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IT Sales “Professionals” and Common Sales Tactics

I don’t want this to sound like a rant, but after four years in the Silicon Valley being bombarded by “sales professionals” and “account executives” of technology firms, I must say I find them generally to be wanting…

Don’t get me wrong, I have met a couple of outstanding sales professional who are true partners and this is not aimed at them, but for the rest, please listen closely…

Please get some training and learn a little bit about your chosen technology. I don't love hearing in an e-mail from a company that they have the solution to my problems without ever asking what they are first…

“WE have a the greatest compliance tool for PCI”…excellent, I don’t take Credit Cards…thanks for wasting my time and yours and by the way before someone tells me it didn’t waste their time because its just a SPAM e-mail to a business list, I will let you know that I remember how I am treated by vendors, and if you think I am worth that little, that I am not worth actually getting to know, then I am unlikely to do business with you later.

A wise if not disillusioned sales leader once told me there are two distinct kind of sales in the world; one for products and services you are already inclined to purchase, and one for things you have not purchased. Then why is the sales process exactly the same for all that I see? I can only assume laziness and short term thinking by people who are not actually professionals.

If a sale is about results and not the number of calls you make, for those of you not from the ABC school of IT Sales, consider getting to know your potential client a little before trying to close them. If you can’t get through the admin screen, try the flanking maneuver…find out what groups I belong to, who my colleagues are, what vendors do I do business with now, there are a lot, consider getting an intro from them or a Security VAR like Apollo

If you want a Million dollar sale you might actually have to meet me!!!!

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Dave Tyson

Dave Tyson is the Managing Partner of CISO Insights Cyber Security Risk Advisory. Tyson has served as CISO and security leader at organizations including SC Johnson, Nike, PG&E, eBay, and as chairman and president of ASIS. Contact:, (408) 464-5310.

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