Every time I see a puppy walking clumsy and flopping over to take a nap in mid-stride, it’s
    so darn cute, I want it!

    I think of all the fun we’re going to have together chasing cars and digging in the neighbors’ new flower garden…boy, we’re going to be so Mayberry happy, little Kong and me.  Then, real memories of my last puppy come flooding back, chewed shoes, law suits, vet bills and all.

    A new Channel program can be just as appealing.  The thought of other people selling your stuff, making you money and growing your user base…how bad can it be, right?

    Well, while the big dog is always shovel-ready, your new channel will come with it’s own kind of mess and clean up duties.  Are you sure your’re ready to make the commitment to this long term responsibility?

    Here are 5 tips to keep you out of the dog house with your partners:

    1. Partners are like kids and they will push the boundaries to see how stretchy they are.  This is not a good time for “time-outs” or a rolled newspaper across the nose, as good as that might sound sometimes.  Be firm and clear in your expectations and don’t hesitate to make an example if necessary – the other partners are watching and learning.
    2. Partners have a short attention span.  Be prepared to immediately begin training once the agreement is signed.  Focus their sales training on their existing accounts – get a list of Top 10 targets and work with them to close those first.  Once the pump is primed the revenue stream will begin flowing without your immediate assistance.
    3. Partners don’t need your products or services, they were doing fine before you came along.  Don’t be another product that they have been instructed to insert into their already too-busy schedule and demanding quota – be the partner who can help them hit their numbers.
    4. Never, ever use your reseller channel as an incubator for house accounts – no poaching your partner’s accounts under any circumstances.  That’s the worse kind of Channel Conflict.
    5. Treat every call from your partners like they just dialed 911!  Be there when they call out and they will not be afraid to go out on a limb for you in the future.
    6. BONUS TIP – Partners will be more demanding than any customer because when they recommend your solution their reputation is on the line – when their customers yell at them they yell louder at you and their bark can be heard around the world at blog-light speed!

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