Archives For Start with Why

SEs in Bangalore

SEs in Bangalore

Is your business case enough to justify the sale?  We completed our second day of systems engineering sales training in Bangalore India yesterday.  On the first day (read about it here) I taught on security trends, identifying the need, accessing the right people, and building justifications through assessments (or a change in the discovery process).  Today we spent our time on presentation skills and building various components of a presentation.  We crafted verbal responses to questions like, “What do you do?”  and “What is your company doing in the area of security?”

The Business Case

Somewhere along the line we’ve been taught that the business case is enough to justify the sale – of course you need a business case.  You don’t want to be selling technology to someone where no real need exists.  That would violate the very definition of Trusted Adviser.  But is it enough?  It’s not…

Great Motivational Speakers Understand How to Sell

Think of all the great motivational speakers.  The speakers that get their audiences eating healthy, starting a new diet to lose weight, or taking up running or some other regular exercise program.  Is their recommendation needed?  Of course it is – but most of their listeners where already aware that a good diet or exercise was recommended.  Everyone knows that eating yummy desserts every day, living on fast food, and sitting around all day are just not healthy…was it the facts and figures that motivated that attendee to action?  Of course it wasn’t.  It was the stories, the emotion, the energy generated by the speaker’s passion that pushed that lethargic individual into action.  It may not last unless a real heart change has occurred, but while the emotion is high – new resolutions are made.  That explains why it is helpful to continually fill your mind with the right stories, movies, books, and social encounters.  A constant source tends to keep that emotion going – driving the will to make better decisions.

Good marketing and selling does the same thing.  It identifies real needs among real people, discovers viable alternatives, and sets a path before the buyer. But then it encourages the right actions through an emotional response.  By the way, deceptive marketing does just the opposite.  It identifies something that a company or person wants their audience to do that just isn’t wise – like taking up smoking; and then encourages an emotional response by making that person think they’ll be happier, sexier, more desirable, more popular, or more independent.

If you’re selling – make sure your product fits the first category – a wise direction for people with a certain need.  Find those people, and start working on your story.  At this point I’d point you back to Simon Sinek’s excellent video on Starting with WHY.

© 2013, David Stelzl



tampaHow long does it take to agree on a mission statement that works?  In today’s strategy meeting in Tampa, FL, I worked with a technology reseller on their Managed Services offering.  The first step was to establish a mission and vision statement for this new practice area – the mission should really be an extension of the current company-wide mission…if you have one.  In our case we had to start from scratch…here’s what we did.

I asked the group to take a moment and write down 5 deals they’ve done this year as a company, that exemplify the passion of the company.  I was looking for projects that were sold and delivered to the kinds of companies they like working with – deploying the kinds of solutions they are passionate about…after about five minutes, each person was ready to share theirs.

Going around the room, I was not surprised that many had the same deals listed.  After going around, I had four deals on the board that everyone agreed on…from there I asked the group to start telling me about the deals.  We looked at how the project was sold, who the consultants interfaced with, how it benefited the clients listed, etc.  In about five minutes we had 7 or 8 sentences written down…words like “Innovation”, “Transformation”, and “Advise” stood out.  This company was passionate about one of the four things buyers buy (something I often write about) – in this case, Operational Efficiency.  They had a passion for advising business leaders involved in transformational projects.  They believe they can help business leaders approach their business in a new and unique way, helping them think outside the box, transforming their businesses with technology.  They are inspiring business leaders toward – “Innovation”.  With that said, we drilled down into a few areas to fill out our mission – and in just a few minutes we had one all seven participants agreed on.

Do this – look over the past year, select the projects your company has sold and performed, and see if you can identify the common elements that make these deals your passion.  This is the WHY Simon Sinek is always talking about.  Once we had our mission, it was much easier to talk about the target clients, the solution set needed in their managed services offering, and the right marketing strategy.  It all builds on the WHY.  As Sinek points out, the HOW and the WHAT must align with the WHY.  Tomorrow we’ll wrap up, organizing our thoughts and constructing a road map to take them where they need to go.

© 2013, David Stelzl