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targetWhat One Simple Phrase Might Have Saved Target?

Well, I can tell you what, one simple phrase, crushed Target…it was, “We’ve got it covered.”

In this case, it wasn’t the security guy in Minneapolis saying it…it was someone higher up.  The root problem here might be the senior management team – unwilling to spend money $$$ on yet another assessment.  However, when I see a story like this unraveling, I first like to think about the technology providers serving that company.

What if The Value Proposition Worked?

What are the technology companies doing in there?  Are they recommending security assessments?  Probably – but are they more focused on compliance (Target was PCI compliant), or are they thinking about the preemptive security strategies that must be in place for any large retailer today?

Imagine how big a hero the sales rep would have been if he had only had compelling justification to do more assessing, or to sell Target on something more proactive than what they have in place right now.  Certainly there was a need…isn’t that evident?  And what would the ROI look like – when compared to the billions of dollars this fiasco is going to cost.

I’d be happy with just a small piece of that in commissions – how about you?

Did they really not have a need, or was the sales team just ill-equipped to sell them on it.  Apparently the security analyst knew there was a need.

What’s Your Client Doing About Security?

Chances are you have a client just like Target.  Maybe not as big…but with a need just as important to the stakeholders and customers of that company.  It doesn’t matter how big it is – cyberciminals are still interested, and the customers are still going encounter major life disruptions if their data gets stolen next week.

If you’re waiting for senior management to approve some sort of budget, or finally see a need – don’t hold your breath.  They’re too busy to think that way.  They’re thinking about up-time, customer experience, more sales, and competitive pressures.   If they are a big company, someone probably is thinking about security…but chances are it’s someone in IT who won’t have a strong enough message to sell senior management on immediate action.  Someone like the guy in Minneapolis.

Some executives will look over at Target and say, “We need to do something.” Most will just hope it doesn’t happen to them.

Bottom Line: Your Message Must Sell It

If your client is going to take steps of action, it’s probably going to take another sales call from you.  But this time, rather than going in with your old presentation on what your company does – asking them if they need help.  Go in with a mindset that they absolutely do need help…they just don’t realize how much help they really need.

If your message is good – it will wake someone up.  If it’s good, there will be an unexpected interruption in their day.  If it’s good, it will likely lead to action.

So what’s the One Simple Phrase?  It’s your re-crafted value proposition – the one that sells the senior managers on taking proactive steps to prevent this type of thing.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. Read the House & the Cloud, and find out what Security Sales Messaging should look like…


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I’ve been working on some changes to my website and blog -along with that comes some changes in my resources as well…

CLICK HERE and get over $500 worth of stuff including, The House & the Cloud, My value proposition keynote, one of my marketing guides, and more…  This is my way of saying Thanks as we enter into the Thanksgiving season!

Make the Move!

Make the Move!

Earlier this week Ingram Micro – distributor for all kinds of technology, sponsored a webinar on Moving From Vendor to Adviser – for it’s technology resellers.  In my book, I talk about at least 12 things resellers need to start doing if they want to remain relevant in the coming years. In this 50 Minute webinar I provide five key things to start doing and relate them to information security.



  • Becoming a risk adviser to the companies you serve
  • Conducting effective demand generation programs (See my recent ebook on Event Marketing)
  • Implementing the secrets of high-priced consultants
  • Using value-based pricing strategies – no more block time or time and materials.
  • Redefining the way you approach the proposal process – writing great proposals that actually close business.

Also, make sure you have a copy of my book, The House & the Cloud – available on this blog sidebar for free – in PDF format.

© 2013, David Stelzl

MooseXmasMerry Christmas…this year for Christmas I want to give you my book on Event Marketing, 7 Secrets to Profitability…between now and Saturday, visit my store and use this coupon code: EVENTSWORK – and you’ll get the ebook for FREE.   (Normally it’s $9.99).  During the checkout process you will also be offered a great deal on the Event Marketing workshop audio programs…

As we approach Christmas –  I am grateful, as I look back over my year, for the opportunity to work with many of you on business strategy, sales meetings, partner conferences, demand generation events, and more…it’s exciting and fulfilling to see businesses growing, and individuals I work with carrying out their own dreams of innovation, entrepreneurship, and more.  As our year comes to a close, my family and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Stay safe and enjoy your family time…don’t forget to plan for 2013!  It’s literally “Right around the corner”.

© 2012, David Stelzl

Friday we completed day three of the Event Marketing workshop!  It was a packed three days – a great group, and I believe we covered a lot of ground.  As promised, I did complete the book, Event Marketing, 7 Steps to Profitability Using Lunch & Learns and Sales Events.  I also completed my editing of the audio files from the class on Monday…

The Book

Here is how you can get the book…it’s just $9.99 and only available on my digital download site right now…


The Workshop – Audio Files

You can also get the entire 6 hour audio program from the workshop.  If you order now, you’ll receive the ebook with it!  Here’s the link.

Next, I’ll be conducting an actual event using these principles, on Thursday this week.  If you’ve been reading the Wall Street Journal over the past several days you know that security has been in the news with several major attacks coming from outside the US.  In particular, the US banks and infrastructure are under attack.  Much of this seems to be rooted in Iran’s response to Stuxnet and other irritations they associate with the US.  We’ve also seen some large scale attacks on a large Florida university, compromising hundreds of identities.  Keep your eyes on what is happening out there – your clients will thank you for it.  In the mean time, be sure to read through and listen to these materials on Events.  I look forward to your feed back.

© 2012, David Stelzl

Photo Taken By Hannah Stelzl

It’s my favorite time of year – spending time with family, listening to great Christmas music, attending concerts and Christmas programs, and looking back over the year…Merry Christmas!  (Yes I am a day late – it’s been a busy week!).  If you didn’t get a copy of From Vendor to Adviser in your stocking this year – we still have a few at:

© 2011, David Stelzl

No, I didn’t buy they Kindle, but people have been asking me to put The House & the Cloud and From Vendor to Adviser on Kindle for while now – so, I did!  If you have a hard copy of The House & the Cloud, don’t be fooled by the black cover.  It’s a new cover – one I will likely use if I ever get around to updating my book; something I hope to do this year!  You can see them online at:

1. The House & the Cloud

2. From Vendor to Adviser

Buy one and let me know how it looks…

© 2011, David Stelzl