I was booked to speak at a client conference recently on the Vaal River, on the border of the Free State in South Africa. It was my first trip to the Vaal River, a very beautiful part of South Africa.
It’s always interesting when I work with clients that sell through Channel Partners, rather than selling direct to the end client themselves. Selling as a Channel Partner has some distinct differences than when you’re selling your own products and services.
So here are some tips on Selling as a Channel Partner.
(Note: These tips are based on you being the Channel Partner yourself – if you’re the Vendor interested in how I work with clients who ‘sell through the channel’, then please contact me here…)
Andy’s Sales Tip Number 1 – Don’t Be Afraid To Lean On The Vendor Where Possible!
This is the bit where most Channel Partners go wrong – right at the beginning! Don’t be afraid to lean on the Vendor if necessary! Most will be only too happy to help!
Most vendors will be only too happy to support their Channel Partners. Whether that’s with face-to-face joint visits, telephone or marketing support.
It’s often a good idea to ‘wheel in’ the vendor to face-to-face meetings, to add some ‘firepower’ and gravitas to your own organisation.It can also help when there are multiple people attending from the potential client, and there’s only one or two of you!
Plus, and documentation and marketing material is likely to be better produced by the vendor in most cases, and therefore gives a more favourable impression to the client, and increases your chance of winning the business! So don’t be afraid to lean on the vendor where you can!
Andy’s Sales Lesson Number 2 – Don’t Forget To Sell Yourself However!
Even though it’s a good idea to lean on the vendor when you can, that doesn’t mean you can forget about selling yourself!
You still need to get across to the prospect why they should work with YOU! Especially if you are pitching against other agents/channel partners for the same vendor as you! Or similar offerings from a different vendor/partner.
You need to establish YOUR credibility. Why they should choose you over the other people wanting the work. Your experience. Your expertise. Make yourself and what you’re offering irresistible (or as close as possible to!)
And the more potential suppliers the prospect is looking at, the more important this is!
Andy’s Sales Lesson Number 3 –Stay In Control
Staying in control isn’t easy in Sales. Especially when you’re a channel partner, and involving your vendor now has 3 parties involved in the sales situation!
You still need to take responsibility for taking control and guiding the sales process however. The vendor is there to assist you, not to replace you! They shouldn’t be taking over the sales process, you should still be leading and controlling it!
You need to control the sales process. Where you are at.
What the next step is. What you need to do to get there.
And gain commitment from the prospect to going there too.
Follow the tips above and start to sell like a Stand-Out Salesperson!