Friday, May 23, 2008

The Corporate Sponsothreat?

I have seen a new side of a couple of vendors recently. Is it a turn in the economy? Or just desperation. We have been working a couple of larger deals and because we do business with these clients with the opportunity, we were ask to do a "Corporate Sponsorship" That would be defined as management calling the clients management and "reminding" them that we do business with them.

Sure, I try and do business with companies that do business with me. That is always a good practice. However it isn't always possible. I may have several business that do business with me in the same industry. So I have to choose the best solution.

In the case above, that is probably true. Which I have no problem with. Where a vendor, in my opinion, crossed the line is by suggesting that we threaten to move our business if the client does not do business with me.

It all comes down to selling solutions. Making sure you position your solution at the top. You may have some advantages like doing business with a client, however this is just that, an advantage. Lets face it, sometimes you lose. Your solution may have not been the best! Being a sore loser will never increase your sales.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is it just me?

Recently I have been invited to a lot of vendor events that are in two weeks or less. Then when I decline, I get the small guilt trip that I am not attending. Am I the only one that books a calendar 3 weeks or much more in advance? I would think that these events that are being put on are set months in advance, why not start advertising then?

I think what goes on is similar to what I have experienced on some of our marketing events. Set the date way into the future, then the date sneaks up on you. Putting on customer events is a long process. And lets face it, the post card invite rarely goes to the right contact, hits the trash even if it does. The one on one invite is most successful. Start early and ask often.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another thing I learned

I am performing another SWIPE (That is Steal With Integrity and Pride Everywhere) from Arlin's email. (now also on his blog)

"Kathy in Florida – the idea that most businesses start out a soloist whom is very good, then surrounds themselves with a few others like them and creates a jazz band which is made up of stars that agree to play together with some loose direction, and finally needs to become an orchestra where the conductor leads the group of extremely gifted players down a single path focused on the end result of playing perfectly together. What a powerful illustration. That is so true of small businesses today. The different transitions are the hard part. That final transition to becoming part of an orchestra the biggest change as everyone has to be willing to give up their own desire to be a star in order to give their all to the sound from the entire group, which done right is always better than any one player alone."

Quoted from Email sent on May 17th Arlen Sorensen (Also in his blog)

One of the best illustrations I have heard in a long time

Monday, May 19, 2008

Language, it defines you.

Recently I have heard several people use curse words. They were not the real bad ones, just words that should be reserved and not used in every day conversation (if at all). I am not one without the use of bad language, rather I think I do understand when the use is appropriate, if ever.

It definitely painted a picture of the person I was speaking to in a bad light. Using this type of language in my mind can make people look bad from the start. In sales it is never appropriate to use foul language. If others around you are using this language, it is still not appropriate. Do not bring yourself down to their level.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

So what did I learn last week?

I always feel it necessary to show what I learned during work trips. So I figured I will start adding small blogs on some of that information.

Brad Schow had demonstrated the speak softly and carry large words?

I will concentrate on holding my words more and making sure what I say will make more impact.

A waitress showed me how one person can do better than three when they are good at their job. Everyone at HTG knows exactly what I am talking about.

Don't count out the small guy just because the bigger competition has more people.

Where to go next?

I am in an industry that is in constant change. We always have to be looking for the next thing. The next solution, the next strategy and where the competition is going. It is easy to sit back and enjoy success. This constant change may be the one thing that defines success.

I spent a couple of days with the HTG gang this last week. This group helps me identify industry changes, more global views and the future of the industry. This is all great! It is great to see people like Brad and Erik challenging the status quo. I feel like we are the leading group of HTG and we have to push every meeting to keep this status.

So where is the future?
1. Development of MSP 2.0? How about defining what is in 2.0?
2. Video? That can include blogging, conferencing and customer interaction with it?
3. Personel development? Sales, Marketing, HR, Processes and Financial?
4. Cloud applications: Hosted Office, Exchange and more to come? What we going to do with this?
5. Consulting: How do we develop these skills? Training for this? What direction will this take us?
6. Technology its self? What is in the future? More Citrix? How does this play with cloud applications?

There is so much more I could add here. These are not my ideas, rather ideas I SWIPED from HTG.

Future is bright. We are at a turning point to either follow or be leaders. I look forward to having everyong follow.

Speaking of leaders, congratulations to Joddey Hicks on his recent promotion. I would wish you luck but I know you have all the skills to make it happen.