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jcsuperb
09-06-2005, 06:27 PM
Hello there!

This is Jose Castro, Channel Manager with Superb Internet Corp. I've been in the hosting industry for quite sometime (over 5 years now). I have had several inquiries about whether or not reselling dedicated servers makes business sense. I'd like to add some value to your day by addressing some important issues that I'm sure you would like to consider (regardless of your intention of joining our SuperbServers.Net reseller program).

I-My experience in this industry prompts me to tell you this: Become a reseller if you are going to offer value added services. Period. If you are not going to add any value to your own dedicated plans, forget being a reseller because I've seen companies go bankrupt as their entire business strategy was based on cheap prices. Selling cheap won't get you anywhere. My very first advise is: Offer something your provider does not sell or does not offer. What would that be?: That answer comes from your research, investigate what your up-stream provider does and find out what they lack (in terms of services) and focus on that. In summary: Sell VALUE added services, anything that complements what your hosting provider already does.

II-After 5 years in this industry and 2 working in Channel Sales I'd like to share something very valuable with you: Do not join the "price war". Yes, anyone who has a degree in marketing will tell you that sometimes matching prices is what needs to be done in order to secure market share. However, this is the easiest way (why did you go to school for 4 years to just mainly match prices and join a "price war"?) and a very "convenient" way to say bye to your margins. Do not join the war. Again, if you are not trusted, if your services are not valued and if you can not differentiate yourself from the competition, focus on selling something else, not hosting. Your strategy should include contingency plans to avoid joining the "price war". If your competition is "dropping their pants" in exchange for new clients, use this to fortify your sales pitch. How? Let's try this: "Mr. Customer, while other providers drop their pants in exchange for business, we continue adding more value to each of our plans, while remaining profitable in this ever evolving hosting industry. We want your business, but for us, quality of services comes first and our strategy is to focus on customer satisfaction through quality of services. It seems to work for us, as we have been in business for the past XYZ years and we would love to show you how much we truly appreciate your business". You see what I mean? You can totally use your competition's strategy into something positive that will get you more business. Period. Please do not join the pricing war that take place every second.

III-Service. Is your company customer service oriented? Is your business customer-centric? It is very easy to say on your site "we are customer driven, centric or customer oriented" But, are you really? If your clients drop a line, do they get an answer im################y? If they call you in the middle of the night, are you or a representative ready to discuss their technical or sales questions? If your client requires custom work, can you do it promptly? I believe the hosting industry lacks service. Being customer-centric means more than that by the way. It means going out of the way to resolve an issue on a timely manner, it means adopting an external focus, it means giving your employees the tools and power to decide the right way to treat your customers, it means giving your clients what they will want (being ahead of the game), it means giving your clients the chance to interact with your company using the medium they want, it means gaining new clients through customer referrals (ultimately word of mouth is what will proof if you are actually customer-centric) and finally it means that more than one client asked you to raise your prices. Service is one of the most important aspects in any industry, and in hosting: It can either kill you or take you to the top of the charts.

IV-In many occasions I've seen clients with a lot of potential fail due to their lack of marketing and sales skills. You can have a great product, great value added services and options, exceptional customer service and fair prices... But: Is marketing and sales your forte? If not, then you will miss out on many potential clients and partnerships and your business will not take off. Focus on developing your marketing and sales skills, don't just work on your site, shopping carts, billing software and the kind, work on your business by investing time on developing skills you may not have yet. There are several online courses that within 3 to 6 months will help you recognize the best way to go about doing business. Learn where to promote your site, what words to use, how to maximize results, how to generate leads, how to create successful affiliate and reseller programs, learn how to use new marketing and sales tools available to you to keep more clients and ultimately gain new through customer referrals, learn how to set up a rewarding customer referral program, effectively implement advertising techniques that will help you create brand awareness and work on your sales, marketing and customer service materials. Would you buy from a hosting provider that has a clear marketing objective, strong sales forecasts and exceptional customer service awards and goals? Would you hesitate in paying $2 more per month? I would not. Don't hesitate to incorporate your marketing (briefly) plan, sales plan and customer service policy and plan on your site. This will help you come across as a very "transparent" hosting provider. You mean business, let your clients know this.

There are several aspects that still need to be addressed such as: "What would be an ideal target market", "What CRM, PRM and SAF you should use?", "What billing software best fits into your environment", "Sales tactics to increase sales: such as offering free web design, or corporate logos for free when a client signs up for 1 year: Do you see how I am talking about adding VALUE and not getting into the whole "Get one month free if you sign up for 1 year or get free set up?" That is useless, you can do it to attract clients, but they will never be loyal to you if you do not offer something of VALUE to them. Period.

I would be more than happy to share any comments, business ideas, suggestions and discuss your sales, marketing and customer service issues and objectives at any given time.

I hope this information adds value to your day, if it did, I feel rewarded.

Thank you for reading.
Jose Castro.

More about me: http://www.superb.net/aboutus/management.php (scroll down to find out more details about myself)

Jose Castro - Channel Manager, Superb Internet Corporation
JCastro@Superb.Net
1-888: 1.888.354.6128 x 208
ICQ: 267648779 - MSN: perupoint@hotmail.com