Archives For The House & the Cloud

xmas2013The New House & the Cloud – Ready For Christmas!

It’s an exciting time of the year!  I love Christmas – the decorations, music, special times with family and friends…and the annual SVLC anniversary.  LinkedIn thinks our anniversary is earlier in the year, but our official start date was December 17th, 2003.  This year we celebrated 11 years in business!  And, to make it even more special, my first book, The House & The Cloud has been completely updated and revised, and has been sent to Amazon.  It should be on their site in 3 to 5 days!  Be sure to look for the second edition with the new (really cool looking) black cover!

And for anyone who buys the book, there is a free resource website with videos and audios, as well as a place to post comments or ask questions. How often do you get the chance to ask the writer a question about their book? One of the audio programs sells for $25 on my webstore, but it’s free on this site (worth more than the price of the book).

I created this private site after reading Ian Brodie’s book, Email Persuasion. After reading Ian’s book I actually did have some questions. Email seems like a simple tool to use for prospecting, but you and I both know people don’t read marketing email. I thought Ian had some great ideas, but still there were questions in the back of my mind.  So I joined his online group – which was free to anyone with a book.  I posted a few questions and he answered!  His answers were so good I invited him for an Interview with my SVLC Insider’s Circle!  It was a great program. He explained why email is so powerful, how to use it, and how not to use it. He gave us clear examples and answered many of my questions.

There’s great value in this type of interaction. Years ago authors wrote their ideas and we read them. But we were always left with their particular situation that seemed different. A unique obstacle not covered in the book. Well, like Ian, I wrote my book to help my readers – I didn’t have time to write thousands of pages, nor do my readers want all of that. But the main concepts are clearly laid out and expanded in this 2nd edition.  I’ve included many new ideas that have worked for my clients over the past 8 years.  But I am sure there will still be questions. And so I invite you to buy the book, read it, and then join the free online site.  If you have questions, Like Ian did for me, I’ll answer them…

If you’ve never read The House & the Cloud, this is a great time to dive in. The market is changing, security is hot, and 2015 is right around the corner. I’ll show you how to master selling the most important thing your customers will buy this year. You will discover how to access the decision makers, how to talk with C-levels and business owners, and how to create undeniable justification.  And, if you still have questions, you’ll have access to my private membership site to get your questions answered.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. Enjoy Your Christmas Holidays, and Happy New Year…looking forward to working with many of you in 2015!


HC Image

The New House & the Cloud – Completely Revised,

Full of New Strategies, And Updated To Address New Technologies – Cloud, BYOD, Mobility, Collaboration, and Social Business.

It’s been a long time coming – I had hoped to have this out in the late summer.  But it’s finally done, and with the publisher.  Here’s what to expect:

1. First, if you have the real book – The House & the Cloud (vs. the PDF version) you know the old cover was ugly.  It was my first book – published in 2007, and I was so anxious to publish it, I couldn’t wait for a better cover design.  I’ve learned my lesson – the cover does matter.

2. There’s now a website with tools, updates, videos, examples, and more – when you get this book, you get a whole lot more. I even have a forum to ask questions.  Anyone who buys the book will have access to the site. Just turn to the back of the book and follow the links – it’s free, as long as you have the book.

3. It’s longer. That might not be a selling point for sales people who are too busy to read – but if you have the first version, or even worse, my Vendor to Advisor book, you know the print was too small.  That doesn’t mean the content is bad – they are just harder to read than they should be. In this book,  you will find more content, but you will also find larger print and spacing to make it easy to read.

4. More chapters. I’ve shortened the chapters, cutting many of them into multiple chapters, making it easy to read and easier to find things. In this book 12 chapters are now 30.

5. Updated content. There’s a lot of new content here. Security has changed, but so has selling security. In this book you will find great ideas for selling security to companies using cloud, BYOD, social collaboration tools, and more. I also address managed services in detail – and have even included a chapter written by Choice Technologies, a provider of Managed Services and Managed Security.

6. More fun to read. My first book read more like a text book. This one is more conversational and easier to read. Hopefully this makes the book easier to get through so you can start earning more money on bigger security projects, faster.

7. More free stuff. Not only is there a free website, but there are introductory training offers and more in this book. Again, these are at the back of the book to help you take this material to the next step.

What Happens Next?

So what’s next? The publisher is reviewing the content – they should have this done this week.  Once that’s in place they will print a proof copy for me to review. I’ll do that over the Christmas holidays and have it approved before New Years.

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Then its time to print! The book will be available on Amazon, initially as a paperback selling for $19.95. If you are interested in Kindle, please comment on this post to let me know. If I have enough requests I’ll send it to Kindle and have it online in Q1.

Another question that comes up often – will I have an Audio book…again, I would need to hear from you.  In the past I have had some requests, but not many.  Creating an audio book with a high quality reading is not cheap – so if the demand isn’t there, I probably won’t do it.  But let me know…my goal is to get this material to you in a way that allows you to benefit from it.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. You can gain access to the Website now by downloading the 2007 Version and following the instructions in the responding email…Just visit us here:


targetWhat One Simple Phrase Might Have Saved Target?

Well, I can tell you what, one simple phrase, crushed Target…it was, “We’ve got it covered.”

In this case, it wasn’t the security guy in Minneapolis saying it…it was someone higher up.  The root problem here might be the senior management team – unwilling to spend money $$$ on yet another assessment.  However, when I see a story like this unraveling, I first like to think about the technology providers serving that company.

What if The Value Proposition Worked?

What are the technology companies doing in there?  Are they recommending security assessments?  Probably – but are they more focused on compliance (Target was PCI compliant), or are they thinking about the preemptive security strategies that must be in place for any large retailer today?

Imagine how big a hero the sales rep would have been if he had only had compelling justification to do more assessing, or to sell Target on something more proactive than what they have in place right now.  Certainly there was a need…isn’t that evident?  And what would the ROI look like – when compared to the billions of dollars this fiasco is going to cost.

I’d be happy with just a small piece of that in commissions – how about you?

Did they really not have a need, or was the sales team just ill-equipped to sell them on it.  Apparently the security analyst knew there was a need.

What’s Your Client Doing About Security?

Chances are you have a client just like Target.  Maybe not as big…but with a need just as important to the stakeholders and customers of that company.  It doesn’t matter how big it is – cyberciminals are still interested, and the customers are still going encounter major life disruptions if their data gets stolen next week.

If you’re waiting for senior management to approve some sort of budget, or finally see a need – don’t hold your breath.  They’re too busy to think that way.  They’re thinking about up-time, customer experience, more sales, and competitive pressures.   If they are a big company, someone probably is thinking about security…but chances are it’s someone in IT who won’t have a strong enough message to sell senior management on immediate action.  Someone like the guy in Minneapolis.

Some executives will look over at Target and say, “We need to do something.” Most will just hope it doesn’t happen to them.

Bottom Line: Your Message Must Sell It

If your client is going to take steps of action, it’s probably going to take another sales call from you.  But this time, rather than going in with your old presentation on what your company does – asking them if they need help.  Go in with a mindset that they absolutely do need help…they just don’t realize how much help they really need.

If your message is good – it will wake someone up.  If it’s good, there will be an unexpected interruption in their day.  If it’s good, it will likely lead to action.

So what’s the One Simple Phrase?  It’s your re-crafted value proposition – the one that sells the senior managers on taking proactive steps to prevent this type of thing.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. Read the House & the Cloud, and find out what Security Sales Messaging should look like…

old lockWe are just a week away from the first 2013 Making Money w/ Security (Virtual) Workshop!  And as I travel through the mid-west this week, I am gathering updated sound bites and trends for our workshop.  Looking forward to 2013, I expect to see continued growth in this market (providing security services and managed services).  In fact, on Jan 2, 2013, the Wall Street Journal posted an article on the daily attacks occurring on energy companies – this can’t be good!

“Malware is going undetected for weeks or months” – they stated, but in fact, it is often not detected for over a year according to FBI statistics (15 months as cited below).  Some important points from this article entitled, Cyber Threats to Energy Sector Happening at ‘Alarming Rate’. (posted on Jan 2, 2013 in The Wall Street Journal).

Here’s my favorite quote: “Executives are told the networks aren’t connected,…it’s not entirely true”  Isn’t that so often the case – senior management thinks everything is covered!  It’s not…

  • “Internet-based attacks on critical U.S. energy infrastructure are occurring at a greater rate than previously understood, according to a new government report.”
  • “the Department of Homeland Security, found that thousands of control systems used in critical infrastructure are linked directly to the Internet and are vulnerable to attack”
  • “The team “has been tracking threats and responding to intrusions into infrastructure such as oil and natural gas pipelines and electric power organizations at an alarming rate”
  • “On average, malicious software infections are not discovered for 15 months, according to ICS-CERT. That leaves hackers plenty of time to do damage.”

The purpose of next week’s class is to better understand how to get this kind of messaging into executive-ready format, and how to reach those higher-up people who need to know.  From there we talk about gaining approval to build the justification needed to sell larger security projects, and finally, how to present that justification in a way that leads to immediate business.  If you have not been through one of these workshops, you can start by learning more with my book, The House & the Cloud.  Get a free PDF version right here:

© 2013, David Stelzl

lockHopefully you’re 2013 planning is underway and you are gearing up for a great New Year!  I realize there is still business to take care of in December, and if your month is anything like mine, it’s busy.   But don’t neglect your planning time.  None of us can afford to just enter into the New Year without a plan.

While you’re at it, add training to your plan.  Remember, great athletes train all year, almost every day, just to play a few games.  On the other hand, most sales people play every day and train one or two days each year.  If you don’t count product training, most probably don’t do any training (And I don’t count product training as sales training).

This year I am kicking off 2013 with an online Making Money w/ Security workshop.  We already have a fantastic group signed up (with over 20 people).  Don’t miss this opportunity to set your course in the right direction before business gets busy. You can read more right here: – take advantage of early sign-up discounts, and if you are a mentor alumni, your tuition is nearly free!

You can get a free copy of the House & the Cloud; a great way to get familiar with this program, right here! (Click)

© 2013, David Stelzl

Thanks again to Ingram Micro for their sponsorship and help in setting up this week’s webinar on Creating Undeniable Justification through the Security Assessment Process.  This material comes at a time when companies across the board are failing to take the necessary steps to secure their sensitive data – make sure your clients understand the risk and are taking the right steps.  This link will take you to the 50 minute Webex recording on the Ingram Micro website.  You’ll be asked to register before watching it, but I think you’ll find the material very worthwhile.

Here is the link (CLICK) the replay yesterday’s webinar!

Also, two important resources I announced during this event.
1. First, make sure you have a copy of my book, The House & the Cloud (CLICK).  You can request it FREE in PDF format right here.

2. Second, I am cleaning out my storage closet to make room for new products, and am practically giving away my 4 part Stelzl Security Library (CLICK).  This includes:

  • The House & the Cloud (Paperback version)
  • Data@Risk – a very nice hardcover that provides the House & the Cloud discussion in a customer facing format.
  • Selling Security in The Board Room – a 60 Minute live classroom session where you’ll learn exactly how to share the House & the Cloud model with your executive level clients.
  • Threats and Trends – a live classroom session discussing cybercrime history, trends, and futures.

I only have a few of these sets left after the Ingram Micro webinar, so get them while they last!

© 2012, David Stelzl


Order Now!

This week I am out traveling the midwest – it’s 100 degrees and climbing,…meanwhile I am taking every moment I can in the evenings to work on several great business opportunities….here’s a peek.

1. My Making Money w/ Security Class has been revamped to include more managed services selling as well as the great security selling strategies that have always been the core of the class.  Managed offerings are a big focus for everyone I talk to, so it’s all in there now.  The next class is almost full, and scheduled for August…you can read more here: – I hope to announce more classes later this year.

2. I’ve had my web  team set up a private forum for the mentor alumni group…so if you have been through my private mentor program (that would not include group coaching packages that are sometimes sold on the back of a training class), you will soon have access to this resource no matter how long ago you were in the coaching program – and it’s free.  I’ve opened it up to my mastermind group already – so we are adding content as we speak.

3. Which brings up my new mastermind program – not formally announced, but more coming on that.  I have one group in full swing right now (5 business owners), and other groups will be announced at some point later this year.  This is an opportunity to collaborate with the best and the brightest – people in similar positions working on the same things, where I will personally facilitate, help set goals and direction, and work with the team to develop new strategies for profit and client acquisition… as well as offerings and anything else that contributes to the long term success of that group’s business.

4. I am continuing on with some of the free educational webinars I started late last year.  For the third time, and by request, I am offering “Accelerating Managed Services Sales” in July on the 10th.  If you have not been to this, I highly recommend it.  You can sign up right here:  Other topics are coming.  If you have a particular topic you would like for me to cover, send it to me for consideration.

5. Finally, many have purchased the 5 Essential Topics for Moving from Vendor to Adviser… this has been a very popular audio series for those who have attended the Making Money w/ Security Workshops.   I have another series coming, building from the same book, From Vendor to Adviser, but covering 5 more essential topics.  These audio programs turn your car into a classroom…they should be out before year end, so stay tuned right here, and follow me on twitter at dstelzl and you’ll be one of the first to know.

© 2012, David Stelzl