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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

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Join me on June 8th at noon EST – Leveraging the Discovery Process to gain access to decision makers (CLICK to SIGN UP).  I will be building on material presented over the past several months, but you can always go back and review sessions you might have missed.  In this one hour session I will be covering important concepts such as:

1. Types of questions to ask asset owners and executive managers

2. How to avoid getting demoted to IT in the discovery process

3. When and how to engage the IT group in this process

4. What to do with data collected in both

5. How to deliver your findings

6. How to present your findings and recommendations

7. How to turn this process into fee based business and product sales

Don’t miss this!  It’s funded by Cisco and costs you nothing but time…sign up here (CLICK)

© 2011, David Stelzl

Join me on May 18th at 12 noon, EST for a FREE webinar (sponsored by Cisco Systems):  Sign up here (CLICK).  There is no cost, just a few items to fill in on Cisco registration web page.  I’ll be continuing a series on leveraging security assessments to grow your business.  Last month we covered educational marketing programs and how to draw in new prospects.  Building on last month’s topic, it is important to understand the decision making process and how to create justification to move the deal forward.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Based on some of the follow up questions I received following Wednesday’s Webex on Effective Demand Generation I thought it might be helpful to add these points:

0. Don’t let the irritated, over-worked executive frustrate you or stifle your marketing plans…

1. Marketing, while considered to be very artsy, is very scientific.  Learn what motivates people, what turns them off, what causes them to be judgmental, and what creates open-mindedness.

2. The goal is to gain permission to continue the sales process.  Study Seth Godin’s book Permission Marketing for more insight on this.  Godin does a great job of explaining why marketing cannot be interruption driven, using mailings and billboard type selling.  This fits well with a consultative selling approach.  Events like we are describing here are just one step in gaining permission to consult and advise with decision makers.

3. Persuasion is an important concept.  I like the definition from our home school curriculum, “Guiding truth around other’s mental road blocks.”  Truth implies honest delivery of a client’s situation and your ability to improve it.  Roadblocks exist simply because the 95% you call on don’t really understand the issues like you do.  Demonstrate a need for risk mitigation or operational efficiency and you’re on your way to helping them.

4. Finally, remember that executives need your input.  Don’t shy away from communicating value.  Thousands of incompetent sales people have addressed this group in past meetings and phone calls, so don’t be surprised if there is some convincing to do up front.  If you have prepared properly, you are doing them a favor by contacting them.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Photo taken by David Stelzl

Heading home from New York this afternoon after a great two day trip.  I spent day one working with sales people on effectively presenting security strategies to their clients in a series of one-on-one meetings.  Day two, I was invited by Symantec and one of their top partners, to speak to a group of executives over lunch at Jack’s Steakhouse.  A couple of things that make this particular time in history interesting….

If you’re not up to date on Stuxnet and how malware evolved to a new level over the past 18 months, you need to be.  It’s rare that I read Vanity Fair, but this a linked article is worth a read to catch up on over a year of analysis and developments – cyberwar is finally a reality!  But just as important – this kind of technology poses an entirely new level of threat to your clients.  (Read it!)

Secondly – while Wikileaks and the fiasco involving Pvt. Mannings is not new news, the implications are significant.  Reading through the developments between the Anonymous group, Mastercard, Paypal, and Amazon demonstrate that groups like this do have the power to affect large corporate networks at will.  Add Gawker in there and you see that stealing the account database and decrypting it is not that difficult when dealing with real hackers.

Most of my audience didn’t know our power girds, airforce traffic control, and F-35 databases have been hacked over the past year.  Why?  These are important events that demand companies take action and start thinking seriously about securing data.  This is not a simple task…learn to articulate this and you may find yourself advising these firms at the highest levels.

© 2011, David Stelzl

In 1995 Geoffrey Moore brought us ground-breaking information in his book entitled, Inside the Tornado.  This book was required reading for many technology manufacturers, including HP, a strategic partner of my employer at the time.  Using a standard marketing normal distribution curve, Moore showed us how market adoption changes when you start talking about technology.  It takes years for, what he refers to as discontinuous innovation, to catch on when talking about cars, phones, or air travel. But when speaking of today’s hot technology innovations, suddenly adoption is taking place in months.  Why is that important?

Well, to the technology manufacturers, Moore showed how products met the first inflection point of that model where early-adopters transitioned to early majority, a new audience of buyers.  He explains in his book that this audience is a bit more conservative than the first, and unwilling to work with technology that is bleeding edge!  This group represents people who might be risk adverse or, like many information technology professionals, goaled and paid on up-time, not innovation.  The first group however, representing those who will take a risk on new technology, is likely in the camp of profit center managers, looking for technology that puts them out in front of the competition.  This is further explained in Bosworth’s book, Customer Centric Selling, as he applies the model in a slightly different way to various kinds of buyers.

Manufacturers studied these models with profit and adoption in mind.  Moore’s point was that, manufacturers needed a way to enter the larger markets of early majority and late majority (possibly representing 33% and 33% of the possible market for each) if they were to enter the larger majority markets with their products.  The first one there would be given the greatest opportunity to become the market’s defacto standard.  Once there, the channel was established to meet the accelerating demand for their products, which Moore termed, The Tornado, thus the title, Inside the Tornado.  This is where the manufacturer views the channel, but this is not necessarily where the profits are for the channel partner.  The problem is, most resellers (VARs) are positioned exactly in the middle of Moore’s Model; perhaps the most unprofitable position possible for a reseller, which in turn, hurts both the reseller and the manufacturer – the company depending on their partners to bring in more and more of their business.  This is a problem.

(You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the red hydrant…nothing, it’s just a fun picture I took while photo shooting with my daughter).

© 2011, David Stelzl

The Var and the Vendor

February 25, 2011 — Leave a comment

When I first entered the technology consulting business, my new manager referred to our firm as a VAR (value added reseller).  VAR!  He said it with pride as though it meant something special.  Coming from a large bank where we referred to our services providers as vendors and VARs, I knew this was no complement.  Yet our manager seemed to take pride in something that, on the client side was viewed as a commodity.   I soon learned that, on the provider side, VARs were partnered with vendors, but in my heart, I knew the client perceived us all as one thing – the vendor!  Simply put, we didn’t see any value in those we called vendors and there was no such thing as “Value-Add”; vendors provided people and products at the lowest possible price, and free lunches on occasion. This is not the way to position your company if you are looking to build a profitable business.

© 2011, David Stelzl