The best use of this symbiotic relationship is when the customer does not know your company. Due to the relationship that the OEM has either directly or because of the brand association, you get a free ride into the customer.
I remember there was a Japanese consumer electronics giant in India. When I tried talking to them, they were very clear that they did not deal with Indian companies. They would only deal with the OEM with whom they had the global relationship.
When this global OEM however introduced us into the account as the only specialists in that product, they ended up having to do business with us.
Now comes the real story. Once they started doing business, they realised the benefits we offered. So instead of doing business direct with the OEM which was their preferred method earlier, they started routing all the business through us.For almost 5 years till we were in that line of business the customer every year was giving us more than Rs 50 million of business on various products and services.
For the OEM also it was a better deal, because we were taking over all the challenges related to delivery and support across the country, they also preferred that the customer, route the business through us.
In another instance a customer had bought one OEM’s product, but the partner who had sold it, messed up on the implementation of the product. Being a very prestigious customer, the OEM had to get us in to clean up. The result was an amazing long lasting relationship with the end customer.
Since these OEMs are looking at growing very fast to create a dominant position, they put in a lot of sales bandwidth to penetrate the market. As a small company you will never be able to garner this bandwidth. But because of your relationship, wherever the elephant goes, you will automatically reach there.
Consider this as a very critical market penetration strategy to gather a large portion of the market.
Till next time then.