“Eating Your Own Dog Food”, is a term that more and more service providers are using to tell their customers that they use the technology they sell.
It’s an important way to show your customers that you have faith in your solutions – after all, if it’s good enough for you to use it on your own company, then it should be good for them, right?
“Eating your own dog food” has far more benefits than simply showing your customers that you use what you sell. Some of those benefits can be extremely valuable and helpful with your marketing operations.
In this post I quickly list some of the numerous benefits to using the technology you sell. Here are 10:
- Differentiation from competitors who do not use what they sell – this one is self-explanatory
- Credibility – you “walk the walk” – your customers will be more likely to buy the technology if you are actually using it yourself
- Opportunity for internal training – your technicians get a chance to play with the technology
- You get a chance to work the kinks out of implementations – you are your own guinea pig
- Tangible examples for your sales reps – it’s easier for your sales reps to understand, and ultimately explain, benefits of the technology to their customers
- You have a valuable, “real-world” demonstration platform for your customers
- You can develop and test meaningful managed services for future sales
- You will have an “inside track” to your vendor’s newest technology
- Better relationship with your key vendors – they will invest in you if you invest in them
- You can usually get your technology at a significant discount, if not for free
I bolded the last two points because a lot of service providers miss out on considerable benefits that are available if they simply ask.
You already know that most IT vendors offer discounts on hardware and software to their partners.
What you may not know is that often times your vendor may give you deeper discounts – even free hardware or software – if you use their technology and develop campaigns around it.
In addition to free hardware or software for your internal use, your vendors may give you funding (in addition to their available MDF) to help pay for customer-facing events that help demonstrate their technology.
Your vendors are willing to do this because it’s good business – the entire channel model depends on you selling their products, and they will gladly invest in partners that show loyalty to them and actively and aggressively promote their products.
Understand, however, that this can only happen if you take the time to develop a strong relationship with your partner representative.
This does NOT mean that you can’t remain “vendor agnostic” and sell other products. In a later post I’ll discuss how you can be vendor agnostic and still have preferred vendor relationships.
How do you get these benefits? It’s as simple as asking your partner representative!