Short take: The CIO Role and Sales

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One thing I never thought I’d be doing when I started my IT career at the Broome-Tioga BOCES and Union Endicott CSD way back in 1994 was selling. Of course, we all know that, in some ways, we’re all salespeople in our careers. At the very least, at times, we have to try to influence people. Actual selling, though… that can be tough for people who didn’t “grow up” as salespeople. Of course, when you’re running a company, you don’t have a choice anymore. It’s sell or sink. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a mercenary about it. For me, I have some pet peeves in the sales process that I do everything in my power to avoid. For example, you will never, ever catch me or ActualTech Media using robocalling to drum up sales. That’s just a slap in the face in an age in which robocalling has become a scourge. Further, I try to sell to our clients in a way that I’d want to be sold to. As cliche as it may sound, I really do try to focus on creating relationships rather than just performing transactions. I do see the “partner” tag as a high bar and we don’t always get there (which means things might be a bit more transactional), but when we do, it’s been a fantastic experience for everyone involved. My point here: If you sell, try to remember the golden rule and respect people’s time.

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