Most VARs tell me that they want more fish. They are eager to learn where the fish are and want someone to give them the tools to catch them. And then they claim they will cast their lines. But without knowing where they are, you simply can’t catch them. That is the struggle VARs are dealing with day in and day out. On one hand, these fish—these leads—are out there. You know they are because you see other VARs capturing them and reeling them in. Great VARs know where new customers are. They challenge themselves to find new places where leads might exist and they also know how to develop new leads from older ones—or existing customers. Did you ever consider that your marketing efforts are part of finding the new fish in the pond? Some VARs simply want to be given the leads or the marketing dollars and then they simply do what they want with it. While the Great VARs actually use the marketing dollars they are given to come up with a plan, most VARs don’t use their MDF. Why? Do you not see yourself owning your own brand and promoting it? If you’re continuing to use your vendors’ marketing materials, how are you going to develop your own unique identity with your customers? You must continue to develop your value proposition so that vendors understand what distiguishes you from the competition, and so your customers see you as a valuable solutions provider in the chain. It’s time to put some bait on that hook and go fishing with your own pole.