Parochial and proud of it
1 April 2005 | 0
The subject of this months feature in Channels this month, ‘Local vs European distributors’, has shown just how much Irish resellers and their customers like to deal with representatives who truly know and understand the intricacies of the Irish market.
This attitude even extends to us here on the editorial team. The focus of ComputerScope and Channels is the Irish IT scene. We often get information from UK publicists promoting a product or service or channel programme that is supposedly available here,
but which often turns out not to be. Unless the company they represent is well known to us, these leads are rarely followed up.
This is not an argument for coming down blindly in favour of local suppliers against pan-European ones. But regardless of whether a representative works for a local or a multinational company, local knowledge and good relationships are still the keys to success in the Irish market. One illustration of this is that after years of trying and failing to establish and staff Irish offices by themselves, many pan-European distributors are finding that buying out an established local operation is a very good way of securing a solid Irish reseller and customer base. Others are taking different approaches, but most do
at least make a huge effort to build up good relationships and get to know customers if local knowledge is slightly lacking.
Most customers would like to see more international vendors and pan-European distributors consider the Irish market as a separate sales territory separately rather than merely bunch it together with the UK. Treating them separately shows that you appreciate the genuine differences between these territories.
Would it be unfair to assume that the only reason the UK and Ireland are often considered one and the same sales territory is that they are both English-speaking countries? The demographics are different, the sizes are different, the attitudes and brand loyalties are different. You name it, it’s different.
To call something parochial usually implies a criticism; that of narrow mindedness, insularity, and lack of sophistication. Yet the Irish IT market and the trade that supplies it are anything but. At the end of the day, customers will reward those who take the time to get to you know their business and their sales territory.