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Special guest post by Microsoft Dynamics partner: Josh Richards, Merit Solutions

clip_image002Today’s partner channel is drastically different than what it was 10 years ago: working remote, video conferencing, virtual machines, and other web collaboration tools have allowed for long distances between partners and their customers.

However, when it comes to building a strong, lasting relationship with your customers, there’s really no better substitute than connecting live and in person. And what better place to connect than at Microsoft Convergence 2013 in New Orleans? As the premier event for the worldwide Microsoft Dynamics community, Convergence offers ample opportunities for partners to strengthen their relationships with customers and drive a high ROI for the event.

Here are the top five ways you can bond with your customers at Microsoft Convergence 2013 in New Orleans:

1. Make Personal Connections. Microsoft Convergence gives you an opportunity to connect with your customers in a more personal way, outside of the traditional business environment. It also helps customers put a face to a name, creating a deeper connection between customers and the vendors that they use. Remember: People build relationships with people, not companies.

2. Increase the Value of Their Investments. Microsoft Convergence is a great way for partners to help customers get more value out of their existing Microsoft Dynamics programs and investments. Whether it’s walking through the showroom floor learning about potential add-on solutions or sitting in on an educational session, partners have the opportunity to help customers drive added value for their organization.

3. Facilitate Networking. As the trusted advisor to your customers, you know a lot about their business challenges and successes. This puts you in a great position to facilitate networking at the unique environment that Microsoft Convergence provides. By introducing customers to other Microsoft Dynamics customers, you can help them learn what works and allow them to share their experiences with peers.

4. Thank Your Customers. What better way to show your appreciation for your customers’ partnership and trust than taking them out for a night of fine dining, networking, and thanks! Remember, your customers are allowing you to be a part of their success; you can never say “thank you” too much. Plus, if your customers believe that you truly value the opportunity to help them drive success (and not just your success), they will trust you more when you offer additional products or services.

5. Take Advantage of a Customer Testimonial Opportunity. After spending three days ensuring that your customers receive real business value from attending Microsoft Convergence, ask them to spend some time talking about how much they value your relationship. By asking for a customer testimonial, case study, or video reference for you to use post-Convergence, you can create more value for your clients (free publicity) while gaining reference materials to use in the future!

Imagine the difference between a customer that has mixed feelings about their partner, and a customer who wouldn’t dream of buying from anyone else. The partners who drive the most success from Microsoft Convergence look at the event as an investment instead of an expense. They are investing in their brand, their network, and most importantly, their customer relationships.