The Order-Taker or the Solutions Provider: Which One Are You?

When choosing a vendor to partner with, which would you prefer:

  • someone who only talks about the company’s great products and strong reputation, or
  • the vendor who steps up to help you actually sell more product and grow your business?

It’s crucial for a vendor to remember that there is a massive difference between a reseller buying your products versus actually selling them. Imagine that a reseller has one vendor who makes occasional visits to check in on his progress and let him know about new products and upcoming promotions. This same reseller has another vendor who provides ongoing training, extensive marketing support, and lead generation assistance. The VAR also works closely with this other vendor to utilize MDFs in a way that will maximize the response. So, whose products is he more likely to sell? And which vendor will retain a higher level of loyalty from this reseller? Certainly, the answer is the one who has demonstrated he is vested in the reseller’s success.

Far too often, I meet with resellers who struggle with marketing their vendors’ products. These VARs are sellers, not marketers. Most of them admit they are clueless about marketing. Meanwhile, their vendors have marketing departments that are focused on promoting the brand but not supporting the key channel that will actually connect this brand with the end-user.

If you’re a VAR, reach out to your vendors and ask for more involvement. Inquire about MDFs. Request some strategic support and campaign execution. Let them know when you need more training.

If you’re a vendor, be aware of the needs of your resellers. Uncovering those needs is as simple as asking your VARs.  I challenge you to connect with your resellers and pose these questions to each:

  1. What kind of marketing challenges are you facing right now?
  2. What campaigns would launch if you had the resources?
  3. How can I be of help to you today?

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