Why I’ll Never Call Other Sage VARS To Warn Them Their Client Is Leaving

There’s an odd conventional wisdom in the world of consulting that say’s whenever you receive a phone call from an end user of accounting software who is using a competitor that you immediately pick up the phone and warn the competitor that “their customer is looking”.

I think this is called “playing nice”.

I’ve even had a partner in my state call a meeting of every other Sage partner within 30 miles to discuss the “rules of engagement” and how everyone should play nicely.

The problem, in my experience, is the favor is seldom returned.

VARS go through the motions of “playing nice”. It probably helps them sleep a little better. But  but that “faux call” usually comes days or week(s) after they’ve begun to interact and service the customer.

When I do receive a call from a competitor – the tone is usually “hey we just filed the paperwork – aka Reseller of Record” — just wanted to let you know about it now that we know it’s too late for you to do anything about it.

This voicemail I just received from  Kissinger Associates (informing me that they’ve already converted a past customer to one of their customers via an ROR or Reseller of Record Change) is a fair sample of how I’ve personally observed the majority of VARS treat you.

Oddly these VARS think nothing of converting a customer that you’d been working with  —- all the while expecting you to call them immediately if one of their customers contact you

With the exception of VARS I know personally – I’ve adopted a no call policy due to years of experience like this actual call transcript from this afternoon ….

Hi Wayne, My name is Nicole, I’m calling from Kissinger Associates. I was just calling to let you know we received a phone call from xxx (customer name)  at yyy  (company name) last week. He was requesting information about EDI enhancement for his MAS 90 system and for information on upgrading his MAS 90 system. I did get in contact with our enhancement specialist here at Kissinger and a  consultant to discuss upgrade possibilities and his options. And he did mention and, that he was working with you prior two giving us a call. I did receive a Reseller of Record change form today (Note: She is ONLY contacting me once she has filed the change form) and. I just wanted to, give you a heads up and keep you in the loop. I’ve been speaking with xxx. If you need to speak with me, you have any questions, you can give me a call back the number here is zzzzz. Again, my name is Nicole and my direct extension. Here is qqq Thanks Wayne. Have a nice day bye.

I don’t claim there’s anything wrong with how this notification was handled – only that making a notification (when the customer has already changed partners) is not something I’ve ever done – or contemplate doing in the future.

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Comments

  1. This is from a developer that has an interest in maintaining a relationship with you. If they aren’t going to play nice, a direct competitor certainly isn’t inclined to.

  2. I like what you wrote. So True! So True!

  3. Nice post Wayne. You could also add that often this client also happens to owe you money as well 🙂

  4. Lorelei Walker says:

    Wayne, I agree with your observations and have also found myself in the same situation of playing well with others to find I’m playing alone. My group takes a lot of pride in doing the right thing – and we will continue to do so.

    I am more concerned about having to play with Sage these days.

  5. I agree with what you are saying here Wayne. This gets us here sometimes scared to even promote other reseller enhancements on the web. With the internet the way it is today; you just need to pick up the name of the software and look on google for the manufacturer and see if they sell direct. They are probably thinking if you eliminate the middle man, you’ll probably get the best price. Shouldn’t developers who sell enhancements first ask the prospect about their current VAR and whether that VAR should be involved if there are services outside the enhancement?