Archives For technology sales speaker


Brand New!

Now Available: From Vendor to Adviser (PreOrder for just 13.95)

The proof is in my hands – and you can now reserve a copy of From Vendor to Adviser at a discounted price of $13.95 through my online store: (normally $16.95).  I’ve been working on this book for almost a year, and I think you’ll find it answers a lot of questions about how to grow your business.  I discuss pricing, proposals, presentations, discovery and assessment, and a whole lot more – everything in this book is specific to selling technology!  Not too many books are that specific, but I believe our industry is unique and requires some special insight when dealing with IT people, commoditizing technology, resellers that depend on services business and who are building managed services practices, etc.  There’s a lot to consider in these sales…so whether you sell for a giant reseller, specialize in a certain area such as data center, security, collaboration, or some application area, or are working directly for the manufacturer in a direct or channel role, this book hits the mark.  Check it out…I look forward to your feedback once you read it.

© 2011, David Stelzl

As we get closer to the printing of, From  Vendor to Adviser, my new book, I am conducting a few webinars to introduce some of the new and exciting topics of this book.  On Oct 28th I’ll be conducting the second one – the first was last week.  I don’t know how many I will be doing, but there are a limited number of seats and  I am not advertising this on my website.  You can sign up here: (CLICK).  It’s first come first serve, and there will be a waiting list, so sign up even if the seats run out.  This event will lay some of the ground work for what it means to move from vending to advising – don’t miss it!

© 2011, David Stelzl

Marketing Requires Passion

October 11, 2011 — 1 Comment

Everyone wants one!

Passion drives the sale.  If you’re not passionate about what you are selling, change jobs.  As I prepare for next week’s Venture Tech Network conference in Las Vegas, it occurs to me that no matter how great your questions are, your references, the technology you sell, or the team behind you, if you don’t look and sound enthusiastic, the sale is dead.

I was reading a book on Disciplines over the weekend which stated, “Only 10% of employees like their job.”  10%!  That means in a group of ten people, nine don’t like what they spend most of their day doing.  This is sad.  How can these people perform at peak levels if they don’t enjoy what they do?  In fact they can’t.  The chapter went on to say that most employees are not performing well.

I can imagine that in a factory setting or some monotonous manual work regime, that the job can still be done with some level of quality, but not sales, and not marketing.  If you don’t love what you sell, move on to something else.  On the other hand, if you can find the excitement in what you do, attitude outsells skills and features every time.

How do you do this?  In my coming book, From Vendor to Adviser, I talk about people groups; the importance of figuring out the people group you want to serve in the work you do.  When you love the people you call on, work takes on a whole new meaning.  When you see your people group’s situation improving because of the value you bring them, everything changes.  Try this, stop focusing on the products you sell, and consider really taking an interest in the people you serve.  Discover their needs at a personal and business level, and see how you can remove stress from their lives by improving how they conduct business.  This brings much greater fulfillment than simply selling a widget.

© 2011, David Stelzl

Due out Next Month!

This morning I am headed out to speak to 35 sales teams calling on the top 35 retail organizations in the world – My topic, Moving From Vendor to Adviser – Capturing the Security Opportunity.  As I’ve prepared over the past several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the top performing sales team directors to better understand how they have made their way into C-Level meetings.  I’ve used the same discovery process I recommend in my new book, From Vendor to Adviser; the same discovery process I teach sales people to use as they engage in high-end technology projects.  The results are evident – I now have the secrets of their success which I can now draw upon as I work with the entire audience (something every sales person should be doing) – an  audience that will include people from all parts of the world over Cisco Telepresence.  It’s also no surprise to me that these top performing teams are not just selling product, or responding to RFPs.  Instead I found:

  • Strategy meetings taking place at the top on a regular basis
  • Operational efficiency and risk mitigation – conducting studies and assessments
  • Speaking the client’s language and engaging with asset owners throughout the organization

These are just a few of the things I’ve been talking about for years as I work with sales teams around the world, building a more effective go-to-market strategy.  The part that was somewhat new to me was how exciting the retail business is right now with regard to technology and security.  Millions of dollars are being poured into solving problems and growing sales in ways I had not considered.  I didn’t realize that retail operations are losing 8 Billion dollars every year on inventory shortages, and that 30% of that loss is due to shoplifters, but over 60% is tagged as insider theft!  Developments in cross channel merchandizing, new forms of payment including Google Wallet, other smart phone apps, and tokenization efforts to get rid of credit card issues and PCI compliance hurdles.  Using video to study shoppers moods – which will in turn be used to customize video marketing they may be viewing in the store (this is scary technology).   And then there is the QR (Quick Reference) code hype – in England they are using these codes to pay for parking spots, but who is to stop the young entrepreneur who sees the opportunity to replace these 2D bar code stickers with their own, point to their own duplicate paysite –  Surely someone has figured this out!

© 2011, David Stelzl

It’s been a great week – first, speaking in NJ to business leaders on the topic of security awareness.  NWN, along with Cisco, McAfee, and HP sponsored this event in an effort to educate managers on the trends we are seeing in cyber crime and data loss.  Then off to Virgina to speak to home schooling families on the subject of entrepreneurship; a topic I have focused on this year, not just with families, but with anyone building a business in this unstable economy.  This includes sales people, business owners, resellers, vars, and smaller high-tech firms, as well as those going into business with new ideas.  A couple of points worth reiterating:

Your competition isn’t as smart as you think

Competition – most are competing on price!  If you sell high-tech solutions in a high-involvement sales model, you don’t want to compete on price.  Especially if you resell technology!  There’s just not enough margin in it.  As I told students in VA this weekend, people stop learning when they graduate.  I’m not sure why that is, and it’s not universal, but it is common.  People have stopped reading meaningful books and have largely turned to their friends for counsel.  When someone hears negative comments, they tend to dismiss them rather than looking for the truth in it. The world is full of time wasters and mediocre performers.  Study, seek out wise counsel, learn from others mistakes, read great books, take notes, and use your discretionary time wisely.  Then schedule free time to relax, goof off, and enjoy the weather.  When it’s scheduled, it makes sense; when it’s part of the daily routine, it leads to ruin.

Come up with Bad Ideas

I love what Seth Godin says about ideas in Linchpin; People don’t have good ideas, but they don’t have bad ideas either – they just don’t have any ideas (I’m paraphrasing here).  You can’t come up with great ideas if you don’t come up with ideas…most of them will be bad ideas, but that’s okay.  Just start coming up with ideas.  Take time to think, brainstorm, collaborate.  Interview people, watch people, think on what you hear and observe, and start writing about it.   As you write and think, you come up with ideas.  Look for the good ones and execute.

Focus on Your People Group

People Groups – This is a powerful concept.  I used the example of a lemonade stand in my talk this weekend.  Let’s say you decided to start a lemonade stand.  You might sell to anyone…but suppose you begin to realize that most of your customers are bike riders on long rides, passing your house on weekends.  You might decide to expand your business, carrying snacks – maybe Twinkies! But bike riders don’t really need Twinkies – instead they might like Goo or Power Bars.  Later, you might even start to stock bike parts.  Suddenly, it’s not about food, but rather, meeting the needs of bike riders.

In another discussion I was talking with someone who raises bees, sells honey, and provides equipment and expertise.  “Is it about the honey, health, or beekeepers?” I asked…If it’s about your own bees, you won’t be successful.  If you aim to help people with health, you may find your adjacent markets take you into all kinds of health areas including supplements or organic farming.  If it’s about helping beekeepers, selling bees, and supplies, etc, your adjacent markets look much different.

The point is, you need to know who your people group is.  From there, you should be studying their specific needs in order to solve the problems typical among your people group.  Once you have that – you must become the best person to meet those needs; suddenly price is not the issue.

Your Hand on the Pulse

What would Google do?  I mentioned Jeff Jarvis’ book before, What would Google Do?  It’s worth a read – the market is changing.  Sun UNIX workstations used to be a highly profitable business, Novell was at one time the go-to NOS company, and perhaps everyone will be sporting iPads in place of laptops if things continue to go well for Apple.  I spoke with one young man in the real-estate business.  How will real estate change –  how is the Internet taking over some of the value agents used to provide?  This sames question must be asked by every company, especially by those of us in the high-tech market.

© 2011, David Stelzl

How often do your clients send stuff through email that just shouldn’t be sent?  I came across this tool through a client recently – up to five sends free per month; and support for up to 2GB files!  Pretty cool stuff.  This morning I used it to send some very large files to a client in Chicago.  I created an account, uploaded the files which exceeded YouSendIt’s capabilities, and then was given the choice on how to the receiver should authenticate.  I chose to have them enter their cell phone and receive a txt message with a 4 digit code – check it out:

Heading Back to NC

Back from a week-long tour, with a video recap of the Cisco Partner Meeting, held in Las Vegas at the Rio…in conjunction with the BlackHat and Defcon 2011 events…to the Left, a shot of the Vegas strip from the airport!

Check out the video recap below….








© 2011, David Stelzl