There is a lot of talk of security and dishonesty and saying one thing but doing another. I’m not just talking about The Channel, I’m talking about everywhere and it’s made me more skeptical. My husband, who sends me links to articles and videos on an almost daily basis, is now usually met with my “did you send this?” And I can’t remember the last time I took anything seen on TV seriously, which unfortunately now includes football. #StillGoPats
How can we expect Partners to believe claims that a Vendor program will “bring more revenue”, “drive more demand” and “open new markets"? Partners hear it over and over and worse yet? They’ve actually gone down this road with Vendors in the past only to be disappointed by lack of support, moving them in the wrong direction, taking them out of the field to certify them only to have customers ask for a competitive solution, and a host of other disappointments.
To better engage your Partners and build trust to create a relationship that will last long-term, it’s incredibly important to do these simple things:
Build Relationships with Partners’ Whole Team
By engaging more than one person on a Partner team, you build rapport throughout their organization. Connect with teams on LinkedIn so they can see, refer to the other team members and conversations you’ve had, or suggest a group conversation.
Make your Channel Chiefs more Visible and Accessible
Video is our new best friend and if you spend any amount of time on social platforms you know it’s the easiest way for us to provide and receive information. Showcase your Channel Chiefs on videos regularly to help Partners feel like they know your Chief and the Chief understands them as well.
Communicate without Bombarding
You know I’m passionate about this topic, check out my e-book on the subject. It’s incredibly important that you don’t drown out your own messaging by clobbering Partners with too many emails. Use a mix of social, communications from Partner facing teams, and aggregated newsletters to avoid bombarding Partners.
I know, this is a big one and something you have a hard time controlling but if you’re program isn’t the “BEST” don’t claim it is. A bazillion years ago (but it still rings true) David Meerman Scott, one of my social idols, wrote a great e-book on Gobbledygook language to avoid. Oh and above and beyond language, don’t actually lie. If they’re never going to be able to do XY or Z with your program, please don’t assert that they might.
Show Them the Love
Your Partners are some of your best evangelists and they’re out there daily helping solve real pains for businesses across your solutions and geos. Develop Partner success stories to share with your Partner community in order to highlight the amazing work they’re doing and to give other Partners ideas of how they can be winning more deals with your solutions.
I take what you say seriously. Please comment, ask questions and tell me your thoughts! Looking forward to engaging… unless you’re a Jets fan complaining about the Jets. ;)