This Trick Will Backfire. Watch Out!

email to the CIO

 

Don’t Pull the ‘Email to the CIO’ Trick. It Will Backfire.

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I wanted to share a story that I personally witnessed this week.  I was sitting in a buddy’s office (let’s call him MR. VP for this story) who also happens to be an IT leader at a big company in the Philadelphia area.  They have a substantial IT budget and a variety of technology partners.
I was sitting off to the side in his office when I noticed him reading an email that seemed to get him pretty disturbed.  He immediately picked up the phone and dialed (for this part let’s call him Paul from ABC software company).  Mr. VP immediately started to read him the riot act. “Who do you think you are… going around me to my CIO and telling him I didn’t do my job?  We have purchased millions of dollars of your software in the past.  Pick up the phone and call me directly if you have an issue with the decision.  You are done doing business here.  Goodbye!!”

Evidently, Paul had a proposal on the table and Mr. VP and team had chosen another partner.   Paul, in desperation, sent an email to the CIO letting him know that Mr. VP and his team chose another partner and his team made a mistake costing the company money in the long run.  He also claimed that the playing field wasn’t even because he didn’t get the access he needed along the way.
Listen, all sales veterans have probably been in this situation before.  I know I have.  You believe you have the better solution and the customer didn’t give you the access and time needed to qualify the proper way and propose the right solution.   I personally can’t stand to lose but sometimes there are newer and better technologies out there that will outshine yours.  It’s hard not to take it personally but you must understand that this sales gig is a marathon.  We are going to win some and lose some along the way.  It’s how you handle the situation that prevails in the end.

I have learned this throughout my career.  Rather than sending that email to the CIO who happens to highly respect Mr. VP, call Mr. VP and set up a time to be debriefed about the missed opportunity.  9 times out of 10, MR. CIO and his/her peers will respect your request to go over why they went another direction. Most of them have a heart and will be happy to discuss it with you.  You will get that desired facetime, build credibility and the access you need the next time around.

I must admit, I had a smile on my face when Mr. VP was laying into Paul. It was one less vendor I had to deal with and I knew it would make a great blog………

Good selling.

David

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Know the Customer and Get Intelligent

Sellingtothecio

SellingtothecioKnow the customer and get Intelligent (it’s not that hard!)

I have come to the point that now I only answer internal calls.  Yes, these are calls from internal to the company and I can’t take another external call.  Why?  Because it usually is from somebody trying to sell me something I don’t want to buy.  So, I let the external call go to voicemail, praying and hoping it’s not a call from a critical customer or critical contact that I really should answer.  Yes, salesperson, I have customers too but how do I answer their calls when I’m afraid I have to talk with yet another salesperson about something I’m not likely to buy?  That’s crazy and I’m a bit resentful that I can’t talk to my customers or somebody that depends on me.  Leave me a voicemail and I usually just delete it in about 5 seconds. On rare occasions I do listen but only when somebody leaves an ‘intelligent voicemail’ and its starts with intelligence.  What’s intelligence?  Knowing your customer – the age old adage.  By the way, the same applies to an email.   Leave me voicemail that belongs on the “Do not call list” or spam me with something that just clogs up my email box is not the way to get to my heart.

If somebody does their homework and leaves me an intelligent voicemail or email, I’m more likely to return that call or email.  By the way, I don’t really care about your product or service.  What I care about is whether or not you know me and my company and how your product or service REALLY relates to me or my business?  But how can you do that if you don’t know me or my business?

So, when you send that voicemail or email you better start with – knowing your customer and start with intelligence.  Let me give you a few hints and it’s all pretty simple:

  1. Know the company – There is so much available information out there in the public domain (the web) on so many companies but it’s rare to see a salesperson willing to invest the time to do some simple research. I recently read a 3 page report from a securities analyst about our company.  I was shocked at how much the analyst new about our business, our goals, and our future direction.  In just 3 pages, he captured the essence of the company and, guess what, the analyst NEVER spoke to anybody from our company and came off extremely intelligent.  That information is also available to you on the web and you too can be a smarty pants!   By the way, security analysts are smart by nature and well compensated people that are paid for their ability to quickly express the essence of a company to potential investors.  They did the research for you – steal from them!
  2. Know what an IT organization looks like – If you are selling to IT, know what an IT organization looks like. Should you get the organization chart – sure. Always helpful and valuable but extremely hard to get.  But, trust me, the organization charts may differ by company and there may be more or less in each role but IT organization are very similar across industries.   It’s not that complex.  Let me boil it down to three things. People can work in multiple areas but they are either: PLANNING, BUILDING, OR RUNNING IT related stuff for the business.  Each area has a budget so know what the role of that person is when you leave your next voicemail or email. I use the pejorative term ‘people’ meaning IT people in the company organization you are trying to reach:
    1. Plan – people that are creating roadmaps and plans for the future of IT. Setting direction for IT with a focus on the business. These are enterprise architects, senior IT leaders, and senior business analysts often from the business.  Powerful people if you can get to them because they usually know what’s important to the business and what IT has to do to fulfill their plans.  These PLAN people often have limited budgets and are strategic thinkers but they are already planning for next year and probably not helpful for spending this year.  Catch them in Q3 or Q4 when they do have influence on budget. 5-10% of the IT budget for a company is typically in PLAN.
    2. Build – people that have projects that are providing value to the business. They get their direction from the PLAN people. The BUILD people usually have budget to spend and they need help getting their projects done for the business.  These are program managers, technical architects, and business analysts.  Sell to the technical architects and business analysts and then move up the program managers.  Once the build is done, the BUILD people give their project to the RUN people.  Remember, BUILD is only 10% of the life cycle of a project and 90% of the remaining life cycle cost goes to RUN.  If you are lucky, 20-30% of the IT budget is in BUILD.
    3. Run – people that are running operations day to day for both infrastructure and applications support. So much of RUN today is outsourced and it’s hard to get sales traction here because it is so commoditized.  IT organizations are moving aggressively to the cloud and abandoning their data centers. We are letting go our day to day internal RUN people and using managed services (outsourcers) from large or boutique providers for infrastructure and applications support.  This is a commodity based business that is cost sensitive so cost savings with quality is ultimately what matters. The RUN people are not doing the work but they are often leading and managing the cloud providers or the outsourcers.   If you are lucking 60-80% of your budget is in RUN but for many, particularly older companies with lots of legacy systems, this number can easily be 85-95% of the IT budget.  By the way, many are still not in the cloud so if you are selling on getting customers in the cloud you may be in luck.
  3. Know what’s important to the CIO – Again, IT groups sometimes think they are special and unique but usually they are not. The priorities for the CIO vary by business and by industry but some of the “Top 10 IT Priorities” continue to be the same year over year (e.g., Business Intelligence) but others on the list are newcomers (e.g., Digital Transformation.)  If you are speaking to a CIO you should know and understand the Top 10 for IT regardless of business or Industry.  If this is what matters to the CIO, sell based on the Top 10.  Here is a list I just grabbed that was published from Gartner Inc. and, yes, it was available on the web!

You can be a smarty pants too! So before you leave your next voicemail or email, go do some homework and please KNOW me and my business and start with INTELLIGENCE when you leave that voicemail or email if you want to do business with me.  Invest your time if you want mine.

 

Submitted by:  Mr. Guest CIO

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Use LinkedIn The Way It Was Intended

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network
LinkedIn is NOT a Dating Service
Working hard today? Sitting around the house or office, trolling the LinkedIn listings, executing some advanced search that you or your company paid LinkedIn for?   Checking out people on the “People You May Know” screen?  Somehow, my profile pops up. BAM.  You’re a winner!  Now do the real hard work of clicking that “Connect” button.
You don’t even take the time to add a personalized note (yes, you can do that!).  You did your job for the day and are probably tossing back a brew or sipping a fine glass of wine.   I mean, wow, you just snagged an invite to a real CIO!
I’m working hard too.  I’m dealing with delivering value to customers.  I’m fighting the daily battle of high uptime, low cost, unclear requirements, demands to deliver.  I’m working my tail off.   Instead of a brew or a glass of wine, what I got to end my day was a LinkedIn Connection Request from someone I don’t know (that’s YOU!).  Cheap date.  Go away.  I click the “x”, not the check mark.  You’re done.
See, I’m an old fashioned guy.  Being “in my network” means, well, you’re “in my NETWORK”.  I know you.  Knowing you means that I have met you in person or had a business relationship with you of some kind.  Sometimes I’ll accept a request from a friend of a friend when my friend has vouched for you already.  But, for over 90% of the people on my LinkedIn, I have met you, know you, and could introduce you to someone else in a meaningful way.  That’s what being in my network means.  I don’t collect Connections. I build them through networking, meeting people, doing business, and sharing common interests.  Don’t you want to be in THAT group, and not just some cheap drive-by Connection Request?

I have an idea.  A novel concept but please follow along.   How about you use that LinkedIn tool as it was intended to be used.   Find someone that knows me that knows you.  Someone who can vouch for you.  And then ask them to INTRODUCE us!  There are, after all, over 500 people in my network and if one of them recommends you, I’m bound to engage in a discussion with you.After that, you just might end up “in my network”, which means I’d know you, do business with you, I’d vouch for you.  After all, that’s what you want, isn’t it?  Not a cheap date, but a meaningful business relationship that meets both of our needs. Right?

Happy Dating (not)
Mr. CIO On Point
Mr. CIO OnPoint currently serves as a CIO in the technology industry.   OnPoint comes from a long IT background, starting in end-user support and advancing through infrastructure, application, and consulting roles to CIO and cross-functional executive leadership.  OnPoint has served in companies of all sizes in a range of industries.  OnPoint is active in IT industry organizations, contributing thought leadership in the IT profession, advising emerging companies, and offering his expertise to support emerging IT leaders and youth pursuing careers in IT.  After being frustrated for years with ineffective sales approaches, OnPoint contributes case studies here to help salespeople be more effective at approaching CIO’s in a way that allows them to make their value proposition clear and start  meaningful mutually-beneficial relationships.    He also provides examples of what not to do.   Unfortunately these examples happen way too often.
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Introducing Ms. Gatekeeper!

Selling to the CIO

The GatekeeperEach day presents a new challenge and an opportunity to learn in the world of an Executive Assistant (EA).
You quickly learn that sales calls are constant and that no matter how you respond to a request, whether via phone or email, they keep pressing on rarely taking no for an answer.  I quickly learned that I needed to “up my game” when I allowed a piece of correspondence to get past me, the gatekeeper, and on the desk of my C-level executive. It was a nicely packaged, neatly handwritten note thanking him for accepting her invitation on LinkedIn.  This erred me to believe there had already been a relationship established.  Lesson learned….it wasn’t true.  It also made me realize this person was trying to establish a relationship with my boss, and our organization, based on a lie.  No integrity, no ethics, no Bueno.

What an experience, however, probably not even close to the best I’ve heard.  There was a caller who politely introduced himself as my executive’s “Cousin Brian”. Since I had not known my current exec that long I wasn’t attune to his close family let along extended.  You guessed it…no such person in his family.  And one of my all-time favorite calls came into the office from another department requesting my exec clear his calendar to meet with a company at the request of “Ted Kennedy”.  They had an amazing product that must be seen.  Knowing that Sen. Ted Kennedy passed in 2009 I was immediately suspicious. These suspicions paid off and it was bogus.  Turns out Ted Kennedy is a fairly common name.

So how do you get past the EA, the “Gatekeeper” if you will?  There is no magic formula other than be true and honest.  I realize you are working from a script: your goals, what/who you represent, what you have to offer, why your solution/product works better.  You’re in this for the long haul until you get the desired outcome – a meeting!  My exec is your prospect . You will thank me, you won’t be pushy as you know the difference between persistence and annoyance.  You will try not to see me as a barrier but ultimately you will.

Most commonly I hear:

  • It’s a personal matter
  • I have worked with or spoken to X from your organization who referred me to you
  • I’m calling on behalf of CEO of X company
  • I just need a few minutes
  • A gross mispronunciation of the execs name
  • I met him at HIMSS
  • His first name. Please know this gets you no further.  If you know him so well, why don’t you have his mobile number or direct line.
  • I am your new account executive.
    • Why didn’t the previous account executive leave you contact information?

Don’t bully me or use derogatory techniques to shame me into thinking I’m “only a secretary”.  Don’t underestimate what I know about my department or my organization. All calls are handled and triaged by me.  If you do not feel comfortable talking to me, I cannot share your message.  Tell me why you’re calling. It may be more appropriate that your call goes to another member of our leadership team.

Be true, be honest.  That’s what sells.

Remember, I stand beside, not behind, my executive.  I’m a strong, confident partner.  Treat me as such.

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Let’s Sell Them What They Need

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imagesI was making a sales call this week  and got some great advice.

“Sell me what I need not everything your company offers.”

Sales folks like myself have many things in the  tool kit to sell.
When we get that opportunity to sit down with a prospect, we get excited and want to let them know about everything we have to offer…..  Bad Idea!
In talking to a couple CIO’s before writing this blog I got a consistent message..

Focus on my pain points and solve those problems first. “

Do your homework, get an understanding of the business and technical issues / challenges that are their current priorities and sell them that first.  Present solutions not just products. Teeing up a solution will minimize the need for detailed product evaluation, saving valuable internal resource time and money.  It can also speed the time to sale.

As one CIO told me, “ I had significant user experience issues. I had to put the fire out.  I was looking for the vendor to wrap up the solution in a box and put a nice bow on it so I could pull the trigger and implement, Instead what I got was a bunch of products for my team to evaluate . We didn’t have time to do that so we pursued an internal solution.”

Once you have achieved success with the point solution, the bing-bang will come down the road .  Budgets are tight, the pressure is on these folks to provide immediate value to the business they support.  Let’s make them a quick hero, achieve trusted advisor status, lock out our competition and enjoy a long fruitful relationship with our customers.

Good selling..

 

 

 

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7 Simple Steps for Getting The Meeting

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7-Simple-Steps-to-Starting-the-Business-of-your-Dreams-500x3757 Simple Steps for Getting the Meeting.

 

Some People Just Do It Right….. and it’s Easy!

We spend a lot of time talking about what doesn’t work. Here’s an example of what works. And it’s really so simple.

Step One – approach, ask for a meeting, follow-up as suggested.

Step Two – make it easy but don’t be a stalker.  You:  “I live/work/pick up my kids/shop near your office and can meet at your convenience.”

Step Three – Agree to suggestions. CIO On-Point:  “How about breakfast close to my office?” You: “Of course!”

Step Four – meet, make it an interesting conversation, find and discuss common interests, establish your credibility with confidence, not swagger.

Step Five – Let the conversation run.  You’d be surprised what you find out.  You may find out who your prospect deals with, why, and how they explore new relationships….. without even asking!

Step Six – On the way out, inquire about follow-up and accept what you’re offered.

Step Seven – Follow-up as suggested and wait.  When a need arises, your credibility, coolness, and the relationship you’ve seeded will bear fruit.  It works for others, it will work for you.  Not with every prospect, but with more than you expect!

Isn’t it easy?

Mr. CIO On-Point
Mr. CIO OnPoint currently serves as a CIO in the technology industry.   OnPoint comes from a long IT background, starting in end-user support and advancing through infrastructure, application, and consulting roles to CIO and cross-functional executive leadership.  OnPoint has served in companies of all sizes in a range of industries.  OnPoint is active in IT industry organizations, contributing thought leadership in the IT profession, advising emerging companies, and offering his expertise to support emerging IT leaders and youth pursuing careers in IT.  After being frustrated for years with ineffective sales approaches, OnPoint contributes case studies here to help salespeople be more effective at approaching CIO’s in a way that allows them to make their value proposition clear and start  meaningful mutually-beneficial relationships.    He also provides examples of what not to do.   Unfortunately these examples happen way too often.

 

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Participation Pays Off

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blog

I met the guy who started this blog at a conference a few years back.   He was there to casually make contacts with CIOs and those in the tech industry.    He sponsored a dinner by getting a few friends together and asking them to bring a few friends.   I was a friend-of-a-friend.   At the time, and throughout dinner, I wasn’t sure who was sponsoring it but I enjoyed the discussion and the food.  At some point he started a discussion about the Blog and then, a month or so later, after we had a relationship established, he started a discussion about his business.  Not only am I now a contributor to his Blog, but like that famous commercial says, I’m also a customer of his company !

 

So why don’t more people get involved, participate, and build real relationships?    I don’t know!    The alternatives really stink.

 

Alternative #1 Cold Calls:  My telephone rings all day.   Nearly every one of those calls is someone cold-calling me to make sure I’m aware of their services, to offer that they are available to contribute to my most important initiatives (that they are dying to learn of), or to suggest that I’d be doing my employer a disservice if I didn’t return their call today.    Get real, folks.

Alternative #2 SPAM E-Mail:  My inbox similarly overflows.   No, I don’t have “10 minutes” to chat with you.  Talk about “wham-bam”!    When I delete all the cold-call e-mails, I’m down to just a few meaningful e-mails each day.  Busy executives must focus their time and energy.   Stop wasting ours.

But alas, there is a mutually supportive alternative:

There are plenty of opportunities for those in the generally-described vendor community to get involved in the tech community, support it, and build real relationships.   The money spent on the constant barrage of phone calls and the ridiculous e-mails can be redirected toward meaningful industry participation.  That’s getting out and doing things, contributing, meeting people and building relationships.  From sponsoring an event to buying a table at a fund-raiser, speaking at an event to share your insights, creating a peer networking opportunity (that doesn’t require someone to sit through a sales pitch), connecting acquaintances and friends over a casual dinner (that doesn’t involve a sales pitch), all of these and more are available to you.   Take the opportunity to do it.

The blog guy (who is now a good friend) doesn’t only hold a dinner at a conference, he is involved throughout the community.   We do many such things together because we both see the value in involvement and contribution to the industry.   Who do I call and promote internally within my company, when we have a need? Yep.  Him.  Why?  Not because he’s a back-slapping buddy, but because he’s built a solid relationship, contributes to the community, and actually has a good track record in his professional space.

Similar relationships are there for the making – just get involved!

 

 

by Mr. CIO On-Point
Mr. CIO OnPoint currently serves as a CIO in the technology industry.   OnPoint comes from a long IT background, starting in end-user support and advancing through infrastructure, application, and consulting roles to CIO and cross-functional executive leadership.  OnPoint has served in companies of all sizes in a range of industries.  OnPoint is active in IT industry organizations, contributing thought leadership in the IT profession, advising emerging companies, and offering his expertise to support emerging IT leaders and youth pursuing careers in IT.  After being frustrated for years with ineffective sales approaches, OnPoint contributes case studies here to help salespeople be more effective at approaching CIO’s in a way that allows them to make their value proposition clear and start  meaningful mutually-beneficial relationships.    He also provides examples of what not to do.   Unfortunately these examples happen way too often.

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The Invasion

The Invasion (take this to your leader!)

Today, we will give the sales team a much-needed break from being the usual target (relax, enjoy!) and talk about managing the full team in an enterprise contract bidding and RFP process.  Let’s set the scene: I have had a heavy focus recently on creating scale and flexibility for our company.  To that end, we have bid out our core infrastructure, including cloud and managed services for that platform.  Our objective is to partner (important word) with a company that can help expand our business capacity with a better platform.

The front line sales rep (let’s call him Joe) is someone with whom I have a long relationship, but his company recently was acquired by another.  The good news is that it gives Joe an expanded arsenal of products and capabilities.  The bad news is that it brings a new company president who just eliminated Joe’s company from the bid with one phone call.  Read that again… Salesman Joe brought in the opportunity by building trust and a relationship with me… and the company President just lost it in under 15 minutes.

The President (let’s call him Dan) of company swooped into the evaluation & demo process (we were down to 4 finalist companies and they were making final presentations) and made several major blunders that lost his company the deal:

  1. Dan called me and emailed me demanding a lunch or dinner meeting that week that worked with his “very busy” schedule (not mine). Instead, I warily scheduled a call for a time that fit my schedule better.  I liked their bid and really wanted to see deeper into the newly changed company.
  2. When we finally had that call, Dan had clearly not prepped with Joe.  Dan launched right into the elevator speech. He then steamrolled along with a vision of how I would outsource my entire team to him within 18 months.  He wrapped the monologue by explaining how I should be honored to be on their platform.
  3. Dan clearly explained to me how any vision different from his own was career suicide for me or anyone in my position (thankfully, he was here to help me keep my job).  Dan also offered, unsolicited, to provide references within our shared network that would verify his vision.  He offered to have his assistant schedule the deal closing and signing dinner for the next week.  Dan explained that he was “very busy,” bid me good day and hung up.
  4. Still stunned from the call, I got immediate emails from Dan introducing me to the references I never asked for.
  5. Dan never asked me a real question during the call; he never checked to see what my goal or vision was (even though the RFP clearly stated it and we had been talking with Joe for 2 months about the project).  I was grateful that I did not have to spend a full lunch or dinner listening to this pompous windbag.

I felt invaded; it was clearly about him and not about my company or need.  Our peaceful RFP process had just been set ablaze by the leader of one of the parties.  I eliminated the company from the RFP almost immediately.  It was actually sad to explain to my friend Joe that he did not lose on price or product (they were very strong in both actually); he lost because I never want to talk to his company president again.

Assuming you saw the inherent problems with the contact with Dan, the lesson is the importance of having everyone in your company on the same page and to have everyone focused on the customer.  Know your prospect and have all key people be prepared for all interactions.  Meanwhile, don’t let your company leadership invade during a peaceful negotiation!

I can’t entirely blame Joe for this one, his acquiring leadership failed him spectacularly and I suspect Joe will move on to a better company soon.   Take this to your leader and tell him or her that they are an important part of the sales process and that they should follow your lead!

 

By Mr. CMIO

Mr. CMIO is a 20 year veteran in IT who has done almost every role in applications, infrastructure, and management.   Most of his adult working life has been in the financial services industry where he does constant battle to keep regulators and auditors from making things harder and worse.  After dealing with regulators and auditors, sales people don’t scare him and he’d really like them to actually help him.

Mr. CMIO has twice created the CIO role for public companies and is known as a mentor and coach who has developed other senior IT executives.  He is active in industry and community organizations developing the next generation of leaders.   In the last 5 years, he has taken on the additional roles of running business process improvement, new business launches, and chief marketing officer (CMO).  He is part of the new breed of cross-functional IT executive.  Don’t try to trick him or go around him, it only makes you look bad and he tells his friends about you.  Work with him and he will work with you.

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Think About This When Leaving a Message

dont bother

Remember, You are not the only message I hearEvery week I get the same wonderful offer from vendors, an opportunity to learn. This week, as like every other week I had a dozen or so vendors leave me these generous messages. Some on voicemail, some on email and 90% of you leave a message in both places, with a second message letting me know that you left me a message in the first place.

Every one of these offers go like this:
“We would like come out and and hear about what initiatives you have going on? Learn about what you are working on, what are your top priorities? and figure out how we can help you.”

Ohhhh… This knowledge is for the vendor! And it includes the free opportunity for me to take my time to inform you, so you can then tell me how you can solve all of my problems. If I spent all my time doing this, that is all that I would ever do. These requests are all ignored. The only sessions that I’ll ever consider come as direct referrals from someone I know and respect.

Regards,

Mr.CIOTalks

As a CIO for 15+ years in both public and not for profit firms, some with a global focus and others with a national reach, I am an IT executive with strong business acumen who likes to engage actively in solving business problems.  I believe that we should tap our understanding of technology, and the data which underpins the business processes, and use that knowledge to create an exceptional customer experience which helps the company continue to improve its products and services.  Human capital management is a critical component of strong leadership and I am a proven leader who recruits and develops strong teams which work collaboratively across the entire value chain of the business.

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Do What You Must to get to the CIO

sales meeting
sales meeting
At the office yesterday, a letter had been placed on my desk, nicely removed from it’s envelope by my assistant.
Everything on the envelope was handwritten, including the return address. It was all in a smooth flowing cursive; reminding me of my primary school teachers and looking like a personal letter that only my mother would still send.
Ok, now I am intrigued. why is this letter on my desk? It must be something important enough that it passed the screening test of my assistant and it she placed it there directly in my flight path to intentionally earn a moment of my time and attention. My assistant serves as a tremendous filtering gate, removing a vast number of sales attacks from every reaching me. (I’ll share some stories in the future about how aggressive, rude, and downright nasty so many of those business development people are to her.)

So, I next scanned the letter, a typed one and it was immediately identifiable as a sales letter; done as a basic mail merge with my name and company inserted at predictable spots, and hand signed by Karen L. Since this letter was clearly intended for a sales purpose, my state of intrigue transitioned to becoming immediately baffled. Why was this letter even on my desk and not already in the recycle bin? I then read the first line and there it was…a simple reason why it was on my desk – it was the opening sentence. It stated “I wanted to thank you for accepting my friendship on LinkedIn and very much appreciate your response to my email.”
That sentence showed just enough evidence that my assistant concluded that Karen and I had an established relationship, although she did  pause to reflect on the validity, she decided to pass the letter on for my viewing; after all Karen clearly expressed the interactions that solidified our pre-existing relationship.

There was just one flaw in the stream of success that Karen had achieved so far in her business development journey to get to this particular CIO. It was in that opening statement that she wrote in her letter with her company letterhead adorning the top left corner – it turns out there was not a shred of truth to any of it. I was not connected to Karen on LinkedIn (for a “friendship” – what on earth?) nor had I ever exchanged email correspondence with her.
Well done Karen! You and your employer, trying to create business opportunities out of thin air got to the desk of the CIO! Bravo!
Karen what you and employer don’t realize is that you have done irreparable damage to yourself, your company, it’s other employees, and it’s investors. Your brand arrived at my desk and captured that so desired moment of my attention based on a foundation of trickery and lying. Your very first move to begin a relationship destroyed the opportunity to ever establish credibility. For me to do business with you, you ultimately need me to trust you, your company and the product offering. Credibility must be built to such a degree that am willing to take a business and professional risk on your organization to invest in your offering for use inside my enterprise, where I am accountable for performance and quality.

Karen, your letter and method have made it easy for me to make a business decision, so thank you. You have been permanently written off and I will never consider business with you or your employer. You have demonstrated everything I need to know to make a decision from your elegantly addressed form letter. You have no integrity, you have no ethics. You can also let your CEO that I’ll be sure to share my experiences with you and your company at CIO gatherings, as we enjoy trading insights about vendors.

Mr.CIO Talks
Mr. CIO Talks has spent the last 20+ years working with information technology. He has been a start-up entrepreneur; worked in a consulting and sales capacity, led IT organizations, along with other responsibilities in addition to CIO. He has held IT leadership responsibility across several industries and in global geographies. He has served in an executive officer role in both times of market growth and contraction. He has served on the boards of several organizations, from board chair to committee chair, to board member; from the publicly traded firm to the not-for-profit, to government appointed. He currently spends his time as a CIO,  board member,  volunteer, and an advisor.
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