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Are You Biased With Your IT and VAR Services?

Sep 5, 2008
I recently read some stories about an IT services company called Sparxent whose founders created the company with the "premise that the current Value-added Reseller (VAR) model for the middle market needs to evolve to better serve the segment."

They continue with, "mid-market companies in the past have had to choose between traditional VAR's with deep expertise in a single vendor's solution, or VAR's that sell a broad variety of software but have little expertise in creating integrated solutions for the customer. Sparxent's approach will be to consult with mid-market customers to find and deliver the ideal business or IT solution, regardless of vendor or delivery model, that tightly integrates with their existing environments."

While I don't know these guys and I have no idea if they will be able to properly deliver on their vision, my strong opinion is that they have the *right* vision when it comes to their engagement approach. They believe you must deliver the ideal solution to the client *regardless of vendor or delivery model*.

My experience is that findings on studies and surveys are always the same - clients have high regard for *unbiased* consultation from their IT advisors. Companies pay high fees for unbiased consultation. They want to know their options. They want full input from their consultant. They want to know that they are making the decision, with deep and comprehensive information from their consultant. After all, companies are answerable for these purchasing decisions. They want the full panorama of options offered from an expert. That's why they pay the high fees.

In my estimation, the "unbiased" consulting approach is the future. The reality is that clients have information readily available and what they need is someone to make sense of it all and make it work for their particular environment. That's where you come in.
Products can still be sold in the backend. The company Accenture, in their previous life as Andersen Consulting, sold $100's of millions of dollars of hardware and software because they were positioned as a thought leader and unbiased in the eyes of their existing and prospective customers. They provided just what their clientele wanted - unbiased consultative advice.
I believe the questions you should be asking yourselves are:

* Do I have the right business model?

* How do my clients want to do business? Am I serving them in the best way possible?

* Am I biased in the eyes of my clients and prospects?

* Am I positioned as a thought leader and consultant or as a reseller of product?

As always you decide your fate. Choose wisely.
About the Author
Ramon provides more marketing information, especially created for the IT VAR industry but also applies to everyone who wants to improve their sales. Stay up-to-date at StreetSmartVAR.com and while you're there, don't forget to sign up for Ramon's popular, no-cost online marketing course!
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