Speed Dating for Your Business: How to Find the Right Technology Partner
Hey, I just met you, and this price is so good, so marry me?
You’ve just sat down at a speed dating event. A beautiful person sits down across from you. You chat briefly about why you are there, and everything seems to line up. Before you know it, she says, “Yes, I’ll marry you!”
Wait a minute, when did I propose marriage?
You may be excited at first, but slowly you start to see the flaws, the awkward behavior, and before you know it, you are stuck with a partner that isn’t the best for you
Hold up! Are we talking about technology or dating?! Why not both?!
The relationship between your business and the business that supplies your technology needs is relative to our speed-dating horror story.
- The speed dating event is your search for a technology partner
- The beautiful person is a seemingly low cost for the solution you believe you need
- The proposal is an unknowing contract that prevents you from finding a better partner
- The flaws and awkward behaviors are all the ways this process can go wrong …. If you don’t address the buying process appropriately.
If you end up married to the wrong partner, an entire array of problems can surface quickly; the least of all your worries will be the cost you are initially quoted.
When buying technology for your business, choosing the right partner is vital. It’s easy to get caught up in cost-cutting, which can lead to regrettable decisions, unwanted products, and poor customer service. So, think of finding a solutions provider tech supplier as speed dating with long-term partnership potential.
Qualifying your Technology Partner
Take your time to examine their qualifications, resources, and connections. They should understand your industry and needs and be able to deliver excellent outcomes every time.
Instead of falling for, “Hello, Mr. Johnson… This is the MC358X; it’s only $500 per unit. Will you marry me?”
Try asking your potential partner what else they can do for you besides giving you a low price. Having the lowest price is great, but what you need is a knowledgeable partner with the expertise to manage your company-level technological solutions.
- How have you helped other companies in my industry?
- Are you capable of customizing a total solution for my company?
- Once I buy, am I going to receive support in deployment?
We don’t want to give away the entire farm, but we have to leave you with this tip right up front. Do NOT ask for a price on a specific piece of hardware or solution, until you have fully vetted the solutions provider or VAR. Completing a thorough interview will prevent accidental marriage. In this case, what happens in Vegas, does not stay in Vegas.
Wake-Up Call: There is a flaw in the Conventional Buying Process
Conventional wisdom says when buying, the lowest cost is the biggest determining factor when selecting commodities. Low cost is what we all want. No one would dispute that. This approach is short-sighted.
Most of us would call X number of hardware providers and ask for a price. Whichever provider has the lowest cost is the clear winner, yes?
And this is the core issue we want you to be aware of. Not every supplier fits your business like a glove, but all of them can give you a price.
The Keys to Success
You aren’t just buying a product. You should be purchasing a total solution, and the supplier/VAR should add value. Are they bringing industry expertise, extended support, or thought leadership to your project?
After all, the definition is; Value ADDED Reseller. So where is the value in addition to the ‘great’ price?
You might think you know who can provide you with the best deal, but the truth is that supply chain hardware products are commoditized products. Every manufacturer produces a comparable product line, and every value-added reseller (VAR) sells them too. So, calling X number of companies to get the lowest price no longer guarantees your success. It used to be true that vendors had to prove their value add before obtaining the ability to resell, but those standards have been relaxed, creating a problem for you.
The problem is companies need to rely on an updated thinking process that can be easily duped or seduced by a pretty price presented by unqualified suppliers.
It’s a flawed buying theory that doesn’t add up. Let this be a wake-up call. If this is how you’ve been acquiring your technology solutions in the past, we have a better methodology that avoids the pitfalls of buying the first offer that comes along.
HINT: It is all in the interview.
If you aren’t interviewing your supplier, you are making a near-irreversible mistake.
Our method is simple, ‘qualify the right partner,’ and the right price and solution will follow. We understand that the speed of business requires decisions to be made with the least resistance, but what happens when you leap before you look?
DO NOT miss our next issue in this series; we will discuss the horrors of what happens when you don’t interview the supplier.
Tip: If you don’t interview the solutions provider, you might not be getting the best price. We will show you how to get the ULTIMATE BEST PRICE!