Channel Conduit of the Week: Drop By For Big Events

Channel Conduit of the Week

  • Small gestures that make big impacts on channel behavior
  • Commonsense reminders that make the difference b/t you and your competition
  • Elements that should be considered in a Channel Incentive Programs

Channel Conduit 3

Drop By For Big Events

“Big Events?  I make sure to stop by eveCelebration 2ry year to my annual Partner-Palooza conference, especially when we hold it in Vegas”

No, I’m not talking about your mega annual partner meetings and conference.  In fact I’m not talking about events held by you at all.   I’m talking about the events that are BIG to your channel partner.  These are events that are critical to your channel partners business and in turn important to you.  Most likely, your most successful channel partners are executing marketing strategies that include events that bring many of their end users together to foster new relationships and longer customer retention.  Some events that you might consider dropping in on include:

  • End-User Conferences
  • Customer Appreciation Events
  • End User Advisory Round Tables
  • President’s Club Incentive Travel
  • Company Board Meetings (Or even better sit on the board)
  • The Summer Picnic Event
  • 10 Year Anniversary Celebration
  • The Founder’s Retirement Party

Sure not all of these events are appropriate, but one or some of them should be.  This type of gesture is so rare that it will go a long way in building trust and loyalty at the partner’s executive and sales levels.  The on problem with this type of rare gesture is your partner might not even know you would be interested in receiving an invite to one of these events.

How to get invited to the BIG Event

One way to make it known is to include this as a soft benefit in your channel incentive program.  One of rewards for hitting a certain partner tier might be “Dinner with our CEO”.  This is what we call a “Soft Benefit”.  By integrating soft benefits into your Channel Incentive Program you differentiate from your competition and deliver a personal touch that leads to deep relationships with your partners.  Not all soft benefits are published but act as a qualifier for gestures like the “Drop by for the Big Event” incentive.  You only have so many high profile people at your company and only so many days in the year.  So you want to have system in place that selects the partners that deserve these valued soft benefits.  By making it part of your channel incentive program you identify the right partners.   This gives your channel marketing manager or regional channel managers the opportunity to review your partner’s BIG event calendar and start to schedule with the appropriate person at your organization.  The channel manager then can say, “If appropriate, our Channel Chief or VP of Global Channel Marketing mentioned she would be honored to come and help celebrate your company’s 10 Year Anniversary Party!”

Do you have a success when you wisely did a “drop in for a Big event”?  Are you implementing “Soft Benefits” into your channel incentive programs?

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