The Value of Insights

There has been much discussion about the value of attending the Sage Insights Conference. I am one of those who have found Insights to provide me with great value and I’ve learned a great amount of useable information. The technology industry changes daily and there’s no way to know about those changes if we don’t talk to the source. You can find the source(s) and other partners who have utilized those changes very successfully by attending events such as Insights.

Look at the business partners who consistently make the Top 10 list. Go to their website and see what they’re doing that you’re not. They’re involved in Insights, BPAC members, etc.  It’s time to be accountable to ourselves for our failures or successes. It’s time to stop blaming others when we fail. It’s time to stop blaming the economy.

First, there is the long term value of creating lasting relationships with other BP’s or third party solutions and there are many knowledgeable partners and company representative who will gladly share that knowledge with you.

How do you put a price tag on product information you receive at Insights? What about face time with Sage executives? Truth be told, you can’t put a price tag on these items.

Too often we get caught up on doing business as we’ve always done it, not knowing that there are better ways of streamlining and making our individual businesses more cost effective. But if we don’t go to Insights and attend sessions, talk to other BP’s, then we’re going to stay in that same spiraling vortex & will get the same results. One of my favorite quotes is:

“If you keep doing what you’re doing you’re going to keep getting what you get. If you want something new you’re going to have to try something new.”

~ Author Unknown

I have spoke to BP’s who have concerns that they have never “pulled” any new business from attending Insights occasionally or even those who go each year. Then there’s the camp that has bought booth space, collected business cards & found that most of those cards belonged to other BP’s & not potential new deal opportunities. Is it worth the expenditure, they ask?

First, if you’re heading off to Insights with the sole intent of closing deals then you’re going to be disappointed. It’s kind of like going to a Barnum & Bailey Circus expecting Shakespeare; or going on vacation to Northern Minnesota in January wearing shorts, flip flops & sun tan lotion; you’re going to be disappointed.

Unfortunately most companies don’t look at non revenue generating items as having any value. Unless there’s a dollar amount involved most BP’s don’t “get it.” Here’s an example of one who does.

“It has always been MY rule that if I am serious about selling Sage products I need to attend Insights. I need to “breathe” the air, sense the mood of the Sage community, and get enough inspiration to see me through another year.”

~ Arlie Skory; Managing Partner at Skory Employer Solutions LLC ~

To the partners who don’t get it, there are three questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. What value am I adding to the equation?
  2. What Solution can I provide?
  3. Am I participating in the success of my business?

Come to Denver & see the change that is happening at Sage. You’re going to be surprised & more importantly you’re going to go back to your business with a new attitude & isn’t life itself about how you approach it? I think so & I hope to see each of you in Denver.

Note: Re-print of my 4/19/10 post on

What Differentiates You?

What skills do you have that make you different? Is product knowledge enough to keep a client or attract new prospects? What is IT about you that makes people want to do business with YOU?  

Is product knowledge enough? I don’t think so. Anyone can learn  just enough about a product to make themselves dangerous, yet appear competent, trustworthy & deserving of the prospects business. But what happens when the s%*t hits the fan? If all you’ve learned is project knowledge then it won’t take long for your customer to figure out your competency level.   

What about passion for work? First let’s define the word passion. My definition is simple, “it’s having a deep affection or love for something or someone. Can you have a love for the work that you do? Absolutely. Unfortunately we most often hear about people who are dispassionate about their job. The ones who love their job just go about their business quietly & normally exceed the expectations that their job requires. Webster’s definition;” ardent affection: a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept. 

So is passion enough to differentiate you from your competition? While it will make you more pleasant to be around just having passion isn’t enough. Pure passion can lead to making emotional decisions in stressful situations when  a more business rationale  is in order for some situations.  

It’s my opinion that while product knowledge & passion are important pieces to the differentiator question it’s integrity that completes the equation. Wikipedia defines integrity as “a consistency of actions, values, measures, principles, expectations & outcome,” 

You want to be better than your competition?  

  1. Know more about your product than he does.
  2. Research his business & learn his industry.
  3. Have a deep seeded passion for what you do.
  4. Be consistent in your methodologies & you’ll become consistent in your outcomes.

Good Selling!