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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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For my IT Bretheren regarding IT Sales

Okay my trusted advisors, this topic came up today in the office and since I turn to you fugs for everything else, I may as well try this too

For those who are in a position of "Decession Making" or even "Influencing" IT purchases be it Software or Hardware (or vaporware if ya got money to waste) how are you best reached? - When I started in this game back in 1994, you "dialed" or "mailed" - Then came the "voicemail" then came the "email" and then came "Instant Messaging" but all have their respective "outs"

1. No one pickes up their phone anymore regardless of day or time of day
2. Spam Filters tend to kill most email or it just never gets returned
3. IM you have to be "accepted"

So, when dumb fucks like me who are only as good as their Engineer are trying to get on your calendar, how do you respond best? Trust me when I say that I for one do not take meetings just to have meetings - If there is not a fit, I will not waste their time

Just curious since the landscape of the game has changed so much and "privacy" is HUGE these days

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 01:48 PM
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 01:48 PM
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My email is my TODO box.
I always answer my phone if I can hear it ring.
Our team is almost always on an internal IRC channel so I can be reached there.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 01:52 PM
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how did you get this number? prank caller, prank caller!
Pulp Fiction. Eric what's his face...redhead guy. Stoltz I think it is?

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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how did you get this number? prank caller, prank caller!
Are you calling me from a cell phone? - You owe me a response too Bro - (2) great HC Tech one's man (j/k dude)

Arch, you may be the exception as I have had guys in Appts laugh when I bring up how many calls or emails I had to make before they responded - I know how busy everyone is and I repsect that - It just seems that the playing field has changed so much and it is like trying to bang a nun

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Pulp Fiction. Eric what's his face...redhead guy. Stoltz I think it is?
Correct to Travolta - "Do not bring some fucked up pooh butt to my house man"

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 01:56 PM
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Are you calling me from a cell phone? - You owe me a response too Bro - (2) great HC Tech one's man (j/k dude)

Arch, you may be the exception as I have had guys in Appts laugh when I bring up how many calls or emails I had to make before they responded - I know how busy everyone is and I repsect that - It just seems that the playing field has changed so much and it is like trying to bang a nun
The playing field has changed in that too many people who don't have a clue are working in it and feel the need to be in 'meetings' all the time to 'look' busy when in fact, they are just trying to cover the fact that they can't actually get work done. As long as 'meetings' are happening, no one has to do anything except make pretty little microsoft documents and schedule more meetings.



Yes, I am oversimplifying and generalizing but I'm sure almost everyone here knows exactly what I am talking about.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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The playing field has changed in that too many people who don't have a clue are working in it and feel the need to be in 'meetings' all the time to 'look' busy when in fact, they are just trying to cover the fact that they can't actually get work done. As long as 'meetings' are happening, no one has to do anything except make pretty little microsoft documents and schedule more meetings.



Yes, I am oversimplifying and generalizing but I'm sure almost everyone here knows exactly what I am talking about.
Heard that but it what I do, it is the #'s that count - I could have 1000 meeting a quarter and miss my numbner or 1 meeting a year and make it - I of course am trying for ther later

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:11 PM
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Social networking. If a sales person / product is referred to me by someone I trust, I will make time for it. Otherwise if somebody falls out of blue sky and tries to sell me something, I'll tell them to fuck off even if I'm interested.

No offense, but, as you know, time is valuable. What is even more important for coding folks is that any unplanned interruption, no matter how small, breaks the flow and means a lot of downtime. It make take 2 minutes to answer the phone call, but it normally means 1 hour of lost productivity. This is a common knowledge among developers. This is why people who actually write code often get pissed for no apparent reason when you cold call.

I would say that the most effective ways of reaching us are
a) Social networking as I already mentioned
b) Good coverage in popular IT blogs (like codinghorror.com). The catch is - the product has to be really good to interest the reviewers.

There is also an interesting and powerful class of IT folks that sales people, I believe, often ignore. Those are not the people who make the decision directly and formally, but effectively do it and usually are solely responsible for it. Lead developers, managers and architects who typically have the decision making power often don't have the time / are not so technical to make the decision on their own so they delegate it to the trusted and knowledgeable technical folks with humble formal title no decision making power. Many and many various software products have been acquired based on my sole opinion. It would be something like "Hm-m-m, we need product that will do X. Stas, can you please look into it?". I would evaluate a bunch of products, choose what I like and say "I looked at ........ I liked Y, but ..., also Z ... but W is the best". And typically it's "Hm... let me think about it... Yes, yes, lets buy W". So, formally, I didn't make the decision, but practically I did.

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Last edited by Fracker; 07-24-2007 at 02:13 PM.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:13 PM
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leave a vmail with an offer to buy a big lunch and throw in lots of toys for a 60 day eval.

that gets me to drop most of the piddly other stuff that I'm mucking around in
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Fracker - That is what I am talking about amigo - I do most of my calls to "Architects" because they know the network - It is a fine line though Bro - The C Levels and Directors know what is coming down the pike for "needs" if it is top down driven - The architects and developers know what is needed because they see it everyday and it is a End User driven event - MY task is trying to find within each and every company I talk to or do research on, where it is coming from - I hate calling you guys just as much as you hate picking up the phone - I can hear it in your voice when you have no idea who I am or why I am calling and I know in your head you are thinking fuck off you stupid sales guy who knows nothing about your product other than the cost (there are those out there like this) - I have been doing it long enough that it does not even bother me anymore - yell at me all you want, it's just a phone call

Networking is key but it is tough as well - I have met people at ITA functions and such that are jacked about meeting and then when I call, they are like , ahhhh sorry man no can do - just trying to gain an understanding of what you guys do to "take the call"

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:23 PM
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As for actually HOW to handle cold-calls for sales I explain things in this manner:

I never buy anything if someone contacts me first.
If you can understand this, we can move onto the next step:
-Give me the ability to find out *VERY QUICKLY* what you have and what the prices are so I can have it for future reference, and get updated prices when I need it.
If you respect the wish to not be cold-called there's a very good chance I may use you as a vendor.
Break that rule once, and I don't care what you have or what price you have something for, I will never ever allow anything to be purchased from there.

That keeps future contacts to a minimum, and yes, followup 'Are you having any problems with X Y and Z ?' are allowed.

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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leave a vmail with an offer to buy a big lunch and throw in lots of toys for a 60 day eval.

that gets me to drop most of the piddly other stuff that I'm mucking around in
Old School feed and eval baby - If the eval is qualified corredtly, I love it when product goes in - If I do my job correctly and size to what you need and find how to make an impact, I have no plans of removing that equip - PO me baby!

Lunch is always a given man - Any vendor who does not buy you lunch does not deserve to be in your calendar

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:24 PM
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well you do have the gift for gab (mister I just hit 7000 posts)
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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That keeps future contacts to a minimum, and yes, followup 'Are you having any problems with X Y and Z ?' are allowed.
You are talking about how I do 60% of my business - Updates and follow ups

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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well you do have the gift for gab (mister I just hit 7000 posts)
Flippin sweet!

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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Funny and True Story - I met jrock on a Sales Call - I was the Rep that responded to his in bound call to my office - J, you had me against what, 2 other companies? - Never bothered him but always followed up when I said I would - Won his business and a year later we were riding Deals Gap

Hold me?

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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:36 PM
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Earn it over the phone man (or stalk them Charlie Sheen style). That never changes.

I used to be in your shoes, now I'm on the other side of the desk. (It's everything I imagined it would be btw - I fuck with salesfolk for sport and I rarely wear pants!)

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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:37 PM
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Bug - also what I think a good channel is professional consultants who typically travel a lot and attend to many businesses annually. If they find your software to be useful and reasonably priced they will force it on their clients, selling it for you. So in effect you don't need to be in contact with a large group of customers but with a small group of "connectors" that have lots of contacts. I don't know how useful this is for you, though. Really, I'm not in the sales, so my advise can appear childish and obvious to you.

BTW, if you are not familiar with the term "connectors", read the books Blink and Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. They're overhyped and boring as hell because their content could've been fitted in 50 pages or less but they're very useful nonetheless.

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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:41 PM
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another decent way to sell your product is to have a good web page about it.

if we need something, we'll find it and you before you find us...
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Bug - also what I think a good channel is professional consultants who typically travel a lot and attend to many businesses annually. If they find your software to be useful and reasonably priced they will force it on their clients, selling it for you. So in effect you don't need to be in contact with a large group of customers but with a small group of "connectors" that have lots of contacts. I don't know how useful this is for you, though. Really, I'm not in the sales, so my advise can appear childish and obvious to you.

BTW, if you are not familiar with the term "connectors", read the books Blink and Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. They're overhyped and boring as hell because their content could've been fitted in 50 pages or less but they're very useful nonetheless.
Fracker - This is all good for me man - I hammer the phones and email all day when I am not in appts and am always looking for a new way to get connected - I am aware of the books and have heard good things - Tipping Point, I hate their SW (j/k man)

The tough thing with "Consultants" is that if the product moves nicely, they tend to resell it themselves

UD - Phones are Phones and I will always leave a voicemail as I have had folks take appts with me due to the fact that I have left voicemails for them 1 a month for years and they take my call jsut to shut me up - Now, put your pants on as I am jealous

Ernie - I send a lot of links and you are correct

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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:48 PM
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Bug, what do you actually sell?

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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:48 PM
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UD - put your pants on as I am jealous
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:48 PM
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Bug, what do you actually sell?
+1, I'm also curious..

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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:50 PM
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wait for the "Bug infomercial" for all you IT insomniacs...
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Nah man - I will not push shit on ya'all and Vcook can attest to that - If I think it is a fit I may ask but not my style to push - I re-sell (first time with a VAR) Network Security and HA SW - I work for a 40 man Engineering Shop and we sell, impliment, train & educate (2 classrooms DT and 2 in Cinci), assess and penetrate as well as provide manged services for Vendors like:

f5, Juniper, Bluecoat, Riverbed, RSA, Varonis, Imprivata, Vontu, Secure Computing, Pointsec (now CP) Infoblox and a few more - We also have (2) NOC's and act as level 1 and 2 support for CP, f5, Juniper and soon to be Bluecoat too

I have never been on the reseller side but thse cats do it right and some of the products (Imprivata, Infoblox, Varonis) are pretty damn sweet - I am doing a lot with Riverbed right now as WAN X is hot

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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 03:05 PM
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The playing field has changed in that too many people who don't have a clue are working in it and feel the need to be in 'meetings' all the time to 'look' busy when in fact, they are just trying to cover the fact that they can't actually get work done. As long as 'meetings' are happening, no one has to do anything except make pretty little microsoft documents and schedule more meetings.



Yes, I am oversimplifying and generalizing but I'm sure almost everyone here knows exactly what I am talking about.
I hate to admit it Arch, but you are growing on me.

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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 03:10 PM
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Okay my trusted advisors, this topic came up today in the office and since I turn to you fugs for everything else, I may as well try this too

For those who are in a position of "Decession Making" or even "Influencing" IT purchases be it Software or Hardware (or vaporware if ya got money to waste) how are you best reached?
Simple, I can't be reached.

Every single sales call goes right into my voice mail from our receptionist. Normally it gets deleted when I hear a sales pitch. If I need something I come looking for your services, products, or whatever.

You know how many calls a day I get from sales people... it's sick. Some tactics are just poor.. like saying they are returning my call...etc. Sorry bud, voice mail you go.

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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OldSkoolMC View Post
Simple, I can't be reached.

Every single sales call goes right into my voice mail from our receptionist. Normally it gets deleted when I hear a sales pitch. If I need something I come looking for your services, products, or whatever.

You know how many calls a day I get from sales people... it's sick. Some tactics are just poor.. like saying they are returning my call...etc. Sorry bud, voice mail you go.
You make up a large percentage of those out there my friend - Beleive it or not, sometimes we have something worth discussing - When I see something on a site from the Pres CEO about what they are doing and then read a press relase of what the "need" to do and then try and follow up with those "in the trenches" it is amazing sometimes - But, that is why they call it work - We are all busy and all have a million things to do and I am glad you guys gave me some insight here

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW, what a RIDE !!"
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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-24-2007, 03:24 PM
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Location: Not Chicago Anymore
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Location: Not Chicago Anymore
Sportbike: 08 YZ250F, 03 Tuono
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Salesman's aside: I used to love when the Crains lists would come out every year. Like clockwork you'd see the same sharks in the same waiting rooms with the same pitches. Awesome.

I still have buddies that I made during those trips. It was like well dressed salmon swimming upstream to fuck or die.

<---- Patrick

Property of Evil Monkey Racing

Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.


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