But Everyone Else is Doing It

By Bonnie Robertson

If everyone else was jumping off the bridge, would you do it, too? 

Somewhere, in some far-off conference or seminar, parents decided that this adage should mean something to us as children. My father used it on me, and I in turn used it on my own children. The odd thing is that where I grew up, there weren’t any bridges, so I could never really figure out what bridge he was talking about.

Most recently, in listening to the news media intently and watching the continual dismal economic news, this much overused phrase has come to mind. Maybe because all I hear is, “everyone else…is losing money, laying off people, looking for government bailouts…” The list of excuses for poor strategic focuses, not looking forward, only backward, and greed continue on, all rolled up into a political economic crisis. Read more »

Top 10 Things You Should do in Your Business

By Jenny Davis
  1. Never answer your phone or call your customers back. If you should happen to answer the phone during a weak moment, lie and say you’ve been calling them back for ages and can never get through.
  2. Stop marketing! With the current economic situation, you should stop doing everything until it’s over. Prospects won’t find you, but at least you’ll save a few bucks.
  3. Post your rants about annoying customers on your company blog or Twitter feed.
  4. When talking with your customers, show your technical expertise by using acronyms and high-tech vocabulary. 
  5. Don’t post a phone number or e-mail address on your company Web site. If customers need to get a hold of you, they should already have your number.
  6. It’s always user error. Your product is amazing and your customers just don’t “get” you.
  7. Nurture marketing – who needs it? Your customers should call you when they want an upgrade or have a question.
  8. Marketing offers should address the technical features of your products. Prospects should be able to figure out why those features are important.
  9. Hire temp staff to cover the phone lines after your company participates in a tradeshow as the phones will be ringing off the hook! 
  10. Incorporate catch phrases like “As your trusted advisor”, “ROI”, “best practices”, and “rich, out of the box functionality” into every customer conversation.
  11. Bonus: Grab a grain of salt and check the publish date on this post.

Flood 2009 Update

By Jenny Davis

It’s been quite the week here in the Red River Valley. Posted below are some links to incredible stories, photos, and streamed radio coverage of Flood 2009. While there are a bunch of national media covering Flood 2009 as well (and we thank them for that!), the links posted below are from local sources.

  • NEW! There are approximately 3.5 million sandbags holding back the Red River right now. See what 3.5 million sand bags looks like.
  • Streamed Audio Coverage at KFGO (The Mighty 790 has 24/7 coverage and features live calls from residents.)
  • Multiple Daily Updates at InForum (The online version of our daily newspaper features great photos, news, and interviews with local officials and residents.)
  • Video Montages here and here (These montages were produced with national, local, and personal photos and video footage. Oh heck, view all nine montages here.)
  • Okay, I’m breaking the local rule for this article from CNN contributor Bob Greene.

While families have lost their homes, we are fortunate that no lives have been lost due to the floodwaters. The spirit of the Fargo-Moorhead community is absolutely awesome and the outpouring of support from people across the nation has been amazing.

If you’re interested in helping out, our best suggestion would be to make a donation to the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. Both organizations have been instrumental in supporting our community this past week and for many weeks to come.

Selling Your Way into a Tough Buying Environment

By Jenny Davis

It’s no secret: the economy is tight all across the country. People buying software are more cautious than ever before. As I visit with Partners around the nation, I hear a lot of  prospect responses: “Not sure; still looking around; in a holding pattern;” and so on and so on. Well, as salespeople, we need to get our heads screwed on right and face what may be our toughest competition ever. Read more »

We’re All Stars?!?!

By Jenny Davis

Thanks to you, The Partner Channel has achieved All Star status for 2008! We use Constant Contact for our monthly e-Newsletter, event promotion, and other communications. We really like the product, and turns out they think we’re using it well! Check out our cool badge of honor…

Constant Contact 2008 All Star

Email Marketing by
Constant Contact

Social Media Marketing: Get on Board!

By Adrianne Machina

In the last couple of years, a monumental shift has occurred online with the advent of Web 2.0 and social media marketing. Many companies are waking up to find themselves in a whole new world where they don’t know the language, the customs, or how to make friends. If that describes you, then today I’d like to be your Web 2.0 tour guide.  Read more »

Announcing our Best in Show

By Jenny Davis

Kudos, accolades, applause, and major congratulations to EthoTech, our virtual “Best in Show” for the Spring 2009 edition of The Partner Channel Virtual Expo!

The team at EthoTech did a fantastic job of bringing their booth to life, from their show banner to their terrific video. Check out their handiwork now by visiting www.tpcvirtualexpo.com and navigating to ‘EthoTech’ in the alphabetical Company Name list.

Once you check out EthoTech, spend some time finding solutions you need via the Industry, Horizontal, and Services navigation options.

(And be sure to check out the fishbowl in The Partner Channel’s booth for a chance to win a Flip video camcorder.)

Beyond Jeans on Friday

By Pam McGee

In the ’70s, progressive workplaces implemented dress down days or “jeans on Fridays.” In the ’80s, progressive workplaces implemented business casual, flextime, and job sharing. In the ’90s, progressive workplaces implemented remote offices, home offices, sandals as part of the dress code, and no set work schedule. In the 2000s, progressive workplaces have implemented “leadership is everywhere,” frequent travel, free soda, on-site daycare, global titles, and part-time management schedules. What does a business in 2010 and beyond have to do to go on the offensive and create the workplace of the future? A workplace that attracts a vibrant employee, distinguishes them from their competitors, and weathers the economic cycles? Read more »

TEASER! Membership Call is Tomorrow!

By Jenny Davis

Hello to all of you out in Partner land! Our next membership call is tomorrow, and we’d love nothing more than to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the phone with you! Here’s the topic du mois (that would be “of the month” for those of you away from Babel Fish):

Telling Your Story
As we venture further into the new year in a new economy, it’s more important than ever to effectively communicate your value as a Microsoft Dynamics Partner to potential and current customers. The cornerstone of communicating your value lies within your company’s story. Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter?

Mark (Mojo) Olson has helped many companies answer those three questions and define their company in a simple, accurate statement through his company, Brand Mojo. Mojo as 25 years of experience in the communications profession in roles as a graphic designer, art director, brand manager, and executive communications manager. His experience ranges from working with small business clients to managing the global launch of a new Microsoft brand.

With that declarative statement in hand, David Berg and the Spider and Company team can recommend (and produce) efficient marketing materials that companies can use to share their story with customers. David, the director of business and campaign design at Spider and Company, has been in the marketing field for 12 years, working on projects in the manufacturing, construction, communications, and traditional ad settings.

Contact Jasmine McNellis at 701-478-6800 or Jasmine@thepartnerchannel.com to join in on the membership call fun!

Miss the Expo Already?

By Jenny Davis

Have no fear…the Virtual Expo is here! Over 70 of the Convergence 2009 Sponsors and Exhibitors are included in The Partner Channel Virtual Expo: Spring 2009.

You can sort by company name, industry, horizontal, or service which helps make your search quick and easy! Oh…and another perk…there is no walking involved with this expo! (Which is pretty awesome if you’re still resting up after Convergence.)

Check it out now!

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    The Partner Channel Magazine contains articles and information that is very relevant to our industry.
    - Kevin Evans, Martin and Associates