Selling Technology in a Tough Market Roasting in Solar Waves

January 13, 2021

I read a post on Hacker’s News. You may be able to locate it at this link: I don’t know if this is a scam or the answer to the question “Where’s the beef?” The message states:

Hash: SHA256

Happy new year!
Welcome to (mirror: 5bpasg2kotxllmzsv6swwydbojnfuvfb7d6363pwe5wrzhjyn2ptvdqd.onion)

We are putting data found during our recent adventure for sale.

[Microsoft Windows (partial) source code and various Microsoft repositories]
price: 600,000 USD
data: msft.tgz.enc (2.6G)

The Solar Leaks’ post then provides information about the cost of the MSFT, Cisco, and FireEye, et al software. Prices begin at $50,000 for some alleged FireEye goodies and soar to $600,000 for the Microsoft crown jewels.

What’s important, however, is the post-SolarWinds’ misstep marketing environment. Sales professionals of products that provide enhanced cyber security, threat alerts, and the assorted jargon enhanced assertions have to close deals.

Just in time is a helpful write up from Entrepreneur Magazine called “8 Psychological Tricks to Increase Conversion Rates for SaaS Startups.” That’s on time and on target.

I am tempted to summarize the ideas with references to Machiavelli, Al Capone, and high school lovers promising to be together forever. But I will not. I will highlight three of the ideas, and you can pony up some cash to read the full entrepreneurial check list yourself.

Suggestion 1:

Offer fewer choices.

Okay, Amazon, Microsoft, and others offering secure cloud environments, are you listening? Fewer choices. The point of offering choices is to create an opportunity to confuse a customer and allow MBAs with spreadsheet fever to cook up pricing options guaranteed to lead to big surprises when the system is up and running. Cross that threshold and beyond the invoice! Outstanding.

Suggestion 2:

Introduce a third product.

You have to read the article to appreciate the wonderfulness of offering a print subscription, a digital subscription, and a com9bo subscription or an option that forces the “brain to focus on the two closest options.” I am confident that this is backed by an MBA-type book called “Thinking Slow and Slower.”

Suggestion 3:

Increase quantities rather than reduce the price.

Ah, yes, buy five packages of cookies and get an extra 20 percent discount. That’s okay, but I don’t have any place to put extra bags of cookies in my one bedroom trailer parked in Sunrise Acres in Bullet County, Kentucky. More, more, more. Yes, bullet proof. No pun intended.

With cyber security delivered via the cloud in the great SaaS approach, the trick to making sales is to shift from professional sales person to a street hustler offering “original” watches as tourists exit the bus from a tour of the Forbidden City.

What about clarity, factual information, and services which work, well, maybe just mostly work.

Good enough.

Stephen E Arnold, January 13, 2021


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