Thursday, August 19, 2010

1 compettive session done Tonight at MWLUG

Thanks Rick for talking with me, and thanks to Laurie for pointing him to me.

The conversation with execs that want to leave Lotus, or for that matter any product, is always based on the issues the executive has, rarely if ever about technology.

Remember it is never about technology itself. Sure you may have to point out the execs ignorance, but do it in a nice way. Remember their underlings never tell them what they think, just what they want to hear...if they even know the answers.

You must have the exec in a room with others, it is the only way to have a semblance of logic in your discussion. Otherwise they will act like the meeting never happened.

Let them list their laundry list of what is wrong, or what they think they will gain by moving to a new system. In many cases they are just unaware of what they could be doing.

Admittedly, some will be adamant that they want to go to vendor XYZ, but that is never the issue and if they are that head strong, having the meeting with others in attendance will flush out reality and if not, they will look bad to their minions.

Never slam them, never argue why one is better, that is not going to help you.

Listen to their issues, write them down, wait for the last one, which is really the issue. Then proceed to discuss the issues one at a time.

You may find they say, " I never knew we could do that" or "Why didn't my team tell me". You may also find "I don't care we are moving anyway".

You can not reason with someone who does not want to reason. But talk in their terms, go over their issues in their language and you will start to see others at the table start to open their eyes and be in awe of what they did not know.

NO ONE can know everything. Not me, not any BP or employee, so never belittle anyone in the discussion, just aim at the exec and pace your self with them.

Do not bring up anything technical, aside from explaining how to do something they may not have known was even in front of them. You may scare them with any technical discussion. Keep to business, keep to their existing staff as being capable.

Likelihood is their staff may just not have updated a server or client or whatever it may be and that is the only issue.

It is about money but it's also about getting every last dollar out of what they already spent. Or it's about wasting a bunch of money and all they still get is a database system, an email system or a CRM system or whatever is at issue.

You can do it, really, and if not, ask me for help if it is too daunting.