Five Big Takeaways from IT Nation

IT Nation, hosted by ConnectWise, is always one of the busiest and most exciting weeks of the year for the IT channel community. IT Nation 2014 was no different. From fabulous keynotes, to informative breakouts, to super parties, and networking opportunities galore, the week was packed with great stuff.

On a personal level, I loved the chance to reconnect with partners and old friends, while getting a healthy dose of some great "brain food."

Here are my five key takeaways from this year's event:

1. "Your clients should be buying you, not a product."

Click to read more ...


Training is Dead, Long Live Facilitation

I just finished up two days of “facili-training” with all of the group facilitators from Heartland Technology Groups (HTG). Each HTG facilitator leads a group of twelve or so people who work together to grow both personally and in business through their involvement with HTG. Each member is usually an MSP or VAR business owner or senior executive. I am a facilitator for the HTG Vendor Peer Group, where we follow the same process as the MSP partners, but with a group of sales and marketing leaders from IT vendor companies. I am privileged to be a part of this generous and smart group of HTG facilitators. This week’s session took on an unconventional name “facili-training,” since HTG trained the facilitators on how to better facilitate.

The key lesson of the session was that adult education needs to be hands-on and interactive.

Click to read more ...


The Why of Leadership Development for MSPs

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the week with the HTG community in Fort Worth, TX. eFolder was fortunate enough to get to meet with three different HTG groups during the week. In my last engagement, with HTG 18, I got to participate in the Seat at the Table part of the gathering, where a vendor is permitted to listen in on the peer group part of the meeting. The discussion I witnessed revolved around “leadership development,” how to do it, tricks of the trade, and special programs business owners can take on develop emerging leaders.

Click to read more ...


Five Key Considerations for Client Health Checks

Regular check-ins with clients are one of the most important sales tasks in a service business. “Sales” you say? Yes, sales. In a professional services business, service sells. Delivering your clients excellent service is the surest way to guarantee a steady stream of revenue and profits.

Alas, many service oriented businesses do a poor job of managing their existing client base, resorting instead to a reactive or “break-fix” mentality. In these sorts of situations, the culture becomes “let sleeping dogs lie.” The result is only hearing about problems when it is too late, when things are broken and folks are dissatisfied.

Click to read more ...


Vendors: fit in and stand out

Partner panels are one of my favorite ways to gain insights on how to better serve eFolder's partners. I hosted a partner panel a few weeks during our HTG Vendor Peer Group.

During the session, Stephen Riddick made several very insightful comments about some common vendor do's and don'ts.

Vendors are often guilty of pushing their newest products, services, and technologies on their channel partners. While some subscribe to the vain idea that new is always better, too often partners and their clients are ill prepared for the costs and complexities introduced by cutting edge technologies.

Click to read more ...