SMB Nation Fall Conference: Day 2 Kicks off with Discussions on VAR Best Practices and Business Tips

Geek Speak

d and hThis morning, SMB Nation kicked off its second day of programming in Las Vegas with Bill Hersh of D&H discussing VAR Best Practices.

In true Vegas fashion, Bill’s session featured a lively discussion which included complimentary morning Mimosas, Irish Coffee and Bloody Mary cocktails! I am sure the crowd was already engaged in the discussion, but of course a morning cocktail doesn’t hurt, especially when you are in Vegas!

D&H's Bill Hersh poses with his fellow staff members and attendee at the distributor's booth at SMB Nation's Fall Conference.

While I wasn’t able to personally attend Bill’s session, as I was preparing for my own speaking slot on “Top Causes of Solution Provider Insomnia,” which followed Bill’s, I was able to catch up with him afterwards, and we chatted briefly about the overall content of the session, as well as the questions that were raised by attendees.

Bill told me that most of the session focused on educating attendees on how to talk to customers about value proposition, and how to get the conversation to just go beyond basic costs. “Where we sometimes find our resellers getting stuck on is how to sell value,” Bill told me. “They need to be willing to put the effort in to get the conversation going that’s just beyond the price of services.”

Bill also discussed with me how he focused the bulk of the session on change, and how many of D&H’s resellers often find that it sometimes is a slow process in trying to get their customers to understand the value proposition regarding change as a good thing. “It’s a slow process to get them to change, and it’s always an ongoing conversation,” he said. “I am seeing partners of ours that are always trying to work on this…the bottom line is that it’s about always following up with the customer and enablement.”

Other topics that came up during Bill’s best practices discussion with attendees were also focused on who is the right customer…mainly, how do I know if a customer relationship is one that should be kept, and how to go after the right opportunities to fit their particular business models….incidentally, one of the topics I discussed in my solution provider panel focused on how to fire a difficult customer…more on that one later, too!

“Many of the questions that were brought up during my session were, “Which is the right customer?, “Where and what are the opportunities?,” “How do I find the right customer?”, and how to best align yourself with your customers,” Bill added.

Bill also told me how he advised attendees on dealing with difficult customers and how to best handle the situation so that the reseller can stay focused on what they need to do to keep their business running, while still going out and trying to obtain new business. “If a reseller has a difficult customer, they need to sit down and really think about if the business is worth it (in terms of time and money), and if so, then they should then lay out expectations and discuss them with the customer,” he said. “10 percent might stay, and others will make the decision that the relationship is just not working and then part ways.”