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Navigating the Shadows of Deal Registration: Empowering Customers for Fairer Negotiations and Service

4:08 AM EST on December 13, 2023


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    Prospective Vendor Stopped Negotiating? Trusted Partner Not Helping? Ask if a "Deal Registration" Locks Your Company Into a "Bad Deal"

    In the world of technology services, "deal registration" is a pivotal yet often obscured process that significantly impacts customer experiences and expenses. Traditionally, this process allows partners to exclusively claim sales opportunities, inadvertently shackling customers to a single negotiator, often without their knowledge. This practice not only curtails the customer's ability to seek competitive quotes but also directly influences the financial aspects of their contracts, sometimes unfavorably.

    Understanding the Invisible Impact

    Deal registration, when undisclosed, places customers at a disadvantage. They lose the leverage of market competition, often resulting in higher costs and lesser service quality. Moreover, a significant portion of the customer's payment – sometimes as high as 25% over a standard three-year term – goes to the registering partner as a commission. Astonishingly, this happens without any contractual obligation from the partner to provide corresponding professional services.

    Seizing Control for Fairer Outcomes

    For a transparent and equitable negotiation process, it’s crucial for customers to proactively engage in the deal registration phase. This involves:

    1. Demanding Transparency: Before any deal registration, insist on a clear understanding of its implications. Know how it affects your negotiating power and the service quality you can expect.
    2. Professional Services Agreement (PSA): Require a PSA with the partner intending to register the deal. This agreement should outline the specific services expected from the partner during the contract term, ensuring accountability.
    3. Partner-Vendor Collaboration: Ensure that the registering partner has a robust relationship with the vendor. This is crucial for redressal if the partner fails to deliver as per the PSA.
    4. Customer Consent: No deal should be registered without the explicit consent of the customer, confirming their understanding and agreement to the terms.
    5. Vendor Involvement in Redressal: The vendor should be actively involved in addressing any service failures. Options like switching to a different partner or adjusting the customer's pricing should be on the table if the original partner falters.

    Advocating for Ethical Practices

    In an era where customer experience (CX) is paramount, the opaque nature of deal registration stands in stark contrast to the ideals of outstanding CX. Customers, now more than ever, must be informed and involved in every stage of their purchasing journey. It's time for vendors and partners to align their practices with these expectations, ensuring that deal registration becomes a process marked by clarity, fairness, and mutual benefit.

    By taking these proactive steps, customers can safeguard their interests, ensuring they receive the best possible terms and services, not just for the present but throughout the duration of their technology service contracts. Remember, in the complex dance of deal registration, the customer should lead.

    Who wins and who loses when a vendor/partner "deal registration" program does not involve documented prospective customer consent?iStock

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