Archives For information security sales training

Hey Everyone, I’m just getting putting the final touches on my WatchGuard keynote for next week’s partner event in Miami…and then on to Ibiza Spain for their EMEA conference!

Also, you’ll want to download my free Cybersecurity Risk Assessment Template – it’t he key to closing with bickering over price!

© 2018, David Stelzl


Photo by Hannah Stelzl

Is your brand memorable?

Some have tried to brand by offering lower prices, others with great customer satisfaction, or by building great relationships with their clients.  I see companies touting great people, certifications, or their status as a reseller of some product.  “We are gold partners”, or “Platinum and security certified!”  But these things don’t work as unique branding contributors.  Your business, and you yourself must offer something unique or represent something people see as unique and compelling.  Uniqueness comes with specialization; a unique process, or intellectual capital that others don’t possess, or something about you that adds to your ability, character, or appeal.  You have a product or an approach no one else has.

I was on the phone with a client the other day, and at the start of our call to discuss our first contract (recently signed), she said, I have heard you speak before!  It had dawned on her just a day or two ago as she was lying in bed. She remembered me as “The guy with seven kids and one wife, who home schools and has his children involved in all kinds of entrepreneurial businesses.”    In this case it was my personal story that caught her attention.  She couldn’t remember my name, but my story was fresh on her mind and memorable. The fact that I have children is not impressive, the seven children is somewhat memorable, the businesses are highly memorable, especially when combined with my seven kids who are homeschooled.  People remember this and it works. It adds to my credibility simply because, if I can help teenagers start profitable businesses, perhaps I can help anyone.

What makes your story unique and memorable?  This is the key to your brand…and a business without a brand, is on it’s way out of business.

© 2011, David Stelzl

One issue that repeatedly comes up in sales coaching sessions is how to write an effective proposal.  A few comments before you write anything…

… you should be clear about what a proposal is.  Marketing groups and managers have done a disservice to their sales team by creating mammoth documents, unreadable terms and conditions, and a format that looks more like a legal will than a friendly agreement to buy.  What is a proposal?

  • Think marketing!  This is the final marketing piece.  You might have delivered one-sheets or data sheets, presentation material, or perhaps a findings document, and hopefully you had marketing in mind.  Your documents should have been professional looking, easy to read, and pleasing to the eye.  What about the proposal?
  • A summary of everything you’ve agreed to.  The deal is done, now we are just agreeing in writing, so this should clearly reflect all we have discussed and agreed to.
  • Boundaries of scope.  The proposal outlines what we did agree to, but also clarifies boundaries to stay within.
  • A contract.  This is your written agreement, so it should clearly state what you will deliver and how.  There should be no question.


The proposal is not:

  • Another selling tool.  The deal is sold at this point – but the agreement is only verbal until this is signed.
  • Ideas, guidelines, or negotiation.  You should have already agreed to a scope at this point, and the fee has been established.  If there are fee changes, there will be scope changes.
  • A time to be clever – writing esoteric pros.
  • A competition to see who can write the longest document.

Take steps to make buying from you easy to do…

© 2011, David Stelzl

Why do Assessments?

November 1, 2010 — Leave a comment

Almost every reseller does assessments, and now, many manufacturers are not only doing them, but equipping their reseller community through partner program trainings, and portals, and the creation of assessment tools.  Why?  If you don’t understand the core reasons for doing an assessment, chances are you are wasting your time.


© 2010, David Stelzl

What IT Wants

October 20, 2010 — Leave a comment

What does IT want?  A vacation…  Here are ten other possible answers:

1. Higher pay

2. A better chair

3. A new laptop – probably a MacBook Pro

4. Add to it a new Ipad for personal use

5. Education – on technology, to improve the resume

6. Recognition

7. A promotion

8. Better stuff to oversee

9. Better stuff to oversee with

10. A new job that just is…better.

So why are we spending some much time negotiating prices, selling ROI, or talking about risk and liability?  IT doesn’t really care.

The Professional

October 14, 2010 — 2 Comments

There’s been a raging debate in one of the forums I follow – “Can anyone be a great sales person?”  It’s a loaded question with no clear answer, and the back-and-forth comments show a split among numerous contributors.  The problem with the question is, it leaves too much to the imagination.  There is no context; type of people, are they already  in sales, do they have trainers and coaches, and how much time do they have to become great? (The list could go on)

While reading some analogies given about athletes, it occurred to me that great athletes  do possess a genetic advantage, however, they also spend their life training.  The average high school varsity player (far from professional) spends all week training in order to play one two-hour game!  But in sales, the average player spends 1 day training to compete the other 364 days/year (minus whatever  weekends and holidays/vacations you actually completely disconnect from your Blackberry – which is rare these days).  How can sales managers expect their team to win with this kind of training regiment?

Am I missing something?  I’d love to hear your comments…

© 2010, David Stelzl

You probably don’t remember how to balance chemical equations but chances are you do remember some of the great stories one of your teachers or classmates shared in school.  Mr. Gustafuson, one of my high school teachers, used to begin every class with a short excerpt from a book he was reading.  I remember some of the details from the book he read from, but to be honest, I don’t remember what class he taught!  I do remember looking forward to hearing the next section, which encouraged us to show up on time.

Stories are memorable, facts and figures are not.  In the words or Chip & Dan Heath, co-authors of Made to Stick, Stories are Made to Stick!

Presentations which might otherwise be dry, come alive with great stories.  When talking about a wrong approach or illustrating an idea, use  a story rather than arguing for your proposed solution.  A wise mentor once told me, you can’t argue with someone’s personal testimony.  So use a real story, and if possible, use one you have personally been involved in (If not, be sure to research the details and be sure it’s true before bringing it to the client.)

One more important point; great stories are rehearsed and revised.  Coming up with a new story at the moment of truth is not the best approach.  Develop your example stories before you get on stage, practice them, record them, share them with others, and figure they will improve over time, so tell them often.  The better you become at story telling, the more life you’ll bring to your presentation.  Try it this week and let me know how it goes….

© 2010, David Stelzl