new opportunities to improve their business or will help the customer make his vision come true! 

Not everyone selling technology is a professional reseller. Unfortunately, many people in IP don't bother to learn enough about the products or don't have the analytic capabilities to understand the customer's business or the underlying technology their customers need. Therefore, they are not able to provide true value. These are the bottom-rung resellers that just offer product as "Me too" providers. 

The good news for true technology resellers is that the "Me too space" is a bad spot to be in anytime, but particularly during the current economy. Just like bush fires can make the forest stronger, recessions clean-up the underbrush and will leave a more solid reseller community. Access to just product without adding consultative value is nearly worthless. The customers can have that minimal experience by buying online.

The challenge for the reseller is to improve his approach to ensure his focus is on the customer's needs. The reseller's sales efforts, quoting and maintenance and support processes must be directed to satisfy the customer's business problems. In the customers' minds the rules of engagement have never really changed although their budget may have. IP does offer economic savings and operational advantages, so the reseller's must concentrate on overcoming their own economic challenges to succeed. This can only be accomplished by the reseller who understands and acts to change the way he engages, sells and supports his customers. The focus now is more on complete solutions, adding-in a substantial portion of professional services, adding elements of recurring revenue based on selling services and support provided by the reseller himself.  

For those IP Technology Resellers who become their customers' "Technology Partner", there is nothing more rewarding than to see the true value they created for their customers, the ability to do what one enjoys while achieving a fair, well deserved and abundant revenue stream. 


Robert Messer


ABP Technology

ABP Technology is a distributor specializing exclusively on IP Technology solutions since 2001, and offers training events for IP Technology Resellers focusing on business model adjustment, analyzing demographic opportunities and consultative selling skills.  

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