It is often easier to sell people something they want rather than scare them into a defence against something they want to avoid. This notion is particularly applicable when it comes to selling security technologies.
A constant stream of readily available statistics highlighting the damage that business may suffer from data breaches and security incidents makes it easy to fall into the trap of selling security from a purely defensive standpoint.
But resellers and vendors can work together to develop a more productive strategy than this.
Sell security from a position of strength rather than playing on customer fears of attack. For a start, customers should be treating security as an ongoing process and commitment.
Security products may have far more to offer a business - some can also offer network monitoring, administration facilities, connection failover and compliance functions. Focusing on the larger IT package makes it easier to focus on the benefits.
Security can also be promoted as part of a managed service offering recurring revenue.
Resellers should use vendor expertise to enhance their understanding of products and services. Too often, the relationship between vendor and reseller is short-lived; once a sales agreement has been reached, communication can dwindle. Expanded expertise can ultimately be the difference between a converted sale and a lost sale.
Vendors are often willing to invest resources in passing on their expertise to resellers if it will boost sales in the long run.
For instance, they might provide training, staff development, consultation and marketing support for their partners, with a view to assisting their marketing and sales efforts. Resellers that work closely with vendors will have a better chance of sales.
A long-term, strategic approach to security will reap rewards. It does take time to acquire the knowledge and resources required, which is why resellers should invest for long-term gain.
It also takes time for resellers to build and deploy the infrastructure to become fully fledged managed services providers. It can be weeks or months after adding a product before the resources are there to deliver a satisfactory customer experience.
Meanwhile, end-user disruption may cause issues, so streamlining the portfolio expansion should be prioritised.
If resellers develop the right security vendor relationships and are willing to invest extra resources, more often than not the vendors will reciprocate with interim infrastructure and support.
This might cost the reseller more in the short term but it will eventually enable the VAR to offer better services to customers.
So my message is do not forget to look long term, promoting the whole package and all related business benefits. This will help sell security products in particular.
Chris Nation is Europe commercial manager at Mako Networks
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