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What’s The One Big Mistake Just About Every Business Is Making When It Comes To Security?

There are lots of mistakes being made…I guess you could argue one over the other. But the big mistake I constantly see is a lack of insight into what’s going on.

No Detection. No Intelligence.

As Mike McConnell put is months ago in the Wall Street Journal, IT lacks the data and the trade-craft to bring intelligence to their company.

This morning, 8:30 AM, I am on stage in Charlotte, NC. speaking to business leaders and IT personnel on this topic. Usually I am doing this talk at Lunch & Learns, sponsored by resellers and security product manufacturers. But this morning I decided to accept an invitation to speak at SecureWorld.

My hope is that my talk will generate opportunity for the many resellers and technology vendors I work with. It’s the education session in my conversion chart, but this time there’s no real conversion. The sponsoring technology companies will be lined up in the Technology Expo Hall. If you’ve read my book, you know that conversion goes way down once they leave this room.

If you really want to drive technology sales, you need a presentation like this in you home town, with a sign up sheet calling your audience to an assessment. Without, it’s just education.

Even so, I am looking forward to meeting with this group simply to learn more about what they are thinking, doing, and needing. The more you know about the CIO and IT culture the better equipped you’ll be in your next meeting.  Hope to see you there – learning about CIOs and IT. But don’t expect a big conversion.

Copyright, 2016, David Stelzl



flaThis week I had the honor of speaking to privacy professionals at an evening event hosted by Protected Trust and the IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals).   The purpose of this event was to educate professionals, business leaders, and executives on the future trends of cybersecurity and why so many companies are losing this battle.

Our discussion centered around transformational technologies being adopted by organizations around the world such as cloud, BYOD, and collaborative tools – and the need to enhance the detection of web threats and attacks coming in through messaging and mobile devices.

At the end Protected Trust offered attendees a complementary security assessment as well as information on a number of hosted services that protect sensitive messaging and documentation.

As I attend these events I think I learn more than just about anyone as I take the time to meet business leaders.  Talking with CIOs and CEOs about their business can give us all great insight into the needs of the businesses we work with.  I think too often the products get in the way of having an exchange of ideas or really hearing the challenges a CIO faces.  What are CEOs really thinking about on a day-to-day basis, and what kind of input do they really need from a technology provider?  As you have opportunity to meet individuals like this, take time to prepare ahead of time.  Consider three to four questions that provide for interesting conversation and learn to interact with the leaders of the businesses you serve.

© 2013, David Stelzl

IMG_0338IMG_0217This weekend’s planning & strategy session in Charlotte came to end Saturday late afternoon…a few quotes and some pictures –

1. “I got a lot more out of this than a typical distributor run conference, or channel summit!”

2. “There’s something special about getting together with other business owners, rolling up your sleeves, and working on a plan like this.”


3. Said right after the coconut cream pie, “This is absolutely the best food I’ve ever had at a conference.”

4. “This was the most unique training environment I have ever experienced.”

5. ” I am now more excited than ever about what we can accomplish in 2013!”

6. “The way you presented the pricing session was one of the most impactful sessions on pricing that I have ever experienced. I want/need to share this with my entire company. Often and with regularity!”

Look for my next session like this, probably in January 2013!



Continuing on with Habit 2 thinking, how does this apply with events and seminars?

When I conduct Data@Risk seminars, I am presenting educational material to business leaders, helping them establish better business practices that will better serve their customers and protect their company’s intellectual capital.  This has value in and of itself, but it does not lead to many sales without a game plan.  I’ve designed my keynote to guarantee three execute meetings, not just one.  The first meeting comes through the educational event.  My material is written to help business level people understand the risks, see why they may not be experiencing security violations when in fact they probably are, and finally to agree that it is important that they at least look to see if they have some of the more surreptitious security violations in progress within their applications.  I use marketing concepts to create urgency here, driving a certain reaction.  Knowing what I know about today’s cybercrime makes it easy to accomplish this because there really is a need!

The next two meetings follow.  Using Habit 2 thinking, I work with my client to develop a follow up assessment process that scales to fit the opportunity.  Some prospects are worth spending a great deal of time with, others not so much.  The discovery process requires executive involvement; if they don’t show up, we discontinue the process and continue the marketing effort until they do.  Once they agree to involvement (which is minimal by design), we go through the process identifying urgent issues.  Meeting three comes in at the time of delivering our findings.  Again, if the executive does not show up, we withhold the information (Since it is complementary, we can do that.)  Most often, those who agree to participate upfront will also avail themselves to the deliverable review.  By knowing ahead how we will get people signed up, how the follow up discovery process will be conducted, and how the deliverable will be presented, we can predict some level of success that is commensurate with our effort.   But it all starts with building the follow up program before the event ever begins.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Vendor to Adviser

December 13, 2010 — Leave a comment

This week we have our final teleseminar – Moving from Vendor to Adviser, Friday at 11:30 EST.  There are many things to cover here…

1. People don’t just decide to become “Trusted Advisors” – everyone thinks they are, but only the client knows for sure.  Buyers choose their advisers.

2. Product sales can be made online – with it comes the stripping of all value add.  The VAR is dead…but consultative selling is far from dead.  Do you know the difference?

3. Fees should be commensurate with value, but few are charging correctly.  I covered much of this last month, but will bring out some key concepts this week that pertain to advisers.

ALSO:  I just have 5 seats left in the January Virtual Training: Making Money with Security.  There are 19 confirmed attendees coming in from all parts of the world.  Don’t miss this!  It’s a game changer for 2011 and central to the strategy needed to grow in this market.

Find out more and register here:

P.S. – I had some great NY Pizza last night at 36th and Broadway!

© 2010, David Stelzl

We’re back from a week of home school training – but along with great ideas for schooling comes some great thought provoking business concepts from the sessions I attended:

  • We need to be writers – writing forces you to think precisely.  This in turn enables you to speak persuasively.  Whether selling or running a business we all need this.  One speaker said, “What book are you writing?”  We should all be writing a book on the lessons we’ve learned and how to succeed.
  • Clutter creates confusion, slows down learning, leads to irritability and stress.  Take a look at your desk.  Perhaps post it on You Tube!
  • 4% of new businesses make the first 10 years.  What are you doing to be on the list of successful companies?  Not all of them will be profitable – this requires extra thinking.  So what are you doing to stay alive that the other 96% just won’t do?
  • Everyone needs a coach, wise counselors, and great books to read.  Success doesn’t just happen.
  • Whether in sales or running a company, you need a clear vision – one that makes sense.  If your vision is to make a certain amount of money, it probably won’t happen.  Making money is the result of a well constructed plan and vision, not the core of it.  It’s just one of the gauges of success.
  • Fire your team every year – mentally.  Picture everyone gone, then figure out who you will rehire for the coming year.  Those that don’t make the cut have been on staff too long.
  • Hire the right people.  Things you don’t like in the interview will be even more annoying once they start.  Once hired – invest in them.  Everyone needs training in order to keep growing.  This is expensive, yet if costs less than having untrained people, or people who over time, lose their edge.
  • Stay out of debt.  Companies that take on big debt to grow are making a mistake.  Interest will eat at your profits for years to come.  Remember, top line revenue is a poor measure of success.
  • Avoid 50/50 partnerships – they rarely work.
  • Charge the right amount.  Companies tend to charge too little for their consulting services.  This requires a solid value proposition, but is necessary to grow.
  • If you want to make a million dollars, then you had better have million dollar people, million dollar coaching, million dollar training, and million dollar abilities.

© David Stelzl, 2010


Despite a multitude of information on success, time management, and customer satisfaction; performance goes down the drain when life is out of balance.  Issues with marriage, kids, finances, and health quickly consume us when the balance of work and home is out of balance.  Four issues I’ve identified above, mainly:

  1. Health
  2. Marriage
  3. Children
  4. Finances

are the four areas most commonly and dramatically impacted.  These four things have the power to bring the most successful people I know, right to their knees.  I’ve identified ten things you can do to reclaim this balance which I will be presenting tomorrow at 11:30 est – check out this link and be there (by phone):

© David Stelzl, 2010