Archives For Sun

Will you Walk Away?

November 12, 2010 — 2 Comments

Will you walk?  I’ve been writing about fee setting, and no fee setting series would be complete without facing the reality of a failed negotiation.  If you’re not willing to walk away from the business, you have no business negotiating.  Once the client perceives your willingness to discount, they’ll require it as part of every deal.  Set your fees wisely, being honest with yourself, and your ability, and be consistent.  Everyone knows that car dealers are more willing to negotiate at year end, and that Cisco, HP, Sun, Oracle, (fill in whatever product company you sell) will do the same (Usually at month or quarter end) for any big deal.  Anything to make the numbers work.  So what have we trained our customers to do?  Wait.

Your job is the be the best.  Jim Collins talks, in his book, Good to Great, about the hedgehog.  Being the best, having the passion, and finally the economic engine.  When clients see your value and know your prices are fixed, they’ll stop playing games.  Michael Bosworth, in his book, Solution Selling, explains it like this, Once you start discounting, the client will continue to squeeze, like a wet washcloth, until there is no water left.

What’s the solution.  Be great, be willing to walk, and leave the client wanting you.  Then continue to market to them until they realize they really do need you.   In the long run you’ll waste less time, make more money, and have better clients.

© 2010, David Stelzl

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If you are reselling technology your business may be headed for trouble.  Don’t expect an economic recovery without taking steps to change your approach to the market…find out why in this video.  In this video I speak candidly to small and mid-sized resellers about market trends and what factors play into future growth and stability.  It’s a sobering message.

Are you keeping up with the tech news?  There are some interesting things happening out there in the midst of a broken economy.  IBM is looking to pick up Sun – whether or not you are in this market or not, there are a lot UNIX servers being sold out there; it’s not all Microsoft.  Can IBM resurrect some of the momentum SUN had in the late 90s?  The more interesting news is Cisco’s entre into the server market.  If you recall a Fortune magazine article last fall detailing Cisco’s  data center strategy, selling enormous switches with a green side to them, this is the next step.  To be honest, I was expecting a storage acquisition by now, leveraging Cisco’s SAN switch technology.  I’m certain this is next.  While it may sound to some like Novell buying Wordperfect, I think there’s more to this.  A recent Harvard Review article provides some insight on what may be happening here: 

  • 1. Taking control of future cloud computing resources
  • 2. Building a compliant infrastructure in expectation of new “green” legislation
  • 3. Redefining data storage and server capabilities as part of the network (Something SUN tried to do from the server side, but never actually succeeded on)
  • 4. Positioning for a more mobile and lightweight computing world that will better serve minis, iphones, and other PDA type technology.

I recommend the Harvard Review article: http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/sviokla/2009/03/does_cisco_have_its_head_in_th.html

But wait!  There’s another side of this.  These companies are expanding their brand and foot print while others are wallowing in economic depression.  They are cutting wasteful spending while spending strategically to grow their brand.  This is part of the downturn strategy.  When things do finally turn around, these companies will have new offerings ready to go, a brand that’s remembered, and cash in the bank to restart their momentum.