Our Channel is Small So You Better Be Nice

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“Treat others as yourself” or “What goes around comes around.” No matter what quote you prefer, the point is the same. The way you treat people now can have an impact on you later. Either positive or negative. And I think that is especially true when you spend your career working in a software channel like ours.  

Recently I had a similar issue with two companies. But the outcome of each was very different.

The first company was a Microsoft Dynamics ERP VAR that has been a member of the ERP Software Blog for many years. I realized that due to an internal error we had not billed them for their membership for five months.  I reached out and explained the error and mentioned that since they had been using our service and certainly already had this as a regular expense in their budget, I hoped they would pay the backdue amount.

I received a personal reply from the owner of the company who said, “We always pay our debts”. He nicely complimented our services and expressed his concern that we wouldn’t have to try to collect from many other companies. There was no pushback, no complaints. Even though the error was clearly on our side.

I was truly impressed by the honesty and integrity of their business practices. It left such a good impression. You can bet that when I have leads to refer, or come across bonus marketing opportunities, I will definitely think of them first.

If only everyone was like that.

The second company was a Microsoft Dynamics ERP service provider. They have been an ERP Software Blog member for 6 years but suddenly stopped paying their monthly membership fees. Long story short, after 5 months of contacting them with overdue notices, I finally got a reply. It turns out that the person who managed their blog membership was no longer at the company and he had neglected to pass the information on to anyone else. A reasonable misunderstanding, but still their responsibility.

However, when I explained their membership and tried to collect the past due fees the reply was, in my opinion, quite rude. He minimized the “so called benefits”, threw around legal terms and refused to pay.  I realized that this person obviously had much more experience arguing with people than I do. And that’s not the person I want to be. I decided to let it go so I would not have to deal with him anymore.  

Yes, this company saved a few hundred dollars. But they certainly lost my respect. And I won’t be working with them again. I am sure this man would not lose one wink of sleep to hear that. After all, who am I? Just the owner of a “little blog site” he hadn’t heard of.

True. But what if the person he was rude to was also the Director of Marketing at a VAR that could recommend his service to 300+ customers? What if my little blog has 50,000 readers in his industry? What if I have the ear of a large portion of the partner community at events and online?

Then it might make more of a difference.

So personally, if I had to pick a quote it might be, “Karma is a …….”

Okay, okay, that is a little harsh. But the point is, your actions are a reflection on your entire company. And despite the thousands of people that attend our events, our channel can still be considered quite close knit.

So you should just be nice. To everyone.

By Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing


Twitter: @AnyaCWMktg