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The Science of Saying Yes: How Partnerships Increase Your Influence With Customers

Many years ago, my friends and I visited an orphanage in Malaysia, bringing an assortment of paint to brighten the surroundings and ice cream to cool the kids down on a hot day. While the local government funded basic provisions, it was apparent that ongoing management and support were sporadic at best, leaving gaps in certain essentials and a missed opportunity to improve the quality of life for homeless children. Despite community efforts, it was outside help that made a lasting impression that afternoon.

Today, the world moves at the speed of constant change, and keeping up with assessment, planning, and design projects can be a daunting task. As organizations scramble to deliver time-sensitive services to end users, declining an RFP not only results in lost revenue, but also can impact customer confidence in your ability to reach new markets. When compliance- related activity requires a different auditing resource, make sure you have a plan in place to maintain your “trusted advisor” status with your customer. Unpredictability can ruin planning efforts and challenge your ability to respond quickly—like trying to turn the Titanic.

To avoid the inherent problems of trying to do everything yourself, partner with a global technology leader who can assist you with installation and deployment services when you are short-staffed or lack the expertise to compete for business. Remember that your reputation within the industry is important to your success, so work with a business partner who can act on your behalf and protect your exclusive relationships. Building a successful services practice takes a continuous improvement philosophy, and complementing your portfolio will increase your diversity and give you confidence when “must have” technology deliverables drive the discussion.

Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I am so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Don’t self-impose roadblocks for your company when you experience a high volume of engineering requests for services you either don’t have or can’t get to. Working smarter rather than harder is always preferred, especially when you are trying to fill knowledge gaps for your heavily invested technology team. Make sure to embrace a collaboration mindset in order to deliver training services for employees and customers when time, expertise, or location prevents your ability to execute.

In an unforgiving world, the steady flow of revenue will keep your lights on and the front doors open for business. When you can’t rely on the generosity of others, leverage your partnerships so you can take an active role in meeting the demands of your customers. Start thinking outside the box so you can participate in key initiatives instead of getting left behind.

So when your service offerings are short a few menu items, enjoy the benefit of getting what you really want. Whether you are feeling charitable or mapping out a new strategy, the joy of helping those in need never tasted so good—like eating ice cream on a hot day.


Mickey Woods is technology consultant, Advanced Solutions, Ingram Micro. Read more Ingram Micro blogs here.

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