Friday, March 21, 2008


About a year ago in a HTG meeting ( it became obvious that I was taking advantage of partner relationships. By that, I mean that I was expecting of a partner something I was not putting into the relationship.

Since, I have spent significant time working on these relationships and they have paid off. An example of this would be with Jason with SMC out of KC. Jason has helped us identify new product, training and marketing opportunities. This has increased sales for SMC and for Nex-Tech. A true win, win relationship.

Sometimes in sales, we tend to sell only to our customers. It is equally important to sell to our vendors, internal people and other peers. The selling should never stop.

Update to the Home Server. I discovered a hardware problem on the unit I was trying to recover. After repairing this hardware (Replacing the part). It works perfectly. Only thing that I noticed was that after it recovered and boots for the first time, you have to wait 15 min or so for it to complete booting. Something must be completing in the background. Other than that, it works like it did prior to Blue Screen of Death.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thanks to my friends.

I would like to thank Stuart Crawford for his kind words today.

"I also had the chance to chat with my good friend Steve Riat last night and Steve has told me that he has a new blog up and running on "Sales and Marketing in IT", Steve is the best marketing and sales guy I have ever had the chance to meet. Steve is with Nex-Tech in Hays, KS and does some pretty remarkable stuff from this part of the world."

Thanks Stuart, you made my day. Please see Stuart's blog. See the link on the right. Stuart is an owner of IT Matters in Canada.

I would like to also thank Arlin Sorensen for adding me to his blog links. I thought this was a elite list of professionals. Now he will add anyone! With both Stuart and his rave review and now Arlin adding me to the list, I will have to come up with some good sales and marketing topics.

Today I had a chance to ride with Darren Walters (Our Communications Supervisor in charge of the Communications Techs). I always enjoy his perspectives, and of course the update on the ten year plan. Darren has a unique talent of not only understanding the technical side of the business but also the ability to look and understand the sales side of the business. This is a rare combination. I think the key is the professionalism that Darren always shows. He knows when to listen and when to add to a conversation. Holding your tongue is probably one of the most difficult things to do during a sales cycle. I am not sure who said it but it has stuck with me, "The first person to speak loses" This is very true in many stages of the sales cycle.

So a little IT stuff. I installed a MS Home server a couple of months ago. Since I have enjoyed the backup functionality along with other features. Last week I received the blue screen of death out of a Windows XP Pro machine. I started the restore process. As of right now it looks to have failed. It just keeps rebooting. I will update everyone once I have some time to spend on this.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What are your interests?

One of the questions that was on a survey I took in the last couple of days ask "What are your interests?" I am not sure why, but this stuck in my mind today. Then I started thinking, what aren't my interests? I can watch the Discovery Channel and see 10 things I would like to know more about. I want to know what make things work, what motivates people, what happened in the past and how that came about!

That's what I love about my job. I can come home with one new thing I learned every day! How many other jobs do you know that you can say that? You ask, what did you learn about today? I learned that every core you add to a processor you increase performance by 28%. Sure I know what you are thinking big deal. Along with that, I learned the power and direction of Intel. I am continually amazed by how the technology has changed in only 10 years.

Some people fear change. Embrace it, that is what makes life interesting!

Keeping it simple...

If you don't know me, I am a sales guy. Sure, I enjoy the technology but down deep I live for the sale. If your a sales guy, you probably know what I am talking about. If your not a sales guy, let me try and explain. Getting the yes, closing the deal, signing the order is a high. You can work months for this moment. This never gets old.

There is a secondary high, it is having a customer tell you that you solved a business problem and that your view helped them find a unique solution to their problem. This is, in my opinion, the basic building block of a solution sale.

Some people think that all sales people are motivated by money alone. This is the farthest from the truth for the best sales people I have met. Sure, money has a motivating factor. One of the best parts of my job is the fact that I am rewarded based on performance. The opposite can be true. That is if I do not perform, I do not get rewarded. I have been commissioned in one way or another since I graduated college.

So what does this have to do with keeping it simple? Sales is simple at some level. Be honest, under promise, over deliver, keep the terms easy to understand and keep the options in a way that is easy to understand.

I was ask to blog about what has made us successful at selling managed services. That is keep it simple. Make a check box, have only a few options and make it easy to understand.

Giving this a try/The Sales-Technical conflict.

I have been impressed with my friend and peer from Canada Stuart for some time. He is continually blogging about one thing or another. Then I saw another peers site (Arlin Sorensen) from Iowa. This has become a daily practice for me to check their sites. I in fact am disappointed when there is no post!

I have a feeling that if anyone will check my postings daily, you may have the same disappointment frequently.

Moving forward for today.

Today I had a chance to see one of our installs and work with the technician doing the install (Cody) I happened to show up just after the work begun and started to understand some of the frustrations that can be felt by install technicians.

Rarely do I have a chance to do all the sales to a customer any more. This was a rare opportunity. I forgot how much I enjoy this process. During the sales cycle, I spent significant time going over the scope of work and making sure what the customer was going to provide. (I knew I would be under the microscope!)

After showing up on this install, none of this pre-work was completed. There was no power at the location, cable drops were not installed, it was like the customer forgot everything we had spoke about. Cody was looking at the scope of work saying this was all to be complete. Here is where the understanding comes in. If I hadn't been there to talk to the customer and Cody, he would of thought I had done a poor job in presales.

This just illustrates the need for us as a team to communicate and always trust each other first.

Anyway, hope some people find my ramblings interesting. Please leave comments.