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LocksLast week Ingram Micro’s Physical Security Marketing Group sponsored a webinar going through the House & the Cloud model with particular emphasis on the physical security side.  You can replay this event right here:



dhs_headJoin me on April 30th, at 2:00 EDT (60 minutes) for a webinar on how to move your sales organization away from commodity selling to more of an advisory role.  I’ve spent this entire week working with presales engineers in Melbourne and Sydney Australia, working on the specifics of how to do this…channel partners, regardless of where you sell, must make this move in order to compete in the coming years…

It’s sponsored by Ingram Micro, all you have to do is register and be there – online…here’s the link.  I hope to see you there!

Register here

© 2013, David Stelzl

Hopefully you were able to make today’s Event Marketing webinar – 7 Secrets to Profitability Using Lunch & Learns and Sales Events. In case you missed it, there will be a recording posted at some point soon…I want everyone to have this information before they do another event.  Here’s a quick recap:


First, we talked about success – How do you measure success when talking about lunch & learns and other customer facing events?  I hear that often, especially when involved with resellers who are trying to find funding for an event.  What’s the ROI, they say.  What they mean is, “How much revenue will this event drive?”  No matter what you do, it’s hard to really tell.  Would these people have bought if they hadn’t attended the event?  You just don’t know.  We talked about something you can measure – Conversion rate.  We talked about various inflection points along the timeline of an event, starting with the invitation, and going though to fee-based business. There are about 5 infection points along the way.  Consider:

  • How many people you called, vs. how many attended?
  • How many attended, and how many of them went on for a second 1-1 meeting or some other offering?
  • How many meetings, assessments, or whatever, turned into billable engagements?
  • How many engagements led to annuity services?

In my new eBook, I will be providing a conversion sheet example along with formulas and modifications to track your customized program.  This is the key to refining the process.


Here is the official announcement.  I plan to release my eBook, Event Marketing, 7 Secrets to Profitability Using Lunch & Learns and Sales Events, on October 10th, the same day I kick off my new workshop on Marketing.  Sign up and get a free copy of the book before it’s released to the public!


Next, I covered common mistakes. These are mistakes I see even the best resellers making all the time…I only had time to cover three, but there are many.  Fix these and you’re headed for success.  I presented the problem, and then offered several ways to fix it.  Here are three:

  • Recreating the wheel:  This refers to the reseller who insists on building a customized event every time they do one. The problem is, they never perfect it.  Try building a great event, then make incremental improvements along the way.  This makes a lot more sense and will allow your sales team to learn it, and execute on it.
  • Focusing on more attendees – not follow up.  Companies that focus on getting numbers in the door are making a mistake.  Focus on getting the right people there.  Invite a reasonable number that you can then follow up with in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Your event is too technical.  Forget about technology – focus on the four things buyers buy (Which I write about extensively in my book, From Vendor to Adviser).  ROI, operational efficiency, competitive advantage, and risk mitigation.


Finally, we covered three things that lead to success.  Again, there are many more to cover – which I do cover in the workshop, but here are a few to get you going.

  • Make it educational.  Think about those executives that will travel on their own dime to attend Gartner or some other industry event.  Why won’t they attend your event?  Simply because it isn’t worth traveling to.  That might be real or perception.  Your job is the make it great, and make sure the word gets out.
  • Create an offer that takes them from attending to buying.  This second point of conversion is critical.  The first point is addressed in the bullet above –  getting them there.  This second one is something you offer your attendees at the meeting – something that compels them to meet again.
  • Finally, start your follow up process in the meeting.  Many companies don’t even have a follow up program.  Your job is to create one before you ever meet, and then be prepared to offer it right there in the meeting.  There is a way to do this without sounding like a used car sales person.  We’ll cover that in detail in the workshop.

Finally, I gave everyone the early sign up coupon for the workshop:  “EARLY” – original isn’t it!  Us this when signing up at this link (it’s only good this week):

© 2012, David Stelzl

We are just a little over a week away from my webinar with Ingram Micro on providing Undeniable Justification through the Security Assessment Process – a shortened version of my House & the Cloud sales process.  The more I work with companies on their proposals and assessment deliverables, the more I see the need to overhaul the process.  I was working with several people last week during individual sales coaching meetings to refine their documents.  Here are a few points to consider…

Re-engineering the Assessment Deliverable

  • These documents should be written to the decision maker, not IT.  If your SE is writing the deliverables, chances are that your documents are written to technical people, not economic buyers on the business side.  Most of these will not lead to larger remediation projects.
  • If your document is mostly lengthy paragraphs – and you have pages of paragraphs, it doesn’t really matter who you are writing to.  No one will have time to read it.  Stick to charts, graphs, diagrams, bullets, and a few paragraphs.  If your assessment was done at no charge – you don’t need a long written report.  You need something short, to the point (I recommend using a Power Point document), and supplemental to a great presentation on what you’ve found.
  • If your “Findings” section contains technical misconfiguration information, or possible vulnerabilities to some technical sounding Trojan, you might consider changing it.  Ask yourself, “So what?”  So, what will happen as a result.  I call this – the “So What?” test.  Keep asking yourself until you get to an urgent sounding issue with business impact.  For instance, on two documents I read last week, both reps were recommending managed services services on the basis that, one person can’t manage a group of 50 or 100 end-users.  I kept asking, “How do you know?”  The document made is sound obvious, but no justification was given.  You can’t do this.  Imagine you are the CFO, trying to save as much money as possible.  Someone with a sales business card comes into your office and tries to convince you to sign a contract for several thousand dollars per month.  You won’t do it unless you’re sure you need it.  There must be some pretty strong evidence.  I’m not saying you can’t find it – I’m simply stating that you need that evidence before proposing the solution.

I will be covering this and more, next week on a webinar sponsored by Ingram Micro – Wednesday, September 26th, at 1:00 PM ET.  You can sign up right here:

Looking forward to seeing you there!

© 2012, David Stelzl

Did you attend the Ingram Micro Advanced Technology Webinar on Accelerating Security Sales using The House & the Cloud?  We had nearly 300 registered for this event yesterday…if you missed it, or if you didn’t know about it, Ingram Micro did record the session and has made it available online.  Here’s the link for the playback:


Don’t forget, you can also request a FREE copy of the House & the Cloud Book here…(CLICK), and there is also a live audio program available on how to sell using the House & the Cloud sales model (CLICK and scroll down to the MP3 on Executive Selling).

In this session we covered several important topics including:

  • Problems with the current approach resellers are taking to both sales and marketing.
  • The problem with most assessments – which leave the sales person with little hope to sell follow-on project and managed services business.
  • The problem with most sales presentations – leading to boring company overviews that drive your audience to their Blackberries and iPhones rather than listening to you.

From there we moved into several concepts that build a strategy that will lead you up the ladder, into your decision makers office.  We talked about how to get to the right people and what to do when you get there.  In the end, there must be solid justification.  Listen in and see what I am talking about.  Thanks for listening!


© 2012, David Stelzl


In last week’s webinar on fee setting, one of the 5 secrets I shared had to do with understanding value before quoting a price.  By this I mean, you personally have ownership of the value your are providing and the client agrees – they too see the value.  On the call I discussed various ways to ensure this happens, along with some key technology areas that demonstrate it well.  One of these areas is security…you might have guessed if you’ve read my book, The House & the Cloud.

Upcoming Making Money with Security Workshop (Online) – Click to learn more

Why Security Does this so Well:

  • Security issues are in every company – if you can find them, most of the time they are urgent.  In a recent coaching call we were reviewing assessment results from a complementary risk analysis.  The client’s email system had been compromised and was acting as a spam relay!  What is the likelihood of closing the remediation business on this one?  100%!  In another situation the client’s report revealed no firewall – the network was actually set up to bypass the firewall!  Another 100%…and finally, I worked with a client recently only to discover that everyone in the company had full admin rights to their  database – this is a healthcare company with HIPAA requirements!  Again, there is a 100% likelihood of closing business.  Why?  Simply put, we found urgent issues and had asset owners involved.
  • Executives are still interested in security…you may not think so, but the fact that Wall Street continues to write about security tells me the readership – mostly management level people, are interested.  It’s not that hard to arrange marketing events and sales calls around educational security related material.  The success comes as sales people focus on the business aspects, not the technology itself.
  • Every technology deal has a security aspect to it – one that is central to the success of implementation.  Whether you sell unified communications, applications, core networking, storage, or specialize in managed services, security is key.  It’s a differentiator.  If your competition is selling storage, the deal is likely dependent on price.  When security enters the equation, the value equation changes.  Here, success is dependent on understanding how to weave the security story into the deal.  It’s always relevant, making it the right thing to do.

Find out more on this – join us the first week of January before things get to hectic – 3  days, 2 hours each day – online, so you don’t have to go anywhere!  Sign up here (hurry while early registration discounts apply):

Upcoming Making Money with Security Workshop (Online) – Click to learn more

© 2011, David Stelzl

Stop Wasting Time on Proposals Nobody Reads!

Sign up here: (December 21st at 1:00 PM)

Nothing wastes more time than writing proposals that don’t sell.  The more you write, the more time you waste…I remember some of my early proposals, crafted after lengthy documents I had seen as an IT manager.  Then one day I remembered, “I never read those things, so why would anyone read mine?”  The fact is, most of the proposals being written never get read!  Why?  Simply put, no one has time to read anything but the essentials.  What’s in your proposal that really matters?  Price, parts list, stages of a proposed project, and perhaps some dates?  These things are important.  What about the rest?  Well, perhaps there are some things in there, buried deep within your project rhetoric.

Join me next week on December 21st at 1:00 ET to talk about proposals.  I’ll be drawing from my newly published book, From Vendor to Adviser (which contains an important chapter on how to put together quality proposals.)  Here is the link – sign up now! past events have filled up quickly….

© 2010, David Stelzl