By: Tim Larocque

Admit it, you have done it at least once – courted and said anything to a vendor so that you could close that one big deal!  Take the money and run, then place the partnership into the vendor graveyard – piled with other one-hit wonders.

Sounds harsh but it is true – most vendor-reseller relationships start off with a flare but do not reach the full potential of their partnership – each party to some extent can take responsibility for the failure.

Every quarter, resellers can benefit by reviewing vendor relationships and assessing which vendors you truly are and are not committed to.  Regardless of who may be at fault, it is critical to end the relationships that don’t make sense (this doesn’t mean we’ll do renewals but no push product).

Take a moment to reflect on your current vendor line-up and ask yourself the following questions:

1) How much of my business is new products versus renewals?  A good benchmark is 70% product and 30% renewals.  If your renewals are bigger than new business, it will only be a matter of time before the vendor questions your commitment – take action and reach out to the vendor to discuss ways to grow the biz.

2) How many single-sale vendors do I have?  Admit it, everyone has chased down a vendor based on a customer request knowing that this will be a one-hit wonder!  If there are no active leads or sales in the past 6 months, perhaps it’s time to part ways – everyone from your customer to you and the vendor will benefit.

3) When was the last time I spoke with each vendor?  If you haven’t heard from a vendor representative or your distribution account manager in a while chances are you are not doing enough business and not a priority.  Clean up these relationships by reaching out to determine if it makes sense to continue or search out new vendor partners and distributors that are maybe smaller but can do more for your business.

Focusing on fewer vendors and being proactive can do nothing but improve your partnerships, deliver happier customers and provide better financial success.  What’s to lose? Maybe that one big deal.