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01 Oct 2006

Increasingly computer vendors are offering incentives to sales people and resellers on attaching product. The trips, fiscal rewards, prizes and rebates are all yours if you’re good at attaching accessories, or cross-selling to another category of product also sold by the vendor. So you want to maximise profits you’re going to have to attach and,  if you want to strategically partner with a vendor, you need to attach the vendor’s attachments. 

Sales people have a tough job – they carry high quotas they need to reach in order to be paid. Even if they manage to sell hundreds of PCs, printers or server units into an account chances are high that no one in the distribution chain is making much money. The only way to make money on these accounts is to attach products.

In the hardware world systems prices continue to decrease and the only way to reach revenue goals is to push up the average unit price by attaching other products.

If it was really simple to cross-sell, upsell and attach we would have all been doing it for years. But only those sales people who understand the customer’s desires are really good at it. A customer can spot a sales person ‘cramming’ a sale from a mile away – from the McDonalds cashier to the car salesperson to the IT salesperson – and they resist. But if a sales person can get into a dialogue with the customer and understand what they are using the base product for then they can uncover all the needs. THEN they can attach the software, accessories or services to meet those needs. The customer is happy, we end up driving attach rates and margin and the sales person gets paid.

At HP the computer has become personal again. Which is nice because selling a commodity product was getting dull. Someone who wants to do a lot of photo editing has quite different needs to someone who just wants to send emails or surf the internet while others are obsessed with security - and who could blame them.

So HP is adding some exciting accessories to it’s range. For example, on the commercial notebook side, we have a ‘three-in-one’ docking station that allows HP business notebook users to dock their notebooks, backup their data to an integrated hard disk and remotely access and share the information on that hard disk. Who wouldn’t want one of those? And the extra memory that our PCs are hungry for? The wireless keyboard and mouse? The notebook bag and extra battery? And what about a ‘skin’ for your home computer? A New Zealand flag ‘skin’ on your PC anyone? Or perhaps Spongebob? Or you can upload your own photo or other artwork onto a skin just to make your computer personal. No computer will be harmed while you make it personal (see ).

For the corporate customer it’s more difficult to explain what ‘personal’ means to them – it means we’ll make it personalised to the corporation. HP can install a personal image and asset tag. We’ll custom suit the configuration to the customer’s requirements. The channel can sell all of that plus add on additional products, support and services. And everyone is happy.

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