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Photo taken by David Stelzl

For some reason, discussing money is the major hurdle.  Yesterday I had several sales calls with potential buyers.  One example stands out… We had discussed the need, talked about options, come to a conclusion on next steps, and even picked dates to begin.  My prospect then said, “Send me a proposal with some options and pricing.”

I was tempted to agree, but then that little voice reminded me of Mahan Kalsa’s book, Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play (which I highly recommend). Why would we wait for the proposal to agree on options and pricing.  Paper doesn’t sell, I do.  We have verbal agreement on the vision, but no specifics.  Why waste time and possibly ruin the opportunity by putting the wrong thing down on paper?

Instead I simply said, “Let’s review some options right now and make sure we are in agreement on how to proceed.”  I verbally gave him my interpretation of what we were planning to do, offered a couple of options, restated the value, and then offered a fixed fee.  I then said, “How does that sound to you?”  He said, “That sounds great.”  Now I can write the proposal, which is now really an agreement, with confidence.  I converted it to a PDF, attached it to an email, and wrote, “Here is exactly what we agreed to.”  The likelihood of closing this kind of agreement is much higher than the elusive agreements made in most sales meetings.  Meetings end without any real commitment, and the request for proposal is often just a polite way of ending the meeting.  There is no agreement, and there are no specifics from which to craft the proposal.  In the end, this type of proposal goes nowhere, leaving the sales person to forecast at 50%.  In other words, I have no idea…

© 2011, David Stelzl

New York Times posted  this recently – And thanks to Fred at HP for sending this.  Yahoo email hacked!  Again, China is mentioned as the hacker’s origination.  For those of you fighting against people moving to the cloud – keep these articles in front of your clients!  I spoke about this in an interview a few posts down…creating large targets like Google and Yahoo, with all of our data, just doesn’t seem prudent to me.  Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/world/asia/01china.html

Recent hacks against Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have successfully compromised email passwords.  While some people rely on these services for innocuous email exchanges, others are using this for business and other important matters.  What about cloud computing.  If email services such as these are not secure, how will companies move to other cloud services using applications such as spreadsheets?

As for these reported email compromises:

  • Microsoft admits that several thousand Hotmail accounts were compromised – one source reported 9843 user names and passwords were posted online.
  • BBC reported lists of both Yahoo and Gmail users exposed as well.

If they’re getting to these email sources, they’ll also get to other applications in the cloud hosted by these companies…and with the investments companies like Google are making in security, it’s hard to believe anyone has it covered out there – yet I hear  this all the time from IT; “We’ve got it covered”.

Read SC Magazine’s report on this:

http://www.scmagazineus.com/Yahoo-Gmail-passwords-also-phished-in-far-reaching-scam/article/151616/?DCMP=EMC-SCUS_Newswire