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morton

Small Business Owners in Dallas

Hosted by Howard Financial Consulting and IT Services…

This morning I’ll be speaking to small business owners at Morton’s Steakhouse in Dallas – an event sponsored by Howard Financial & IT Consulting Services.

Our goal: educating small business owners on what’s happening in the data world, and why security is more important than ever as we move forward in the Digital Megatrend.

In my research to complete Digital Money – the next book on the “To be published” list, I am more convinced than ever that small companies can no longer afford to treat security as a “Nice to have”.  It’s essential.

Not Just Any Security…

But not just any security – ransomware, corporate account takeover schemes (CATO), and the rampant theft of intellectual property are at an all time high, and growing fast. Having your Microsoft server patched, or running a clean backup are not the answer. You need both, but without a detection/response strategy in place, these companies are wide open to data loss and future business failure.

I can’t stress this enough…there has to be intelligent detection, and a solid – timed response plan. And having in internal IT person doing it, is no longer an option. This requires special skills and technology only available to enterprise fortune 500 companies – or through a special managed services offering provided by well equipped IT services companies.

Can They Afford This?

Will the small business owner spend the extra money, and make the extra effort to do these things? They will…these educational events continue to receive a strong response, because they put risk into business language.  When a business person hears the truth, in their own language, it does lead to action.

My fall is booked solid with events just like this, simply because business owners are recognizing the need to know…in the coming weeks I’ll be in San Jose, Helena Montana, Buffalo NY, Las Vegas, Richmond, Santa Ana, Denver,…it’s time to get this message out!

If we don’t carry the message forward, we can expect more expensive compliance laws, and more business failure.

If you are an IT Services Provider, it’s time to get on board… Start here with my book, The House & The Cloud <<< Click for more information.

 

boring salesAre You Getting Leads to Talk About Managed IT

…Only to find that what your prospect really wants is a quote – to compare to others.  Price is your only value proposition here, so what do you do?

I was recently working with a small business reseller on the west coast. He had mastered the art of using Google Adwords to attract new business and was getting meetings.

The problem? No sales. His conversion from EDUCATION to SOMETHING was downright frustrating.

So how do you turn a meeting like this into something worth meeting about?

The answer, you need something in your meeting that’s new, exciting, compelling, and urgent. Napoleon Hill, in his book, The Law of Success, tells us that enthusiasm is critical. If you don’t love your value proposition, you’ll probably leave any meeting hungry. But you need more.

While enthusiasm is an essential part of moving people to buy, you also have to understand what they really need. In another section of Hill’s book he shares with us principles of the shirt sales person. The one who presents the shirt he likes assumes the buyer won’t buy a shirt. The seller who understands the real need sells multiple shirts.

But What Does the Small Business Owner Really Need?

Hint; It’s not managed services.

Managed IT offers the client a couple of things, but only one is potentially urgent. And only by identify urgent aspect of that one thing, are you going to differentiate yourself during this sales call. It’s security of course.

There are thousands of choices when it comes to buying basic server and network monitoring. There’s a well known business coach out there telling his clients to find something unique in order to sell more managed IT contracts – he’s right! But what unique thing can you bring to the table, that your buyer really does need, and that really is urgent? It’s security – but not just firewall management. It’s security intelligence – it’s detection/response.

So How Did My Client Start Turning These Deals Around?

Here’s what he did.  First, he learned to present a compelling security message. In his case he simply memorized the message I give in my book, The House & The Cloud.  It’s simple, straight forward, and compelling. As I’ve said before, I still use this message in lunch & learn meetings, and I’m converting more business owners than ever in one single hour with it.

Now, when he would schedule a new prospect meeting from his Adword campaign, he would go in armed with two things. Some basic MSP (Managed Services Provider) materials and his compelling security presentation.

He started his meeting out addressing the reason for their initial call – finding a new managed IT provider. But quickly transitioned to security. It went something like this:

“Here is what we can provide from a managed IT perspective…backup, monitoring, patching, etc…but the truth is, there are hundreds of companies that provide these same services in this city. And it would be hard to figure out who to use – in fact, many of them would do a good job, and prices would be all over the map.  But let’s look at what really matters.”

“Have you considered how secure your data is?”

Using the three questions presented in my book, The House & the Cloud, my client gathered some basic information. All of these companies are moving to the cloud. As they do, their approach to security must chance. And so he asked them.

“What are you trying to protect?”$1 HC Book Ad

“What are your relevant threats?”

“How comfortable are you with your ability to detect something is going wrong, and respond to it before it is too late?”

See The House & Cloud book to get the details on how this conversation should go. But from there, my client showed them a model I use to determine risk – The Impact Vs. Likelihood graph.

“This is what you need before you can make any sort of budgetary or technology decision. Without it you’re flying blind.”

He then spent ten minutes taking them through The House, Cloud and Coverage model – the message presented in my book. The point is, there’s one mistake just about every company has made when it comes to securing data, and this model proves it.

The response from his listeners was obvious. They too have been making this mistake. Their security has no detection/response capability built into it – and only a managed program can provide this to a small business client.

An Assessment Was Offered

The assessment does three things.

First, it puts everyone else (his competition) on hold, while he does his assessment.

Second, he now has face time with every decision maker. With his consulting hat on, he can talk to whoever he wants, because, in their eyes, he is no longer selling.

Third, he is building the justification he needs to sell this deal without budget being a concern. If the need is urgent (and it will be in most cases), the client will respond.

If the client does not convert, either you had the wrong audience, didn’t find the right urgencies (ones they care about – like the shirt seller above), or did not present the urgency in the context of their business.

The last deal my client worked on landed him the largest managed services contract he’s ever signed, worth about $20,000/month.

© 2016, David Stelzl

Interview On Cloud

December 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

This event closed 100% of the Attendees!

The above video comes from an interview I did with Randy Sklar, President of Sklar Technology Partners.  

Whenever you do an event, it is best to video it!

These video clips and interviews can then be used as promotional pieces for your next event – as well as catalyst for setting up meetings with companies that did not attend the event!

Try This and other great strategies presented in my latest book, The House & the Cloud.

$1 HC Book Ad

© 2015, David Stelzl

bluedataWhat Is the Digitized Megatrend All About

Your Clients are going digital. We all are. And it’s happening fast. Obviously we all use computers and smartphones. That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about a Megatrend. A complete paradigm shift in the way we think about business. Think cloud, appstore, smartphones, and Internet of Things (IoT). Everything is connected; everything is digital. This is the mindset of Generation C – C stands for connected, and they will be connected.

By 2020 our businesses will be fully meshed with a generation of digitized workers and leaders. Their world is online – friends, family, photos, entertainment. They bank on tablets, invest electronically, buy and sell on their smartphones, and transact business anywhere at anytime. These people share their lives on Facebook, opt for a text message over a phone call, and hang-out together in chat rooms.

This trend is unstoppable. To compete in the future, your clients must be connected too. They must be mobile. They must be global. All of this is now possible, even for the micro business, using what have been called transformational technologies. The cloud, big data, online collaboration, social business, etc. With these space-age advancements, small businesses or start-ups have an incredible opportunity. You have global reach. Suddenly they can complete with fortune 500 companies. They can utilize enterprise class technology simply by plugging in like a utility. All of this was out of reach just a decade ago.

But what about security???

We’ve already seen evidence of the disaster that awaits us if we don’t wake up. Everything is online. Everything is accessible. Keeping it in the right hands will be overwhelmingly difficult. Over the past five years we’ve seen power grids disrupted, military secrets compromised, major retailers sifted of their customer’s data, and some of the most intimate parts of our lives digitally exposed. And it will get worse.

So while your clients must be digital, can they handle these new threats? Threats that may surreptitiously take their most prized intellectual property (IP), and steal the trust of their most loyal customers.

This is an opportunity for every technology reseller – but especially those of you who call on the SMB sector…

This is so important that I’ve recently updated my book, The House & the Cloud to include these concepts. I had hoped to have it out this past summer, but it was just too much. So I am making some final edits, including some recent events, and hope to have this in the printer’s hands before month-end!

As a bonus, I have created a special private membership site just for those who have the book. You can get access to it by downloading the current free version of The House & the Cloud – an email with instructions will get you there.  You’ll find updates on the new version as well as videos and other tools to supplement the book content…

Get The House & the Cloud  << Click to Get the Book and Access The Site!

Also, if you have not seen my new Security Sales Mastery Program – it’s in place and people are taking advantage of it. You can read more here:

Master The Security Sale <<< Click to Read More About It!

© 2014, David Stelzl

Don’t ignore security if you work in the SMB market…I continue to see smaller resellers focusing on managed services, but neglecting the security side of this program.  Don’t do it.  Managed services contracts justified on security remain the most stable contracts for long-term recurring revenue.

In this attached article, Cyber Thieves Hit Owners (From the Wall Street Journal), the writer shows how small businesses are often held responsible for financial losses caused by hackers…in other words, while you as an individual can usually recover by placing blame on the bank, it is only on some recent cases that the bank was held responsible for small business losses.  While the writer takes the positive side, seeing a trend to help small business, we are not there yet.

Every project should incorporate security, and every reseller should assume their SMB clients are clueless about security.  That’s just the way it is, and this article says exactly that.  Consider these sound bites from the link above:

  • “The proportion of those attacks that were explicitly focused on small business rose to more than 30%, compared with 18% at the end of December 2011, according to its findings.”
  • “In the first half of 2012, the total number of targeted attacks on organizations rose to an average of 151 a day during May and June.”

Make sure you have security built into your discovery process – look for weak end-node security, poorly configured firewalls, unstructured data outside the firewall, unsecured web applications, and personal devices full of sensitive data (such as Smart phones lacking passwords and encryption).

© 2012, David Stelzl