08 Oct The Value of Working with Partners
A few years back we would routinely get the question, “Why don’t we just work directly with the manufacturer?” My stock answer was always, “Because I am standing in front of you.” I know it was kind of pithy, but most of our enterprise-level clients have been exposed to the constant rolodex shuffle that comes at the manufacturer level. The tables have genuinely turned as more and more manufacturers have abandoned the direct model and embraced the partner-led model.
We started BEK Networks in 2002 at a time when the partner model, particularly in the telecom community was not exactly welcomed. Our value proposition was to deliver the best solution, at the best price, and occasionally walk away from the opportunity if our solution was not a fit. Quite simply, we’d rather lose the deal than sell for the sake of selling. I’ve never been a fan of square pegs and round holes. It the early days, we did get strange looks from clients when we said, “our solution isn’t the best and you should take a look at solution (x).” While it was a bid awkward to have such conversations, we did retain our clients and still have some of the same relationships from the genesis of BEK Networks.
A good partner does a couple things that the manufacturer can never duplicate due to turn over and constant market re-stratification.
- Understand the Client’s Business – Quite simply, if we don’t understand your business, how can we offer the best solution? There’s usually one right tool for the job, but it’s not always the same tool for every client.
- Client Advocate – A good partner should be a valued partner, but at the end of the day, we should put the client in the front of the relationship and keep the focus there.
- Client Relationship – This is number one in my book. Through relationships you build bi-directional trust; trust that the client values your relationship and trust that you will be their client advocate.
Thanks for stopping buy and happy selling!
President, BEK Networks, LLC