Saturday, December 02, 2006
Ways to annoy vendors sales folks...
Got at least three calls this week from vendors inquiring whether I was interested in exploring a solution in the security domain. Pretty much every vendor in the security space almost always mentions SoX compliance and then proceeds into an endless name dropping monotone rant of all of their large clients who had executives who have no clue. The funny thing is that they never actually tell you want the product does.
Why do sales managers think they can get away with having folks call individuals in large enterprises with canned pitches? One sales person attempted to stretch beyond their abilities of doing real research and mentioned how it would help us achieve HIPAA compliance for all of our healthcare systems? I wonder if our CEO knows we are in this business? I think I better tell him to form a brand new division so this sales person can sell to us.
How come sales folks can't at least visit the company web site and understand the basic structure of a company before calling? Is this really too much to ask? In the past I have tried to be polite by suggesting that I would not talk with them until they sent me the URL to their CTO's blog and have briefed some of my favorite analyst firms. I am now thinking about the following tactics:
- Pretending to be interested, so as to waste lots of their time. Of course, I will be multi-tasking doing other work while listening to their dog and pony show
- Ask lots of annoying, boneheaded questions. Of course this has the side effect of folks that think we are all too enterprisey and can't tell our butts from a hole in the ground but this could become part of enterprise 2.0 to do so intentionally.
- Also ask for bizarre features. For example, if it is written in Java, request them to port half of it to COBOL and the other half to Ruby on Rails
- If they offer to send you a research report from an industry analyst firm, mention to them that you already have enough toilet paper but that there are folks in third world countries that don't.
- Ask them to hold on for a minute but only attend a one-hour long meeting. After returning, see if they are still on the phone
- Ask them if they outsource jobs? If they say yes, then state that you are not against outsourcing only that you have a requirement that they establish a software development center near Ice Station Zebra
Sadly, I guess I haven't yet figured out how to say that I am not interested and to save my time and yours, I will just say goodbye...
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