Are you losing business by not recommending your fellow partners? We’ve all been guilty of it in the past; however, it’s time to change! Stop going outside the Microsoft Partner Network to hire talent when you’ve got all the talent you need right here in the MPN. I’m a firm believer that there are a lot of leads and opportunities right here in our own MPN community, if we’re willing to have the conversations and make the connections.
In the past, partners have behaved as if a wall separated us: Dynamics partners worked only with Dynamics; platform partners worked with platform. As I mentioned, the time to change is now. Queue Associates is a Dynamics partner, but the relationships we’ve made with partners that have complementary competencies have not only generated additional revenue, they’ve enabled us to extend our offerings to clients far beyond Dynamics.
The truth is, the Microsoft stack is so large and powerful that no one organization has the capacity to do it all. But when partners join forces, it enables and strengthens their product offering capability for all of their current and future clients. Picture this scenario: If a Dynamics partner has a client in distress, and he or she pulls in another partner to help, the Dynamics partner becomes the trusted advisor for that client, the person with resources to fix just about anything. If that partner says “sorry, can’t help, that’s not my competency,” and the client has to pull in some unknown partner for assistance, who knows what’ll happen. Maybe the client finds someone who can fix the problem and handle Dynamics – and now the partner has lost a client. But if that partner refers me, for example, I’m not going to try to take away the business; I’m going to support and strengthen what he or she is doing because there may be more opportunities down the line. That way we offer complete solutions to our clients and retain them within the partner ecosystem.
To give a brief example highlighting the success of utilizing the MPN, Queue Associates secured a new client in Germany right before WPC 2013. We needed local assistance and support from a Microsoft Partner in Germany, so I reached out to the then-IAMCP President and asked if he knew anyone from Germany. He told me exactly where the Microsoft Germany team was meeting at WPC 2013. I showed up at the meeting and had the opportunity to meet with several key Microsoft Germany partners and develop contacts. Now, any time I need help for a client that’s specific to Germany, I have trusted resources at my fingertips. Thanks to that meeting, I was able to provide a German-language trainer to my client. Not long after, I referred business back to my German partner contacts: a win-win situation for everyone involved.
There are a tremendous amount of opportunities for partners to build their connections and profit from relationships. A great way to begin building connections is by attending WPC and joining the IAMCP, of course. When I go to WPC, I book as many meetings as I can because I know the value of those connections. But you can also start those conversations by joining local IAMCP chapters, and sending messages or joining groups via social media (WPC Connect, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter). Make sure that you leverage Microsoft Pinpoint to find partners who complement your business areas so you can create mutually profitable relationships and share clients to extend your sales pipeline. Remember that other partners have leads and opportunities; just be prepared to ask and have something to offer in return.