The Secret To Getting New Partners To Actually BE PRODUCTIVE

Posted On May 7th, 2019

Money MakerOne of the most often overlooked, and therefore neglected, obstacles for many companies is consumption. Specifically, getting your clients/resellers to use what you just sold them.

When sales are made (new partners brought onboard), life is celebrated. Goals are hit, bonuses paid and everyone is happy, right?

Well, not so much.

In talking with dozens of vendors in this channel who depend on their resellers to actually sell, a HUGE problem that doesn’t often get discussed publicly is how 70% to 90% of their partners are, essentially, worthless non-producers.

Therefore, for every 100 they bring on, only about 10 to 30 are really moving the needle; the rest are just inflating the numbers to make the investors and marketing teams happy.

The incorrect assumption fueling this is that because someone purchased something and PAID for it, they’ll use it. Yet nothing is further from the truth, particularly things that create work and/or require a change in business model, habits, workload, etc., which is always the case when a channel vendor is selling a new solution.

Heck, over $1 BILLION in gift cards goes unspent every year, nearly one-third of those given – and that’s FREE MONEY! Even going to the store to shop is “more work” than it’s worth. When you couple human nature with purchases where “some assembly is required,” you’re fighting an uphill battle. You mean this doesn’t just work out of the box? I have to read instructions to make this work? Screw it…

People are motivated by optimism when they buy, but that’s quickly depleted after they realize that WORK is required. Buying a treadmill is EASY…getting on the treadmill 5 to 6 times a week to sweat when you’re tired, sore and time-crunched NOT so much.

That’s why smart home exercise manufacturers make sure the dang thing can fit under the bed or in a closet; it cuts down on refunds if it’s out of sight when not being used, forgotten. However for the likes of us, that’s not a viable strategy. We NEED our partners to actually use what we sell them or they become deadwood.

Signing up for our Infusionsoft MAP is infinitely easier than getting a list cleaned and prepped for importing, migrating the data, learning to use it and continually optimizing it for the maximum result and performance. That doesn’t negate or invalidate the solution; some things DO require work.

However, if you as the SELLER fail to realize your job doesn’t end after the sale is made, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of money and activity but still not getting the END result you’re attempting to get.

Unfortunately, flawed humans that we are, it doesn’t take much to discourage someone into non-action. A little hiccup in the process. An extra “homework” project. Definitely not a boulder in the road – just a little gravel. That’s because the act of purchasing something doesn’t alter habits and behavior. So what shall we do about this?

The most important system you must implement is an after-sale implementation process. SPEED is critical because people are riding a high of excitement when they buy something. If you don’t capitalize on that FAST, they’ll quickly put your product or service on the proverbial shelf to be a forgotten dust collector.

In MLM, the smart companies knew that the person they just signed up was trying to quit from the second they left the sales event, and put in place a series of activities to implement within 24 to 48 hours to keep the sales momentum going. So whatever you implement, it has to be implemented QUICK…not a week later, and definitely not months later. At that point, you have to resell them all over again. So what goes into creating that?

  1. A system for RESELLING them. Yep, they just gave you a check. That doesn’t mean they’re really and truly “sold.” Buyer remorse and second thoughts creep in, stalling them from getting started. And to be clear, you don’t *just* sell them on your solution – you have to sell them on the result your solution delivers. If you just sold them on a new backup solution, NOW you have to sell them on the importance of ripping and replacing what they have at all their clients’ locations, and why they want to do that. If you’re selling them a phone system, you have to resell them on what selling a phone system will give to them – increased sales, higher retention, keeping the wolves in sheep’s clothing out of their clients’ offices, more referrals, etc.
  2. A system for getting them to take action. People are easily overwhelmed. They also need detailed instructions on anything, broken down to the most miniscule, bite-sized portions. You can’t just say, “Install this at your client sites.” You have to tell them WHICH clients, and how to decide.You must tell them exactly how to go about it, how to organize the work, how to carve out the time, what tools and skills will be needed, and help them think through (overcome) every single obstacle they may encounter. You might not think this is “your job,” and maybe it’s not – but if you want them to take action, it’s yours to own. Ideally, build into your pricing certain things done for them, as we are now with Infusionsoft. We no longer sell the “do-it-yourself” version, and require all new clients to get at least the implementation done by us.
  3. Give them specific marketing tools and a marketing implementation plan. Another BIG obstacle for most: how do I sell this thing to my clients? Most vendors provide a lot of “information” but no real instruction and templates. Further, instructions and templates must be wrapped in motivation, social proof and “head trash” removal. If giving members the templates in the Toolkit were enough, I wouldn’t be needed. YES, the templates actually have to work (and candidly, most vendors’ marketing templates are woefully inept in this department). But beyond the task of making sure they work, you have to instill confidence for the individual to know that IF implemented, there’s a very high probability of success. That requires not just proof from a few partners, but OVERWHELMING proof, with case studies matched to their specific situation (one-man band, $10 million plus, small town/big city, start-up, etc., etc.).

To many, the need to do ALL of the above – to spend time and real money on getting someone to use a product or service they just paid for, particularly when the upside benefit is substantial and clear – seems ridiculous. It should NOT be necessary.

But I’ve learned time and time again that the best study of life is how it IS, not how it should be. So you have the choice of either living with the abysmal metrics of getting only 20% of the resellers you sign to be productive, adjusting all down-line metrics, OR you can get to work on fixing this.

Do You Need Help In Getting YOUR Partners To Be More Productive? We can help with custom marketing and training kits to get your NEW partners ramped up fast. Click here to email our Sponsor Team or call us at (615) 790-5011.

Robin Robins has helped more MSPs and IT services companies to grow and prosper, liberating them from stagnation, frustration, drudgery and low incomes. For over 18 years, Robin has been showing MSPs and IT services firms how to implement marketing plans that attract higher-quality clients, lock in recurring revenue streams and secure high-profit contracts. Her methods have been used by over 8,000 IT services firms around the world, from start-ups to multimillion-dollar MSPs. For more information and a FREE copy of The MSP’s Ultimate Guide To IT Services Marketing And Lead Generation, go to