As soon as I was somewhat successful, software resellers started to contact me. I was initially flattered and started dreaming of large corporations purchasing hundreds of licenses. That was not the case. Dealing with resellers quickly turned out to be a massive time sink. They asked dozens of questions about my software. They asked about return policies and about included support, and they asked about reseller discounts and quantity discounts. But at some point I was inevitably disappointed when they finally requested a quote for just a single license.
Software Resellers do not market your product for you. The reason that these resellers contact me is not because they want to start marketing my app and distribute it. They are asking for a license of my product because they have a customer that asked for it. Many large companies and government agencies do not directly buy software; they purchase from their trusted reseller instead.
So it turns out that I should probably work with these resellers; but I also need to find a way to reduce the amount of time spent answering their requests.
Here’s how I’ve decided to deal with resellers:
- Do not offer any discounts. Companies that purchase software through resellers are usually not very price conscious — they usually worry more about convenience or regulatory compliance.
- Do not write quotes. Writing quotes takes time and is a pointless exercise when you don’t offer discounts. Resellers can just use your online store instead.
- Prepare a document with information for resellers. Don’t bother filling out questionaires. People will send you pages of irrelevant questions. Just send them a link instead. Here’s what my reseller link looks like. Don’t worry wheter the document actually answers all the questions. It turns out that when people send generic questionaires, they don’t really care about most of the answers.
This has drastically reduced the amount of time I spend dealing with resellers. When I get an inquiry, all I need to do is send them a link, and I’m done. At the same time, I am also saving time for the reseller. Instead of multiple emails going back and forth, they get all the info in a single document, and can order licenses immediately.
The key to understand is that Software Resellers help your users buy your software. If you deal with them correctly, they can potentially save you a bit of time by taking care of formalities that some customers require. But in general software resellers will not market your product. That is still your job.