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Interview On Cloud

December 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

This event closed 100% of the Attendees!

The above video comes from an interview I did with Randy Sklar, President of Sklar Technology Partners.  

Whenever you do an event, it is best to video it!

These video clips and interviews can then be used as promotional pieces for your next event – as well as catalyst for setting up meetings with companies that did not attend the event!

Try This and other great strategies presented in my latest book, The House & the Cloud.

$1 HC Book Ad

© 2015, David Stelzl

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IMG_0338IMG_0217This weekend’s planning & strategy session in Charlotte came to end Saturday late afternoon…a few quotes and some pictures –

1. “I got a lot more out of this than a typical distributor run conference, or channel summit!”

2. “There’s something special about getting together with other business owners, rolling up your sleeves, and working on a plan like this.”

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3. Said right after the coconut cream pie, “This is absolutely the best food I’ve ever had at a conference.”

4. “This was the most unique training environment I have ever experienced.”

5. ” I am now more excited than ever about what we can accomplish in 2013!”

6. “The way you presented the pricing session was one of the most impactful sessions on pricing that I have ever experienced. I want/need to share this with my entire company. Often and with regularity!”

Look for my next session like this, probably in January 2013!

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Photo Taken By Hannah Stelzl

I had the honor of speaking the West VA. F.E.W. conference this past weekend on building profitable businesses…a couple of points worth reviewing:

1. Brand – memorable is the key word here!  I see companies depending on best pricing, certifications, status with vendor partners, and just thinking their people are great. The truth is, every company has people and certifications, and while customer service does vary, it’s hard to present your company as “Better” unless another company is failing while you are standing next in line.  This does not grow business.  Branding must be something unique and memorable.  I have written and taught on using positioning questions.  Download my free copy of the House & the Cloud (right hand side bar) to learn more about this.

2. Sell, then build.  Most do this the other way around.  Building an offering, and then looking to fit it into your client’s world is backwards.  Identify the needs, selling the client on fixing them, then create the solution.  This provides unique value and commands a higher fee.

3. Be the best.  Specialize…there is no such thing as high-involvement sales people who sell everything.  No one wants to pay big commissions to someone who takes orders.  Your value depends on expertise.  As a sales person, this expertise should be at the business level – learn your target prospects business, become an expert at solving certain problems that tend to exist in this type of business – using the tools your company provides.

4. Don’t paint yourself into a corner.  Specialization is important, but if you’re not careful, you might find yourself in a business that has no where to go.  Business expertise tends to provide greater options in the future, where highly specialized technical expertise will eventually commoditize – if you focus on the latter, be sure to watch the trends and grow your career with the market.  About every two years you should be looking to grow into a new technology area that seems to be growing.

5. Setting Fees.  Sales people who continually discount are on the road to disaster.  Work out the right pricing before you propose and make sure your value matches your pricing.  When it comes time to negotiate, change the scope when a price change is needed.  Honest pricing means you can’t change it without a scope change.

6. Great products die without great marketing…plan and execute marketing plans and messaging.  Working hard to sell is a waste of time without it.  Sales people should plan out there marketing each quarter – use social media, events, webinars, and email – be sure you have one core message you are representing.  Build your brand by continually focusing everything on one central theme – perhaps you are the Retail Automation Expert.  Your company may do it all, but you should be known for one thing!  Make it memorable.

7. Learn how finances work.  Understanding how businesses make money, where they lose, how debt, depreciation, ROI, TCO, op-ex vs. cap-ex, and budgets work will go a long way.  Defining the terms is not enough, learn how they work.  Read The Wall Street Journal and Google terms you don’t really understand.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Here it is… (CLICK)…The play back from my Wednesday, June 8, 2011 Webinar on leveraging the discovery process!  I understand from Cisco that last month’s playback, which is also available through this link, was the most listened to webinar in Cisco history – so check it out!  (In case you missed this – I usually put a red phone with webinar and teleseminar links).

© 2011, David Stelzl

Day two of the RSA conference – what a great day.  I started off with breakfast in the Consierge lounge, meeting with RSA’s US Sales manager.  From there I navigated through a 5 minute hail storm on my way to deliver a keynote address to Cisco partners on ways to apply the concepts of educational marketing, assessments and discovery, as well as effective messaging in the security space (which was also accessible through Webex and recorded if you did not attend)o0. Spent a couple of hours working on some business in my room…

By the way, check out this room in the Marriott Marquis!  This is the place to set up a base camp.  I have a corner room overlooking the Expo center, that is about the size of  three rooms.  The hallway (a hallway in a hotel room!) pictured to the left heads down to my living room, bathroom on the right, and then out to a bar area with refrig and various entertainment accoutrements. Two giant flat screen TVs, three phones, and great service.  The only problem is, the internet service if very slow, so I’m using my Verizon 3G instead.

From there I attended a couple of receptions, most notably the Cisco reception, where I met with  security executives, gathered insights on product road maps for the coming 18 months, and reconnected with various clients, partners and manufactures.  A jam packed day and well worth being out here!

Here’s a shot of my living room…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2011, David Stelzl

I arrived yesterday in time to visit the expo, attend sessions with Cisco, Palo Alto, Kaspersky and a few others, adding at least one new t-shirt to my collection.  The highlight of my trip out was sitting next to a mother holding her restless 1-year old, who spilled coffee on my sleeve, knocked the creamer onto the floor and almost into my shoe, kicked my leg for 5 and half hours, and insisted on resting his head on my arm most of the trip. What a great character building session this was!

Tomorrow I’ll be speaking on the topic of how to create new business opportunities using educational marketing programs and assessments…but first, time for a San Francisco pizza, which will probably be marginal at best.

View of the RSA Expo

San Francisco under cloudy skys

The Mighty Flip Chart

February 8, 2011 — 2 Comments

I was  speaking in Cancun last week and just before my session started, one of the hotel staff members ushered in a flip chart that I had not requested.  Then a familiar head popped in with a knowing smile.   I really like flip charts.   Sure enough, I did use it!

While white boarding is great for sales meetings, the mighty flip chart stands out as one of the best tools for facilitation.  It’s absent from most training centers and boardrooms these days, and when I do request one, it creates a sudden emergency like ordering a special meal at McDonalds (also something I am known for).

When the chart and stand arrives, I am not surprised if the tripod cross bar is missing – the one that holds the flipchart in place.  Most easels come with them, but they are quickly misplaced, leaving only the tripod, which is now only useful for supporting marketing posters.  Invariably the chart is presented with white board markets, not flip chart markers.  Most don’t know the difference.  Another possible attempt to differentiate results in permanent markers, which are not a great substitute for the mighty flip-chart market!

Why do I like these so much?  Here are several reasons:

1.  Strategy and training both require interaction.  The flip chart allows me to move the working space closer to the audience or meeting attendees, and to angle it in such a way as to allow the audience to view my illustrations or bullet points more easily.

2. Posting notes around the room.  White board space is usually limited and cannot be reorganized.  I especially like the Post-it charts.   Whether training or facilitating strategy, I find that posting key ideas in different colors, and then reorganizing information is extremely helpful.  This really matters when spending an entire day or several days together.  No white board can keep track of this much information.

3. Others may contribute.  When using a white board, things get messy when multiple people contribute.  The organizational abilities of flip chart paper make this much more manageable.

4. Flip chart markers!  I carry my own, so I always have good ones.  White board markers quickly become hard to read, smudged, etc.  Flip chart markers are bold, don’t smear, and look crisp even after a day of moving papers around the room.

5. Permanency.  At the end of the day someone has to keep this information.  When it’s on a white board, you have no choice but to erase or leave it for the next group.  Flip chart paper can be collected, organized and handed to someone to save.  I know there are white boards that print, but most are very small, generating one small sheet of paper for each print; this is useless to a group of 8 or 10 people.

© 2011, David Stelzl