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Fellowship of the Miserable: Channel Version

By Keith Lubner, Co-founder of Channel EQ

I golf.  Upon finishing a round, we often make it a point to socialize on the patio at our country club.  The topic of our conversation always turns to that of the round we just played.  I realized that my fellow golfers are not only members of the golf club, but most are also members of The Fellowship of the Miserable.  Let me explain.  They talk about the bad lies they had on the golf course, the unfortunate putts that didn’t drop, the shots that were so close (but yet so far away), and the slow groups that were in front of them.  They seem to fall into a comfort zone – feeling somewhat good that others were having as much of a difficult time as they were.  They feel fantastic that someone else is in the same leaky boat as they are.

I run a channel consulting and training business.   Upon finishing a keynote last year, I was standing near the podium and chatting with a lot of the attendees.  Their faces started to blur and for a moment I thought I was on the patio at the country club and in the midst of the Fellowship of the Miserable again, but with a channel twist this time.  As I listen, I hear:

  • We’re behind on our numbers.
  • My partners don’t listen to our channel managers.
  • My partners are not identifying net new opportunities.
  • My partners do not articulate our value proposition correctly.
  • My partners refuse to do marketing.
  • My partners rely too much on us for leads.
  • My partners are too quick to discount.
  • My partners do not register opportunities.
  • My partners are horrible at forecasting.
  • My partners do not ask the right questions to prospects.

And I heard these same statements from multiple sources. The strange thing was that the attendees starting talking to one another about all of their problems and issues….and seemingly enjoying doing so. They feel fantastic that someone else is having difficulty like they are.

The odd thing is that each and every golfer and channel person would rather NOT be in the Fellowship of the Miserable.

The solution is simple and it involves a shift in mindset and action.  One without the other is no good.  For those channel people, it’s making the decision to make things better by implementing programs and initiatives that will inspire and elevate their channels.

Next, it’s about actually doing something about it.  If no action occurs, it’s really easy for people to fall back into the Fellowship of the Miserable.

For 2017 and beyond, commit to changing and commit to action.  Do these two things and you will undoubtedly be successful and your channel will prosper.


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Keith Lubner acts as an advisor and mentor to several of today’s leading channel organizations onKeith Lubner_2016 sitting_glasses strategies, tactics, and programs to accelerate growth. He is a world-wide recognized expert on enablement, channel sales & marketing issues, and channel leadership. His training programs and workshops have been delivered across the globe to several start-up and multi-national organizations