Channel needs to show public sector commitment

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Channel needs to show public sector commitment

Simon Quicke

Those resellers aiming to continue making money from the public sector need to stand shoulder to shoulder with their customers to deepen loyalty and demonstrate awareness of the current economic constraints if they want to establish relationships.

That advice came from long standing public sector supplier BT iNet which said that when times were tough customers appreciated those suppliers that stuck with them and tried to help them work with reduced budgets.

"Business is cyclical and there are ups and downs but you need to stick with it in the down periods. If a reseller just appears when the times are good then they won't generate loyalty and they should be sticking in there when times are tough when the public sector is under strain," said Neil Pemberton, managing director of BT iNet.

He added that the public sector business had not dried up but become more focused on getting savings through the use of technology and there was spending in areas where results would be delivered.

Responding to a recent discussion on public sector on the MicroScope LinkedIn group Chris Davies, former UK general manager at D-Link, said that it was not just those that failed to stick with customers that ran into problems but resellers that did not make the effort to brush up on the needs of those clients.

"For a partner offering little that's new or hasn't structured their business to show Public Sector expertise, why would they engage? I appreciate this seems obvious but over many years I've accompanied partners whose sole approach is 'We will beat XYZ' or 'We can do whatever you want' and unsurprisingly the experience becomes frustrating for all as the order either wilts or goes elsewhere," he wrote.

"By being active, regularly listening to the client's issues (their priorities change far more regularly than you'd imagine, legislation, politics etc so if you don't visit you won't know....) and by presenting genuinely innovative ideas channel will win/grow new business. Don't stand still, grow a network of contacts and it will keep growing too but the business must reflect its 'Public Sector DNA' in its approach," he added.
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