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Continuing on with Habit 2 thinking, how does this apply with events and seminars?

When I conduct Data@Risk seminars, I am presenting educational material to business leaders, helping them establish better business practices that will better serve their customers and protect their company’s intellectual capital.  This has value in and of itself, but it does not lead to many sales without a game plan.  I’ve designed my keynote to guarantee three execute meetings, not just one.  The first meeting comes through the educational event.  My material is written to help business level people understand the risks, see why they may not be experiencing security violations when in fact they probably are, and finally to agree that it is important that they at least look to see if they have some of the more surreptitious security violations in progress within their applications.  I use marketing concepts to create urgency here, driving a certain reaction.  Knowing what I know about today’s cybercrime makes it easy to accomplish this because there really is a need!

The next two meetings follow.  Using Habit 2 thinking, I work with my client to develop a follow up assessment process that scales to fit the opportunity.  Some prospects are worth spending a great deal of time with, others not so much.  The discovery process requires executive involvement; if they don’t show up, we discontinue the process and continue the marketing effort until they do.  Once they agree to involvement (which is minimal by design), we go through the process identifying urgent issues.  Meeting three comes in at the time of delivering our findings.  Again, if the executive does not show up, we withhold the information (Since it is complementary, we can do that.)  Most often, those who agree to participate upfront will also avail themselves to the deliverable review.  By knowing ahead how we will get people signed up, how the follow up discovery process will be conducted, and how the deliverable will be presented, we can predict some level of success that is commensurate with our effort.   But it all starts with building the follow up program before the event ever begins.

© 2011, David Stelzl

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Shooting in the Dark

February 10, 2011 — Leave a comment

Yesterday I mentioned Covey’s second habit – Beginning with the end in mind…how does this work in practice?

When planning a sales call, “the end”, or meeting outcome must be the first consideration!  Doing otherwise wastes both yours and the prospects time.  What should the call outcome be?  Almost every company I work with can tell me what tends to lead to a sale.  For instance, last week I was speaking at a software company’s partner summit.  They quoted a statistic showing that ninety percent of their “Proof of Concept” initiatives lead to a buying decision.  In another national sales meeting I spoke at, an access assurance company presented a similar statistic.  One reseller client I work with on quarterly marketing events says that he closes follow-on projects for ninety percent of the complementary assessments he offers.  With this in mind, they are generally able to quantify what qualifies their proof of concept effort, who should be involved, and how to run the program.  This is the goal, to get to this point with these people.  On the other hand, my non-scientific surveys show that companies are closing about ten percent of their proposals; even among companies who have shared their key to success as stated above.  What that tells me is we are writing the proposals before getting to that predictable key point in the sales process, or we just have not identified it yet.   If you don’t know the end goal, you’re just shooting in the dark.  If you do know it, you may be wasting great opportunities.

© 2011, David Stelzl

9 million dollars in 12 hours, not a bad hourly wage, especially in this economy.  This was a sophisticated attack, and I expect to see it happen again.  Putting a few people in jail won’t stop others from copying this type of strategy – the question is, will your customers be able to detect it before it’s too late, and  stop it before it becomes world news like the World Pay attack?

According to SC Magazine, “The gang evaded encryption on the network of RBS’ U.S. payment processing division,… raised the limits on the accounts, created 44 counterfeit cards and hired a group of “cashers” to use the cards to withdraw more than $9 million in less than 12 hours from 2,100 cash machines across 280 cities worldwide.” Not bad for a bunch of 20 something year olds – now headed to prison.

If your clients think they’re secure, don’t believe them.  Encryption, passwords, firewalls, etc. They’re no match for the creative hacker.  Companies must move toward faster detection mechanisms, better monitoring, and fast response plans.  In many cases your clients won’t be able to afford all of this – that’s where managed services come in.  Build or OEM this program and provide it to your clients.  It’s a Win/Win as Stephen Covey would say.