Peter Ward is the co-owner of SohoDragon, a Microsoft partner or VAR based in New York City. Value Added Reseller is
A Value Added Reseller is solo consultant or an agency that sells products and services on behalf of another company but is fully independent of them.
What does that mean? Peter sells Microsoft web-based technologies like SharePoint, Azure, and .Net technologies. You might even be using some of them in your office right now.
Companies can buy these technologies from someone like Peter, instead of directly from Microsoft because he provides customization and consulting services to help each company get the most from these technologies based on their unique needs.
He’s worked both as a solo consultant and currently manages a team of 20 employees, so he shares the pros and cons of between these two different VAR business models.
A few interesting discussion points that occur in our conversation include:
- The process of how Peter pivoted from a solo consultant to managing a team of 20.
- The value of your hard skills and how their value is different when you are an employee versus when you are self-employed.
- How Peter attracts new clients by blogging about challenges his target clients are facing.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Self-directed learning.
How Peter Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 5 am
- Core work habits: 1) 1-on-1’s with team 2) Plan your work, work his plan 3) Have lunch to listen to a co-worker.
- Ideal work environment: Working at night or early in the morning when there are few interruptions.
- Superpower: Self-reflection.
- Book recommendation: Rework
- Regains focus by: Having deadlines.
- Favorite productivity tool: Trello, Hubspot and Whatsup.
- 90-day goal: Increase open rates and click-throughs for his monthly newsletter. Hire an operations manager.
“We now live in a world where everyone is a passive job seeker.”
“Sometimes your strength can also be your weakness.”
“Plan your work. Work your plan.”
“If it’s not making a difference, it’s not working correctly. That’s collaboration.”
Peter offers this advice on how to build channel partnerships:
1) Understand the goals and motivations of the sales rep at the company of the products you are selling.
2) Learn something personal about the sales rep you are dealing with to show you really understand them.
3) When doing demos for partnerships and clients by sure to understand their needs first and build your presentation around their goals.