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The Vendor Pitch Revisited

Certain spiritual traditions hold that developing patience fosters enlightenment. If so, lots of storage vendors are providing ample opportunities that I'm failing to take advantage of, miserably.

In my line of work, vendor presentations are a day-to-day staple, one reporters share with analysts and would-be customers. The "pitch," as the vendors describe the preso, is adapted to fit each audience. For me, it usually takes the form of a conference call accompanied by a previously emailed PowerPoint deck.

Simple, right? But a lot can -- and lately, it seems, does -- go awry. I'm sure I'm at least partly to blame, but in the spirit of fairness, I've listed a few "dos and don'ts" that IMHO could benefit everyone. Here goes:

  • DO minimize the number of conference call participants. There's no reason a briefing has to have more than three players -- the listener, the speaker, and maybe one passive vendor acolyte (for editors, that's usually the PR rep). More is definitely not merrier.
  • DO provide slides or written backup for each phone call. When the deck isn't ready or there's no preliminary release or backup material at hand, the presenter is in control, but the listener can get resentful.
  • DO supply vital details. Without pricing, availability dates, competitive analysis, or customer testimonials, a presentation has limited value to reporters, analysts, or end users.
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