Archives For writing proposals

business-mtgGetting Executive Buy-In Is Critical

If You Expect Your Clients to Take Action on Assessment Findings

Only about 15% of the risk assessments, from audience poles I conducted, are being acted on! Yet, over 95% of them show urgent issues, according to security experts I am in touch with.  There’s a major disconnect.$1 HC Book Ad

The Right Language Matters

One key reason I’ve observed, is the language being used to write the assessment reports. Not only are the reports too long to attract executive readers. Even if they did want to wade through the 50 page document, it would be like you or I wading through a technical journal to find out what to do about cancer risks. Chances are we would comprehend about 5% of it, giving up after the first few pages.

If you’ve worked in a large corporation, you know there’s a disconnect between IT and executive management. Don’t expect everyone to sit down to review your paper. In the small business the security expert doesn’t exist, and the small business owner is already running at top speed, trying to grow the business, manage cash flow, and build customer experience before their competition does. They don’t have time to sift through mounds of jargon.

Grabbing Their Attention Early

But the other issue is one of desire and priority. Does the business owner or executive see your report as urgent – must read now? If you have not involved them in the findings, chances are they don’t see it as urgent. If they have an IT group, they’ll delegate it. If they don’t it will sit on their desk (especially if you waved your fee – a common practice in the small business market).

All of this changes when you start your assessment at the Asset Owner level. (See my book, The House & the Cloud, Page 195).  Starting with those who have liability, with the goal of discovering their most important data as it relates to their business growth and profitability, is the best way to get them interested before you complete the assessment.

Find out what digital assets are most important to protect and why. Then look at who would want them. And based on how things are set up and who creates and uses this data, discover how unauthorized users might gain access. When you’re done, tie your findings to business issues. Leave out the technical jargon. And bring your report to the that executive with a short presentation on what it means to their business.

If your conversion rates on this process don’t go up to about 60% something is wrong. Consider reading through chapter 13 of The House & the Cloud – 2nd Edition, for ideas on how to convince your audience that this is important.

© 2016, David Stelzl

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IMG_0993It’s a recipe – not a numbers game.  (But wait!  Notice the picture on the left – somehow Hilton decided to select me as their guest of the day.  Little do they know, I’m a devout Marriott Elite customer – but the service here was excellent).  Last night I received a call from one of my clients – in one day he closed a new client deal for managed services! How?  He was so excited, he called me just to share the excitement.

It’s the conversion process I outlined in yesterday’s video blog post.  There’s some event – this can be anything that leads to an assessment.  I like 1-to-many events because they’re efficient, but it can be something one-on-one. It must be educational.  It leads the prospect to want to at least take a look.

Then there’s “Creating the urgency”.  This can’t be FFUD (fabricated fear, uncertainty, and doubt) – it must be real.  Usually, if you look closely at the business, in the security space, there is an urgent issue.  A high percentage of the companies you call on have a serious problem they don’t know about.  My client’s SE found it – they were running critical applications and their back up solution was failing.

Converting the next step – to fee based business, is a matter of persuasion; guiding truth around other’s mental road blocks.  My client executed on this flawlessly – the result…contract in hand…master the recipe and grow your value – this leads to business growth.

© 2013, David Stelzl

Stop Wasting Time on Proposals Nobody Reads!

Sign up here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2571952780 (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….

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2571952780

© 2010, David Stelzl