In my years of being in a customer focused business I have learned a very important phrase and philosophy: eat your own dog food.
Most of what I have to say this week is stepping back to the basics. But that’s where successful business processes have to begin so these points can never be over emphasized.
I was fortunate enough to teach a high school economics class this week through Junior Achievement, that’s where I found the inspiration for this blog (thank you to Ms. Campbell’s first period class at Olentangy Orange High School.) The class is selling t-shirts for a project that gives them the experience of running a business. One obstacle the class has seen so far, was selling a t-shirt they couldn’t show off. The shirts have not yet been shipped so they don’t yet have the product in hand. Out of a muffle of conversation identifying reasons sales were low, I heard one student say “If I could actually wear the shirt, I could sell it easier.” Ah ha! Eat your own dog food.
The ability to communicate your product or solution to your client is the key to making a deal. A part of that communication is knowing your product and being able to spread the importance of what you have to offer. By using your product or solution internally you not only better understand your offering, but you can better understand the needs of the client.
In my situation, we build customized browsers, so I personally use one of our customized browser on all of my computers (currently using our Christmas theme for those of you wondering). The client has to trust that what you have to offer is the best there is, and if it’s not good enough for you, than how is it good enough for them? One of the strongest tools you can bring to the sales table is being a client yourself. We have all see the commercial “not only am I president, but I’m also a client.”
It’s easier to communicate the quality of dog food if you feed it to your beloved pup at home. It’s easier to express the wow of a t-shirt if you can wear it yourself. It’s easier to show off our customized browsers if I surf the web with them daily. Practice what you preach, eat your own dog food.
Happy Holidays Everyone