secureworldSecureWorld – Charlotte is Next Week

What’s Your Conversion Strategy?

Whether its a sales call coming up, trade show, lunch & learn, or channel summit you’re attending – do you have a conversion strategy? Most people, when they book a trade show, or set up a lunch & learn mark it on the calendar and wait for it to happen. This is poor planning. Speakers do the same thing. Book a gig, write it on the calendar, and then go about their other business. $1 HC Book Ad

Conversion Strategy should be top of mind.  Whatever your next social interaction is, get a conversion plan in place. Yesterday, on a coaching call, I asked a sales rep about his upcoming lunch & learn…”If I were a CIO attending, what would our next step be? What’s the conversion strategy?” His answer was the norm – not sure.  This is typical because we don’t naturally think about conversion.  Perhaps is sounds too salesy. But it’s important.

Two weeks ago I was attending Check Point’s Sales Kick Off.  As soon as I locked in the trip, I was meeting with my team to put a conversion in place. With limited time, and knowing how busy everyone would be at the show, we created a very simple plan.

New Business Cards!

That’s right, we decided to create extra large business cards (About 3 by 5) with my contact info and a $1 book offer for The House & The Cloud. Knowing everyone would be handing out standard business cards, I wanted something that would stand out with a direct marketing offer on it.

Did it work?  It did….I got people’s attention. People laughed when I pulled out my giant business card, but I also connected with people that might otherwise have tossed my card in a pile of trade show materials after the event.

Next week I will be speaking at the Charlotte SecureWorld Conference…I have just one week to put my strategy in place…showing up without one would be a huge mistake.

Copyright 2016, David Stelzl

PS, If you missed getting my card at the Check Point Event, try clicking on the HOUSE & CLOUD ad above…


executive-1Three Things You Can Do To Earn A Seat At The Table

Continuing from yesterday’s topic on, Things Sales People Do That CIOs Hate, last week’s keynote also covered three things CIOs really need…and can’t easily get internally.

  • Security Intelligence.  Intelligence is the new security buzzword. Not that it’s new. But for years people have talked about “Defense in Depth”, “Zero Day Response”, “Layered Security,” etc.  Recent WSJ reports are telling us that just about every board meeting agenda allots about 30 minutes to security.  What do the leaders of that meeting want to know? They want a measure of risk – “What are the odds our company will get hit this year?”  Who, besides you can give them that information?
  • Advice on leveraging new technologies. In the interview I referenced yesterday, the CISO I was meeting with talked about his need for advisors. He can’t know everything, and his team is heads down on support issues, project implementations, and daily operations. They don’t have time to keep up with technology the way you do.  So rather than showing up with your corporate presentation, show up with research and examples. Knowing what other “like” companies are doing to compete will go a long way.  In the Interview he mentioned compliance as an area they constantly need more advice on…can you advise your clients on HIPAA, GLBA, PCI, etc.compliancy group
  • Trust. Most of the sales people out there are just trying to sell. Is that you? Do you care whether your product actually works, or delivers a benefit this client needs? If you do, and I hope you really do, you’re a minority. The great thing about security is, just about everyone needs new security. As threats evolve, and IT moves toward new disruptive technologies, the security strategy is constantly evolving. It’s safe to say that, regardless of who they end up buying from, they do need security. Make sure you are doing the things that earn that trusted advisor status. Security is a great place to start.

Copyright, 2016 David Stelzl

PS. Check out what Compliancy Group has to offer resellers…compliance offerings without going back to school for four years.

IMG_3863Last week I spoke to the High Performance Technologies Sales Team…

Delivering a Keynote on, The Secrets of High Priced Consultants…lessons I’ve learned from the Big Six and others, who know how to call on C-Level Executives.

There are 5 major disciplines I see high-priced consultants mastering.  For instance, they sell one of 4 things – Customer Experience Gains and Risk Mitigation being the two most compelling value propositions.  Technology is then just a means of achieving these things.

But perhaps the most important aspect of my message came from a recently interview with the CISO of Sodexo. From our 45 minute discussion I gleaned 5 important things sales people should stop doing if they really want to peer with C-levels.

  • Stop calling with generic messages like, “I wanted to introduce myself.” CIOs get thirty to forty of these every week from technology sales people. They don’t have time for this.
  • Stop Showing your generic corporate presentation. I know your marketing people think it’s great, but it looks like every other company’s presentation. There really is nothing unique or compelling about it.
  • Stop making things sound worse than they are. Security is a big issue, but without proper justification, you can’t just start throwing statistics at them.
  • Stop calling to tell them about the latest hack printed in your local paper. They probably knew about it before you did. It’s not interesting or insightful to them.
  • Stop showing up with nothing meaningful to say. Instead, start reading about the things they care about, become an expert in something they would find helpful, and then give them a call about something specific.

I’d love to hear more from anyone who has first hand experience with “What not to do” when meeting with an executive…

Copyright 2016, David Stelzl

PS. I was on a call years ago with a sales rep from the company I was involved in. The sales rep managed to get a C-Level meeting, which I attended. One of his first questions was, “So what does your company do?”  Big mistake…



missleCyberweapons Are Here – Offensive Strikes From The US?

Does anyone remember S3? A small company out of Florida, about 15 years ago, called on me while I was running security for Dimension Data, North America. Their product offered a way to counterattack anyone who came at them with a cyberattack…The product never took off, simply because our laws don’t allow companies to launch counterattacks.  Yesterday’s WSJ offers some new perspective on where the US Government is  headed with this.

“The U.S. military has spent five years developing advanced cyberweapon and digital capabilities and is likely to deploy them more publicly soon, the head of the Pentagon’s U.S. Cyber Command said Thursday.” – WSJcompliancy group

Some important sound bites on this subject…WSJ

  • “Adm. Rogers (the current NSA Director ) suggested many Americans have become complacent, since they don’t see the rise of cyber armies and cybercriminals affecting their daily lives.” – An understatement from the WSJ!
  • The wakeup call is coming… “Analysts have said these sorts of acts could include attacking a country’s electrical grid or knocking a nation’s financial system offline.”
  • Rogers… “I would argue it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”- Really, do you really see this getting better any time soon?

Read the article if you have access….

Some of the attacks we’ve seen over the past year – OPM, Sony, and others,… they seem to be coming from China, Korea, and other Nation States looking to sift us of our Intellectual capital or create disruptions, as in the case of Sony, we are in fact at war.

© 2016, David Stelzl

PS. Join me on Feb 12th at SecureWorld…I’ll be speaking at 8:30AM – Charlotte NC.



IMG_3846Listening to Napoleon Hill’s Law of Success

It’s Day Two at Check Point’s SKO 2016 Meeting in Nashville. Pictured here is Gil Schwed, CEO of Check Point Software.

This morning I was listening to Napoleon Hill’s Law of Success book while doing my 5 mile morning run. Great insight on failure…

I didn’t realize that he wrote this material on the heals of some big mistakes that left him penniless.

He goes on to say that, “This Material (the course or book) has produced enough money to keep me out of financial trouble for the rest of my life.” He simply took 7 major life failures of his own, compiled all that he’d learned through these failures, and put them into a course to help others avoid the mistakes he had made.  In this chapter of the book, he is talking about how we should embrace failures as they often lead us to new revelation, if we look for the hidden lessons in the failure at hand.

He’s right – looking at my own mistakes, I wouldn’t be here in this business (which I love) if it had not been for some major set backs in 1999.

© 2016, David Stelzl



IMG_3847Check Point’s One Step Ahead Campaign

If You’re Going To Be In the IT Management Business, You Can’t Afford to Fall Behind

This is not a blog post about Check Point – however I am at the Check Point SKO 2016 this week – and excited to hear the phrase, One Step Ahead. It’s Check Point’s 2016 Vision Statement Summary, but it needs to be everyone’s.  Pictured above – Amnon Bar-Lev, President of Check Point Software, communicating the vision to his team and reseller partners.

Meanwhile, Walmart if closing down about 150 stores including both superstores and the smaller stores they’ve experimented with since 2011.

Remember when Walmart was idolized for their amazing achievements using technology to build the JIT (Just In Time) inventory machine? They were unstoppable.  Taking over cities, pushing out the little guys. Taking over the world.

We probably all still buy from Walmart. I know my daughters pick up groceries there every week. But then look at Jeff Bezos, a computer science guy about my age. In 1994 he had a crazy idea to start an online bookstore. After consulting with his wife – she said, “Go for it!” and he did. He started Amazon.$1 HC Book Ad

That’s the competition. Amazon is eating Walmart’s lunch because they are one step ahead. And if you look at what they’ve done, it’s all about customer experience. The second most important value proposition I’ve written about over the past decade. Watch over the next 5 years and we’ll see some some big shifts in who leads in business growth. Expect companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook to reshape everything we know about business.

Several of the resellers I’ve been working with this year are here this week – and it’s become clearer than ever, Security is the Most Important Thing They Can Be Talking About To Their Clients.  

In fact, on the break today, one of these resellers had a quick call with a new prospect. They are evaluating new IT Mannagement companies right now, and wanted to meet him this week. Of course he can’t – he’s here. She then told him he would not be considered. His response – “I’m at a security conference and you’ll want to hear what I have to say because none of the people you are considering understand how to keep your data safe.” She immediately extended her process to give him a meeting next week. Coming from this week’s meeting, I expect he’ll be armed with a compelling story, an assessment offer, and a high likelihood of closing the business.

© 2016, David Stelzl