As VARs, it can sometimes be frustrating to work with vendors, especially the larger ones, who don’t truly understand what you deal with on a day-to-day basis with your customers (who are ultimately their customers, too.) That is the ongoing struggle resellers have.
How do you communicate with your vendors about the world you work in? What are the important nuances of your job and your business that can impact how your vendors either develop or sell you their products? Vendors shouldn’t just be the companies that sell you “stuff” to resell. They must be your partners in business. But how do you successfully do that?
Work together with them. Educate them on the needs and solutions that your customers need. Try hosting a roundtable morning coffee once a month for an hour with each key vendor. Travel to their manufacturing plant or corporate offices and learn how they do business. Then offer solutions as to how to integrate your customers’ needs into their business development. Offer to do some role playing around your vendor’s latest product and show them what it’s like for you to go on a sales call to a customer hoping to promote their latest, greatest solution, only to have them pick your vendor’s product apart. Then show them how, if you work together sharing ideas, you can eliminate this situation.
You must be proactive with your vendors. By helping them understand your customers’ needs, they will develop products and solutions that are easier for you to sell.