I was invited to be on a panel for a pre-conference talk at CodeMash titled "Talking Technology to Humans: Selling Your Ideas, Products, and Services". Fortunately, I was invited with about 48 hours advanced notice, so I had some time to collect my thoughts on the topic. As I was writing them out on the flight to Cleveland, it occured to me that each of my points would package themselves nicely into blog posts.
So, I'll be doing a series over the next few weeks titled based on my initial discussion points, which are shown below:
- Believe in what you're selling, and for the right reasons.
- Keep a long-term perspective; be aware of the "sales cycle"; timing is essential.
- Software development is not Computer Science.
- Present your offering in terms of its proposed value instead of its implementation details or groupthink, fanboy hype
- Never understimate how boring you can be.
- Prove before you preach; make something work and then tell what it was.
- Beware proper nouns; stereotypes and prejudices can cloud your message.
- Know the political landscape and relationship web of your prospect, preferably before you open your mouth.
- Realize when things aren't a fit, and move on.
- Don't oversell, neither in terms of capacity nor capability.
Now I just have to come up with a title for the series...