Channel Partner Meetings: Quantity or Quality

quality_vs_quantityBack in the day when I was a regional channel rep, I would pride myself on the number of partner meetings I could fit in during a 48-hour city visit.  My all-time high meetings in a single Day was in Phoenix when I met with 4 partners, 2 partner prospects, and 2 end-users.

Here is what a REALLY good day looked like:

  • 7am – Breakfast Partner Meeting
  • 9am – Partner Meeting
  • 11am – End-User Site Visit
  • 12pm – Lunch with Partner Prospect
  • 2pm – End-User Prospect Meeting with Partner
  • 4pm – Partner Meeting that ran into happy hour
  • 6:30pm – Dinner with my largest Partner’s Sales Team

Yes, this was back when our T&E budgets were bigger and less scrutinized! It was one of the best times of my career, when I met and befriended some great people with whom I did lots of good business. Of course I still enjoy traveling and visiting clients today, and I’m always trying to secure as much face-time with partners as I possibly can; but looking back on that whirlwind day, I can’t help but think that with that kind of schedule I could not have been properly prepared for each and every one of those meetings. Sure, I went through my finely tuned checklist, introduced my products, and even helped train some of my partners on how to position and sell those products. But did I take the time to research each of their unique and evolving business interests, and show them how OUR products could help THEM provide a more complete solution that would lead to more and longer-lasting end-customers for their business? You know, I probably didn’t do this as well, or as thoroughly as I should have. I’m guessing that somewhere during that Day of Many Meetings I missed a big opportunity, both for myself and for my company. My attention had to be in too many places at once.

Since then I’ve realized that to improve the quality of my meetings, I may need to limit their quantity. Sure, it may sound impressive when I say I successfully met with more than a dozen business associates over the course of seven different meetings, but nowadays I’m a little more focused on the output of those meetings, and the success that comes of them. Despite how exciting it can be to “run up the score,” the fact is that not every meeting is a win. To earn a win usually means taking the time to get to know our partner and truly understand their business. Only when we show this level of respect can we expect these meetings to bear fruit.

Are you focused on the quality of your meetings, or the quantity?


Move the Channel,


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