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lockJust a quick post while I am out hiking through the Adirondacks – I’ve scheduled three Making Money w/ Security workshops for the fall, starting this month.  We already have a great group signed up for September, but we still have room so make sure you sign up.  Just for reading this blog I have posted a special coupon code for the September class – MMS003.  This will get you 40% off of the list price for a limited time (I’ll probably remove this offer as soon as I return on the 10th.)

There are also classes in October and November – you can see more on my Eventbrite page right here (CLICK).

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IMG_0217We completed our second day of the Making Money w/ Security Workshop today…one major failure among sales teams (and one we spent our time on today) is that of the corporate presentation.  Have you ever considered how many sales presentations the average CIO sees over the course of a year?  However many there are – it’s big.  They’ve probably seen just about everything you can imagine – but the sad truth is, most of them look the same.

After class today, one attendee emailed me asking for some help on a presentation he is scheduled to give at his company’s sales meeting next week.  It just so happens that I am also speaking at his company’s national sales meeting next week…

His goal, as I understand it, is to present something he might present to a customer.  His company wants to see his version of the company sales message.  No doubt, his marketing department has a standard set of slides they’ve equipped the sales team with – but chances are they look just like the competition’s.  Perhaps they have a different template.  Here’s what I told him:

  • Start out with some sound bites – some hard hitting facts that get people thinking about the trends out there.
  • From there, move into an emotionally charged story using my Noble Man story format (which I briefly describe in my Vendor to Adviser book).  It should be an actual client story – one that looks at an individual trying to accomplish something, but up against some major challenges.  Show how your company came alongside this person and helped them achieve something that might have been a complete failure had you not stepped in.  I know their company has one of these…
  • This creates a bridge into a series of things most are approaching incorrectly – but something your company has studied, is passionate about, and has mastered (Reference Jim Collins advice in Good to Great).
  • End with the need to review something related within their organization…the assessment opportunity leads to justification, which leads to fee-based engagements.  You’ll also be building a case for an annuity service along the way (assuming you are focusing on one of the 4 things buyers buy – another  topic addressed in From Vendor to Adviser).

I should also mention – Make your slides colorful, using just a few words.  Your message must be enthusiastic, emotional, and simple…your goal is to paint a picture of the value your team brings to a pressing situation…

How many sales presentations have you seen that you would want to see again?  It has to be that good…is it possible?  It is…

© 2013, David Stelzl

Spkr-web1Yesterday I completed day 1 of the Making Money w/ Security Virtual Workshop.  One of the topics we discussed is that of using sound bites effectively.

What are sound bites?  Sound bites are short, factual statements, that come from solid sources.  They communicate something serious, alarming, insightful, or amazing.  They build credibility.  When a sales rep is armed with numerous sound bites from credible sources, they appear to be well educated, well read, and in touch with the trends.  Over time, having read and memorized enough sound bites, that person will be knowledgeable. After all, knowledge is gained mostly through the study of good books.  Isn’t that what changed most of us over the four to six years we spent in college?  Here’s a quick overview of the process…

1. Determine what you aim to be an expert in.  What will you be a trusted adviser of?  Let’s assume is securing mission critical information – the focus of this week’s workshop.

2. Study newsworthy sources and discover the trends – pick out the sound bites.  “If you think U.S. Military computer networks are secure, think again.”  Security experts report to the U.S. Senate committee – March 23, 2012.

3. Memorize these quotes – if you spend 15 minutes each day, scan the news, and pick out just one, you’ll have countless up-to-date quotes at your fingertips the next time you meet with a CIO.

4. Use these sound bites to communicate truths to executives.  Their IT people are telling them “We’ve got it covered.”  In fact, 71% of mid-size companies believe (because their IT people tell them), that everything is fine.  90% of Visa’s reported fraud cases come from this same group, and the FBI tells us that it takes at least 15 months before people realize they’ve been attacked.

5. What did I just do?  I defeated the IT person’s argument by quoting the Wall Street Journal – that is the appropriate use of a sound bite.  Rather than bickering with IT about how secure they are, simply pull out a sound bite that suggests that they have been infiltrated, and that they probably wouldn’t know – so how can they be sure?  Who will the executive believe?  It’s no longer my word against theirs – it’s IT vs. The Wall Street Journal report, the FBI, DoD…etc.

Having been on many security sales calls over the past 20 years, I can attest to this idea – it works.  Executives don’t trust sales people, but they don’t trust IT either…they do trust experts, The Wall Street Journal, Gartner, etc.  Your job is the persuade, not argue.  Persuasion is “Guiding truth ar0und other people’s mental roadblocks.” (Quoted from The Character Training Institute).  Discover the truths written by the experts, memorize them, and then guide them around these roadblocks that resist knowing how insecure the network really is.

© 2013, David Stelzl