Archives For Making Money with Security

lockYesterday we kicked off our three-day online workshop, Making Money w/ Security Day One.  This class continues to grow, and this quarter we have about 30 participants!

Sales Training Is Crucial to Success!

Sales training is crucial if you want to grow sales, and specialized training, not product training, is the key to moving from Vendor to Adviser.  Yesterday’s class is an example of security-focused sales training.  Google Information Security Sales Training, and you’ll see that this type of training is rare.  Google something like Solution Selling and you’ll find that, even though Bosworth wrote the book in 1995, everyone from vacuum sales people to high-involvement technology sellers are taking the same classes from millions of so-called solution selling trainers.

Not that basic sales training isn’t important – it is.  But taking the next level and specializing is what creates differentiation.  Yesterday we covered a number of areas including where the trends are, where the business is, and what is expected to happen around the world with security in 2013.  Security continues to be a hot topic among business leaders worldwide.

We also covered sound bites.  Part of our home work was to discover more recent hard hitting sound bites and evaluate their usefulness as a sales tool. Most security presentations I’ve seen in a sales call contain sound bites – but most of the sales and marketing people I know are using them incorrectly.  They are actually defeating themselves before the competition ever arrives.

Today we’ll cover how to use them.  Using them incorrectly leads to a judgmental, left-brain mindset – one that won’t make a buying decision even when there’s an urgent issue at hand.  Here are come examples of sound bite evaluation…

1.  “China is stealing trade secrets as part of plans to bolster its industry.” Wall Street Journal on April 22,2013.  This is a good sound bite – it’s global in nature, speaks of an ongoing trend, and affects any company that store mission critical information such as intellectual capital and trade secrets.  It also comes from a source that speaks to executives – the Wall Street Journal.  No one is going to question its validity.

2., a site that offers daily coupons on restaurants, spas, and other services, has suffered a security breach that has exposed names, e-mail addresses and password data for up to 50 million of its users.  4/27/13 – Ars Technica Magazine – This one isn’t bad…it’s an identity theft sound bite which in my opinion may be too common – it doesn’t wake up as much as the first one.  The other problem is the reference.  No one reads Ars Technica – at least not the C-Suite as far as I know.

3. “What most organizations do is overreact: they throw all of their efforts into that one incident and are not looking at what they should be looking at,” says David Amsler, president and CIO of Foreground Security. “And worse, they don’t have a playbook [for response]. It’s so haphazard, and that’s where they fall down.”  – This one is good…it speaks to the security strategy and can leveraged to up-sell the bigger picture.  It’s what Cisco would call the architectural sale – an opportunity to look beyond the immediate disaster, and over the entire enterprise to sure up things.  One downside on this one – it’s too long.  If you can’t quickly quote it, you’ll lose your audience.

4. “More than 90 percent of user-generated passwords, even those considered strong by IT departments, are currently susceptible to hacking, according to Deloitte’s analysis.” – I love this one.  It’s quick, quotable, concrete (meaning visual), and from a trusted source…and it affects every organization, federal, commercial, big and small.

If you’ve never attended one of these classes, make sure to stay tuned for our next class which will like fall in August or September 2013.

© 2013, David Stelzl

Pizza at Tazios

Pizza at Tazios

We’ve completed our second day of the Making Money w/ Security Workshop in Melbourne.  Lunch was a highlight of the day – a chance to try out a new pizza place in Melbourne and spend some quality time with the group.

The Role of the Presales SE is Paramount

As we finished up some of our work on the role of the Presales SE, and the powerful influence they can have on the sales process when positioned correctly, one of the attendees was able to share with us how he used some of these principles to line up 7 million dollars in business in one account.  This demonstrates the power of performing the asset-focused assessment I talk about in my book, From Vendor to Adviser.

During the course of looking at products with a his client, rather than providing a simple firewall quote, or pricing on a router, he moved toward the risk assessment.  Within four hours he was able to compromise this major client’s defenses, and present highly sensitive data to his client – this lead to an opportunity to meet with the board of directors – an honor not many sales people have had.  And with the right audience in front of him, he was able to describe, in brief, concrete terms, just how vulnerable this company’s intellectual capital was, and a plan to “get-well”.

Meeting with Board Members

In a typical board meeting you have just about 30 minutes to get to the point – and the delivery must be executive level in language and presentation style.  What do they want to know?

  • What assets are at risk – high impact issues?
  • What’s the likelihood they’ll be compromised?
  • Trending – is the risk growing or shrinking and why?
  • How are we managing this risk?
  • What steps do we need to bring us down to an acceptable level of risk?

If you can present this in simple, concrete language, providing a credible story with some new insights, you’re in.  It’s more about the presentation than it is the written document you provide, however the written part must be short, to the point, and executive level.  Be prepared to support your findings with some more technical documentation to be used later with their technical people.

Does this create a longer sales cycle?  Absolutely not.  You might invest more in the discovery process than you normally would, but the end result is much bigger, and the overall sales cycle generally shorter.  If you’re not signed up for my upcoming Making Money w/ Security workshop – you’ll want to get on the list now while there are seats available. (Click the link here to read more about it.) – this one’s virtual so you can do it from your home or desk!

© 2013, David Stelzl

First, I have just announced a free webinar – Unlocking the Secrets of Event Marketing…this is online and free, but I only have a limited number of seats left.  Feb 7th – read more and sign up here! (CLICK)

Also, we have scheduled another online Making Money with Security Class.  I recently received an email from a rep who used this material to take his career up to one of the top two sales people in his global firm.  In his email he makes the statement, “This was life changing!”  Don’t miss this…we are half full and early sign-up discounts end on Feb 4th. Read more and sign up here (CLICK)


© 2012, David Stelzl

Here’s  a great question on Getting Your Message Out – becoming an Adviser, from this week’s Making Money with Security workshop (Virtual).


You gave some excellent information on what to say and do when you are in front of the executives/asset owner…when communicating by email and by other electronic means…

You mentioned that sound bites alone are ineffective and how you throw most of your marketing mail away. I agree with both of these statements, so with that said, do you have any suggestions for what I can do to increase our chances of getting our marketing messages heard/read?


Content is the key.  When your goal is to sell, people feel sold.  When your goal is to educate, people feel helped.  The key is in finding things that are helpful to the buyer – the asset owner.  Most asset owners are not technologists, so educating them on products, or anything technical, sounds like an opportunity for demotion.  Expect to be delegated back down to IT.

Sound bites, or statistical data may be somewhat interesting, however it must be presented from a source they care about.  If the Wall Street Journal publishes it in their daily paper, chances are it appeals to business people.  However, statistics, as we stated in class, lead to judgmental thinking, not emotional buying.  So while, sound bites do build credibility, don’t expect them to lead to a sale.  Use them as attention grabbers only.

In my book, The House & the Cloud, I talk about “Idea Emails”.  These are ideas that I present to prospects to create knowledge gaps.  “I have some ideas I’d like to share with you on how to make sure your employees are not stealing company secrets”.  Idea emails are one example of creating curiosity through a knowledge gap that potentially helps a client/prospect with something they would care about.  Other messaging might be “How to” posts on your blog – how to educate the organization on safe data handling or presenting “Seven things your employees need to know before traveling with company laptops”.  This type of education can be written to appeal to asset owners in a non-technical, business format.

In summary, create content, use knowledge gaps to generate interest, and then educate with your content.  This education should lead to action using services your firm provides.  As an example, my wife was reading a document on the harmful effects of amalgam fillings (dental).  The document began describing all kinds of symptoms people complain of every day.  The article went on to explain the importance of removing these fillings using a special process that prevents serious side effects including possible fatality from poisoning.  The doctor writing included several case studies showing how patients had been improperly diagnosed and treated for major diseases including MS.  He described the procedure for removal and then recommended using other synthetic metal-free materials.  Of course, both my wife and I had the metal removed from our mouths.  While we did not use the doctor who wrote the article, we would have, had he been local and had he called on us.

© 2010, David Stelzl

January Dates are Sold Out!

Our first public offering – Making Money with Security, Virtual Class is now sold out!  That is for January 5, 6, and 13.  Given the strong response, I am scheduling new dates at the start of Q2..

New Dates: April 19, 21 and 27

Check out the details: (CLICK)

No kidding, I sent my latest Making Money with Security® workbook to my printer last week, a 66 page workbook, and there was a typo on the front cover.  The document was in PDF format, ready to print.  This morning I get a message from one of the operations people at Color Visual Concepts telling me that my book has a word misspelled.  They’ve already made  the change, attached the new PDF cover to the email, and are printing to get it done and delivered on time.  This is the kind of customer service you just don’t see any more.  Most of us  would have notified the client, asked them to change it, and then print. Of course this might have created a deadline issue…something to consider.

Having just completed another Making Money with SecurityTM workshop out in Fort Collins Colorado here are some learning points worth noting:

  • Focus on the assets, find the asset owner. Selling security is never about product.
  • IT people are not liable for the protection of assets – as long as they carry out their job and avoid policy violations, they have little to lose. Sell to the asset owner – those responsible for the business.
  • Compliance officers and audit personnel are not asset owners. CSOs don’t normally create or control large budgets. Treat them as influencers.
  • Aside from Government contracts, avoid all RFPs. Companies generally choose the winner long before sending these projects out for bid.
  • Security sales start with a measurement of risk and end with some form on ongoing risk mitigation, such as Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) offerings.
  • Delivering price proposals to influencers means handing control of the deal over to the client. From there it becomes a waiting game.
  • Asking questions: When you ask executives to answer questions that could be answered by IT, you get an immediate demotion back to IT. Make sure you plan your questions before meeting with key stakeholders.