Archives For CIO

imagesOne of my clients in Tampa just completed a very successful marketing event…in fact, 90% of the CIOs who attended this lunch meeting signed up to have their data center infrastructure assessed.  How did they do it?

In this case they had a former CIO do the speaking.  Understanding the pressures on the CIO role is critical – things are rapidly changing for IT leadership.  Every day the CIO journal (your are reading this, right?) is reporting on trends that are forcing CIOs to become business level participants.  Rather than focusing on 5 9s up time and the next major OS upgrade, the new CIO has to be thinking, “How does my company become the next”

At the end of their presentation they offered a complementary assessment.  It’s important to note that this assessment is not really free – it’s complementary.  In other words, it has value and is worth paying for.  But as I explained to a senior VP of sales the other day, the trade off may be months of courting a new company.  Which is cheaper, two or three days of intense assessment work, or 3 to 6 months of lunches and golf outings?  They quickly agreed, the assessment makes sense.

You can find out more on how to put together an event like this – my new guide to Event Marketing is available right here in an ebook format (CLICK).

© 2013, David Stelzl


Custodians are important.  Imagine how your office would look if no one ever cleaned up, took out the trash, vacuumed, or wiped off tables after an all day board meeting.  It would be disgusting.  Things would get so bad after just one week that you would probably move your office back home.

Influencers in the sales process are like custodians.  In fact, in the CISSP study guide, security administrators are referred to as data custodians.  They manage the data, keep systems up and running, and provide maintenance type activities on the systems that house and process data.  All of this is important.

But let’s not confuse these important custodial responsibilities with strategic decision-making and liability.  While it may be easy and even informative to meet with custodians, it does not lead to big business deals in most cases.  Stop positioning yourself as a peer to custodians, and start thinking of yourself as an adviser to those leading the business.  If you don’t have what it takes to advise, get on a program to change.  Become an adviser.

© 2011, David Stelzl

FREE webinar on accessing decision makers – tomorrow at Noon (EST) – (CLICK to sign up)

Back from Mumbai – today I will be presenting to 50 executives in Richmond Va, showing them why companies, regardless of how much they spend on data security, are still vulnerable and likely under attack.  Whenever I do an event like this, I understand that, while the message is critical, the follow up is equally important.  Without decision maker / Asset owner involvement, there will be no change.  With this in mind, I will be presenting a webinar tomorrow at noon (EST), where I will review concepts from my Making Money with Security workshop on how to access the people that make the decisions!  This is essential material for anyone in a technology sales role!  It’s sponsored by Cisco Systems, so there is no charge – anyone can join buy clicking here and signing up…hope to see you there tomorrow at noon.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Thousands of incompetent sales people have preceded you, calling on executives and wasting their time with company overviews, product data sheets, and silly questions about what is keeping them up at night.  No wonder managers have stopped taking sales calls.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Sometimes calling high (meeting with CIOs), works out and you get the deal. Other times they make you feel stupid and treat you like dirt.  When this happens, remember:

  • You are a profit center (if you are in sales), they are a cost center – overhead
  • You get paid on commission, generally commensurate with the work you put in
  • They are reliant on circumstances largely out of their reach, to make their bonus
  • If they display this type of inhumanity toward you as a sales rep, they probably have a handful of friends that only stay around for the perks.

Present your best face, constantly be a source of enthusiasm, and demonstrate genuine gratefulness for the position you hold, your mission to help others make wise buying decisions, and the opportunity for character development.

© David Stelzl, 2010


SC Magazine News wire reported this morning an increase in technology spending based on a survey of CIOs.  Server technology tops the list, with security right behind it.  The problem is, competition is likely to be fierce as some companies actually do begin moving forward on delayed projects, while others remain cautious.  How will you differentiate?  Imagine selling your server technology with an emphasis on security!  But don’t be fooled into leading with the product…business justification and risk mitigation will be your differentiators.  You can read the actual news wire here (It’s brief):