Despite some economic recovery, times are still tough. To stand out in a crowded market, you must deliver on more than price. And adding extra value is best achieved through consultancy.
For example, a customer looking to redeploy its printer fleet may benefit from help to make informed decisions about print volumes across their organisation and solutions that can help them monitor this.
Many customers assume that a reseller carrying a manufacturer’s logo will have a close relationship with that company, and can offer the same knowledge and consultancy as if buying direct.
Often this is not the case. So resellers who have been through a comprehensive accreditation programme must distinguish themselves from the crowd.
Additional support and training from vendors means resellers can skill up their teams to take a consultancy-led approach. Using this to review customer workflow processes, you can combine the sale of hardware with software that can be integrated within existing systems.
But this takes commitment from both sides. Manufacturers must provide the latest information on their products, as well as training programmes and support for marketing activities.
You need to spend time training staff directly or through vendor training programmes, so that they can sell ‘solutions’ rather than products. Resellers that have gone the extra mile to train staff in specific areas may choose better products for their customers’ needs.
This commitment will be the key to unearthing additional revenue opportunities and profits.
Alex Thurgood is head of channel marketing at Canon
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