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Open Your Mind to See More Closed Deals

Are you an open minded person sales professional? Most of you reading this will say “Yes, I am open minded” without really thinking through the question.  Now more than ever we live in a world that is constantly changing. Keeping an open mind with your customers, prospects and other stakeholders is critical to your ability to survive and even thrive in this evolving and dynamic business environment. Unfortunately there’s no proven test to determine whether you are truly open-minded but the benefits are indisputable.

Here are just a few benefits of being open-minded:

  • Greater credibility as a fair-minded expert: Keeping an open mind allows an opportunity for you to change with the constantly evolving selling landscape. It doesn’t mean you HAVE to change your beliefs but it means you are at least open to evaluating new ideas and views. You may end up believing even more strongly in your existing ideas but being open means you’ve evaluated all sides of an idea or belief which lends to your credibility with customers and stakeholders.
  • Makes yourself vulnerable which opens the door to more authentic relationships: Having an open mind means you have to admit that you don’t know everything. It means being honest when you don’t know something. This can be uncomfortable as many sales people believe they are expected to be the expert and have all the answers. Many sales people unfortunately divert to the tactic of “overselling” where they sell based on what they hope to be true without verifying instead of simply admitting they don’t know. But seeing the world through an open mind is what makes you vulnerable and being vulnerable is the key to more enriching relationships. This vulnerability can be both terrifying and exhilarating but is required for true authenticity.
  • Strengthens your character: Open-mindedness provides a springboard for new ideas and a baseline that you can build upon, piling one idea on top of another. Being open-minded typically allows for new experiences which collectively make you the person you are and strengthen the beliefs that you hold. It’s very hard to build on experiences without an open mind.
  • Helps you to gain confidence. When you live with an open mind, you are continually learning and experiencing which contributes to a strong sense of self. You are not confined by your own beliefs, or the beliefs of others. You are open to evaluating new ideas without judgement. Imagine going into a new prospect’s environment and truly being open to the experience.  Take the time to learn as much as possible about what is going on there without jumping to a quick solution. Then, and only then, can you really understand what is needed and propose an optimal solution. Over time, your confidence will soar because you will no longer be fearful of the unknown. You will welcome it because it will add to your experience as a seasoned sales and business professional.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 24, 2015

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Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Raja Sundaram was back on the Partner Blog this week to tell you about the Evolution of Smart Net Total Care. SMARTnet is merging with Smart Net Total Care and Raja was here to explain the ins and outs of the changes, plus lay out for Cisco partners how it creates opportunities for you.

Want to know the benefits from the change, and the next steps for you to take? Read Raja’s blog and let us know what you think. Read More »

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Evolution of Smart Net Total Care – Unique Opportunities for Our Partners

The Internet of Everything (IoE) completely reinvents the way we operate. It makes us more productive and competitive, and opens new opportunities for business.

At the heart of this innovation is the NETWORK.

The IoE puts new demands on the way the network is managed and operated. The network must securely support apps, devices, clouds, and enable personal experiences. As a result, customers must become more proactive to prevent network problems before they occur. The best way to do this is to:

  • Improve accuracy in network inventory management
  • Deploy proactive diagnostics
  • Eliminate service coverage gaps

A real-world example is iYogi, a global technical support provider. By taking a closer look at their network performance, their operations team was able to reduce time spent on updating the network inventory each week. They saw a significant difference and what used to take two to three hours to accomplish now only takes a few minutes.

As I indicated in a previous post , we have evolved our portfolio so you can better address customer needs and care-abouts. We listened to and understood your requirements, and have updated our services accordingly, so you can better support your customers.

Cisco SMARTnet® Service is merging with Cisco® Smart Net Total Care.

This new service keeps the Smart Net Total Care name and combines the award-winning technical service capabilities of SMARTnet with smart capabilities. We took the best of both, and combined them into one.

rsz_ap19542_3Our customer Pella, for example, didn’t have visibility it into each network device. It was difficult to identify end-of-life devices, or support contract renewal dates. They manually combed through hundreds of known security bugs to determine which was relevant to one of their devices.

With Smart Net Total Care, our customers can quickly solve a network problem, reduce overall operating cost, and manage support risk better. This allows more time to focus on business innovation while proactively supporting their infrastructure.  According to Rajiv Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, Proactive Data Systems: Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 17, 2015

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Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Well, we’re in the dog days of summer here in North Carolina, and my dogs are celebrating by lying around on the couch all day. Sounds like a pretty great summer afternoon now that I think about it! As the weather has heated up here in the southern U.S., so has the news coming out of Cisco, such as when I mentioned last week that Wendy Bahr would be the new SVP for the Worldwide Partner Organization at Cisco.

It’s been a little quieter this week, but before I close out the week, there are a couple of items to bring to your attention, just in case you missed them this week.

Are you ready for SNTC convergence?

To get ready for the convergence of SMARTnet into Smart Net Total Care, there are a few changes you’ll need to make in the next five months.

We’ve put together a checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything.  Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 10, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the news that Bruce Klein is leaving Cisco and his role as senior vice president of the Worldwide Partner Organization, and we are welcoming Wendy Bahr into the role, effective July 27. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Wendy and thanking Bruce for his tremendous leadership during the past three years. We wish him all the best in his next adventure!

I have had the pleasure of working with both of these leaders here at Cisco, and while I’m certainly sad to see Bruce leave, I know Wendy will be a great leader for Cisco’s Partner Organization. She backed that up in an exclusive Q&A with CRN this week.  If you want a glimpse at what’s at the top of Wendy’s mind as she takes over the Cisco Worldwide Partner Organization, be sure to read the CRN interview.

Boost your video sales with Cisco’s summer incentives

The show must go on of course, and Richard McLeod had a great blog earlier this week about how partners can boost sales with several incentives available to them right now. Richard touched on VIP, TMP and the Not for Resale program, and he pointed out specifically where video ties into those programs. Want some tips on maximizing your video sales for the next few weeks? Check out Richard’s blog. Read More »

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