Finding Resellers

The first step is to build a checklist of what a good prospective reseller partner looks like. As an example:

•    Do they have an existing client base in the verticals you sell into?
•    Do they have the capacity to provide the services required?
•    Are they located in the right geography?  For example, in the U.S. companies selling into the pharmaceutical industry should be located in the Northeast, which has a huge concentration of pharmaceutical and bio-tech companies.
•    How many products do they sell?  If it is a catalog company with hundreds of products in their portfolio, they are unlikely to focus much attention on a single product.

In reaching out to potential resellers, you need to think in terms of selling them a business opportunity, not a technology. Resellers want to know how your technology fits into their business model and how it will help them make more money using their existing resources. It is up to you to build a business case that clearly shows the overall revenue and margin opportunity. Resellers won’t take the time to try and connect the dots themselves.

Good channel partners get a lot of calls from ISVs. You can set yourself apart from the others by getting to the points that interest them most…quickly.

Create a one-page overview to show prospective partners that you have done your homework and you are contacting them for a reason. You have thought through the rationale and they can see they are being targeted for a reason. You want prospects to recognize themselves in the document and quickly understand what’s in the relationship for them.
Designing the one-page overview becomes the foundation for all of the initial communications, whether it is a telephone script, an e-mail, or an on-line presentation.

Creating a short (10 slides or less), but compelling PowerPoint presentation can also be an effective way to get your message across to prospects. Post the presentation on a site such as Slideshare or Brainshark.  That way you can just send a link in an e-mail instead of sending an attachment.