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Channel Matters Blog > May 2014 > Yippy Skippy - Partners like consistency!

Yippy Skippy - Partners like consistency!

by William Vanderbilt
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My son invented a card game called "Yippy Skippy".  I really don't like playing it because every time I think I understand what is happening, my son tells me, "Oh there is something I forgot to tell you!"  Of course, it always seems that he remembers to tell me about a new rule just when it is most inconvenient for me!  I wonder how many times channel partners feel like they are playing Yippy Skippy with their vendors!
 
The truth is, we all have to abide by rules and processes whether it is in a game, in a relationship or conducting business.  We may not always like the way we have to do things, but if the rules and processes are clear and consistent, at least we can control our own destiny.  But when the processes change too often or new rules are regularly introduced, people and partners get frustrated and often opt to not find something else to do with their precious time and resources.
 
How do vendors create problems for themselves in this regard?  They introduce new people to the partner, they change the way the partner gets paid, they introduce new methods of registering deals, they make new demands on tracking information and they establish new criteria for maintaining partner status levels.  Those things can change over time, but when too many of these things change too often, it can feel to the partner as though they are playing Yippy Skippy.
 
Vendors can influence their relationship with their partners by managing their behaviors and changes.  Vendors should be very cautious about even seemingly simple changes.  When possible, announce changes in advance and group changes together.  Clarify and document the changes and be clear about why the changes are being made and when more changes can be expected.  As much openness and foresight as can be provided will help.  Partners will appreciate the information, even if they don't always like the specific changes.
 
Last modified on 6/3/2014 9:25:02 AM
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