Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sales Don'ts

Wasted two+ hours of my life meeting with a vendor for a lunchtime presentation.

The lunch was at a restaurant that, of the dozen or so times I've had to go, I've had an edible meal maybe twice. None of those two occasions coincided with a meeting. I'm pretty sure that Rosa Mexicano is unable to make meals for groups and have the results turn out well. Today, I just skipped th food altogether - which was easy, given that they opted for family-style service and I seemed to be sitting in a passing dead-zone (oh well). So, needless to say, as we were entering the second hour of the meeting, I was beginning to itch for the door so I might go some place and get food.

The seating, overall, was weird. Normally, when we've had meetings at Rosa Mexicano, there's five or six six- to eight-top tables set up and we spread ourselves out amongst them. The vendor's sales team didn't want people staying too far from the action, so they opted to array four tables into a horseshoe arrangement. Now, I get what they were trying to accomplish, but forcing my to sit cheek-by-jowl with others - especially when food's going to be served and even more especially when it results in tons of wasted space in the room - isn't a way to get on my good side. I like having plenty of personal space. I find being crowded to be unsettling and detracts from my ability to attend to things other than the fact that I'm being crowded.

Given who the presentation was for - a group of engineers who worked for an organization that uses closed networks - one wonders why the vendor's sales folks were so keen to crow about the ability to manage their storage with an iPad app. Given our environment, ability to manage devices from a moble phone or tablet just isn't a priority. Given my feeling about Apple, in particular, it quickly became grating how much time was wasted on the topic.

Lastly, I've been dealing with technology for a long time, now. I've used it in a lot of "edge case" and "forward-thinking" scenarios. That means that I've seen a lot of interesting technologies used in a lot of interesting ways. Giving me a presentation that slags on buying component technologies and going the DIY route, and then pushing how great your solution is when all I'm seeing is shit that I've done years' or decades' previous just doesn't sit well. The reason all your crap is, essentially, old hat to me is because the stuff I did was "DIY". Doing things "DIY" means that I don't have to wait five-plus years for some vendor to discover "hey, if we package this into a turn-key bundle, we could sell the hell out of this stuff". So, don't slag on DIY, especially if your solutions are all things I've already seen, played with or done.

I dunno ...the whole thing just rubbed me the wrong way. Yeah, some nifty, potentially useful stuff, but it was all presented so wrong. It was like a flashback to my SGI days: great technology that was poorly-sold.