I hear that a lot: "I want to work with you." What they really mean is: "Please sell for us." or "Please bring us deals."
It's actually getting funny. I had a VoIP provider call me recently. I tried explaining that I work with VoIP Providers - many of them. They are clients. He didn't get it until I said it directly. (Apparently, can't listen - which makes for a bad partner).
Today, a collocation company called me -- the 3rd one in a month. He tried to coach it a number of ways, but in the end he was saying "Bring me deals". He made an appointment to talk with me (which I appreciate), but he actually missed it and called two hours later. When he was making the appointment, I plainly explained that if you just want me to sell for you, let's not waste each other's time. It was a waste fo time.
I'm looking for consulting clients, not more vendors to sell for. I even explained that I have plenty of collocation partners who I have a strong relationship with (COLOTRAQ and Host.Net).
Why would I work with you when I already have partners in your space? That's the question you have to answer. What value do I get adding you as a vendor?
(I don't even want vendors. I want PARTNERS).
The problem for agents is that there are so many companies that are looking to the channel for sales growth, Who do you choose as a partner?
And I don't think people understand the word PARTNER.
I have never moved a circuit for the sake of moving a circuit. Even when the term is up and my commission stops, I don't move circuits. That's being a partner.
What's your value to the Agent? What do you bring to the table as a Vendor?
- Do you have a unique product or service offering?
- What's your Value Proposition?
- Are you selective in choosing Agents?
- Do you have Channel Support?
- What kind of Channel support (quoting tool, status updates, collateral, channel managers, commission tool)?
- Do you know who your target market is?