If you are considering becoming a reseller of computer hardware, or if you have spent any time within the business at all, you understand the challenges that come with such an enterprise. Not only do you have to make a case to customers as to why they should purchase from you rather than the manufacturer directly, you need to give those customers a reason to return and purchase from you again when they need additional hardware.
While there are many ways that you can maintain a successful reselling business, most successful resellers note that their accomplishments stem from three important components: Specialization, service, and value.
You might think that offering a wide range of hardware from multiple manufacturers is the way to go, as at least in theory, you can reach a broader segment of your target market. If one brand doesn’t work for a customer, when you have two or three others to offer, you increase the chances of making the sale.
While that strategy works for grocery stores and big box retailers, most successful hardware resellers will tell you that the key to success in reselling is specialization. Rather than being a mile wide and an inch deep in your expertise, when you specialize you have the opportunity to become more than just a vendor, but a trusted expert and partner for your clients.
Specialization makes you an expert, and you can effectively solve your customers’ problems by suggesting hardware and solutions that will truly meet their needs, not just what you suspect will work. When you focus on your services on one brand, you also become more intimately familiar with offers and promotions offered by specific manufacturers; for example, check out this list of Cisco promotions that can help you build your business and income.
2. Focus on Service
When customers are looking for a reseller, they aren’t simply looking for a piece of hardware. Most of the time, they are looking for a vital piece of their infrastructure — and do not want to have any issues with it. Therefore, you need to make it a priority to provide exceptional support and service for the products you sell. This means having trained experts on staff who can assist customers when they need help, and do so efficiently and correctly — every time.
In fact, some might argue that your service is the most important product. According to research by Salesforce, customer service is the most important factor when it comes to how much consumers trust a company — and 89 percent of customers have actually stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service. Not only that, but consumers are twice as likely to talk about bad service as they are good, meaning that one unhappy customer can turn into many customers that never even give you a chance. However, the most startling statistic is this: More than half of consumers are willing to pay more for great customer service. So as a reseller, it’s better to focus on service than price, and build a more loyal customer base who will actually help do your marketing for you.
3. Add Value
Offering expertise and exceptional customer service are just two ways that you can add value to your reselling business. Reselling can be a lucrative enterprise, but with the average cost of hardware decreasing all the time, many resellers are looking for ways to leverage their business to earn more. For many businesses, that means adding a service-based component to the business.
Talk with your customers to determine what they need and want. Do they want maintenance? Security consulting? Business planning? When you are moving into the realm of service, beyond straight reselling, you want to be sure you’re meeting a customer need. Determine how you can differentiate yourself from other service providers, and you will be in a better position to give your customers the value that they are looking for.
As with any business, reselling relies on establishing productive partnerships with customers. When you commit to providing not only high quality products, but also a high quality experience, your customers will appreciate it and keep coming back for more — and your business will grow and thrive, no matter what changes take place in the industry.