In every issue of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council (C4) newsletter we try to feature a C4 member to gain insights from their experiences, learn about their channel journey, and what advice they have for their peers in the channel community.
In this issue, we turn the spotlight on Gary Drysdale — a veteran of the IT community. Drysdale is vice-president of commercial and channel sales for Printing and Personal Systems with HP Canada and is a member of C4.
C4: How did you become involved in the channel?
Drysdale: My first real job was in the channel managing a store called Computer Way. It was quite an education. I learned everything I could about computers the night before my interview, and convinced them that I knew what I was doing. It was at this job that I discovered how truly difficult it is to be a reseller, and the importance of technical support.
C4: What makes for a good reseller partner?
Drysdale: It’s really all about the word ‘partner’ when looking at what makes a good reseller. To be a valued partner, you need to be committed to the success of your customers, unafraid to pull any punches and tell it like it is, and constantly push for improvement. And if you’re truly committed to delighting your customers, as a partner you should also be able to work effectively with your vendors on your mutual goals as technology solution providers.
Partners need cutting-edge technology, programs and business tools to help differentiate themselves from their competitors. At HP, we’re focused on offering partners a superior value proposition to help them disrupt markets, capture opportunities and grow their business.
C4: Could you describe a business challenge you’ve had to overcome in a channel role, and how you learned from it?
Drysdale: I think one challenge that many of us face every single day is prioritizing tasks and setting goals. Not only short-term, day-to-day objectives, but also longer term ones for the month, quarter and year.
My go-to concept, which has helped me throughout the years, is to focus on the big rocks. These are the things that absolutely need to get done to drive the business forward. Our days can easily be eaten up with emails and internal meetings, but it’s important to stay focused on the big objectives. By identifying your key objectives, you are addressing what matters most to your business. When in doubt, go back to your big rocks.
C4: What advice do you have for someone looking at a career in the channel?
Drysdale: Do it! The channel is incredibly unique in this industry, as it allows you to participate across sales, operations and marketing functions. I’ve learned so much from working in the channel and worked with some great people and partners along the way. In my opinion, it’s the best job out there!