I fully understand that you have job to do, which is to try to sell your products. I am pretty sure that you have obligations to call and bug as many CIOs as you can, as many times as you can and at whatever time you can. But, you see, we CIOs know a thing or two about this. So, we screen calls in one of many ways and for the most part ignore you. We do the same thing with emails. So, your hit rate must be pretty poor. I feel sorry for you, but you must be able to target the clients in a more intelligent way and find ways to get their attention through channels that they trust, like, a publication or two reviewing your product or creating a buzz through reliable social media methods.
I hate it when I get an email from you where you address me “Hey Ganesan”. Sometimes, I send these emails to Trash with such vengeance that I can hear my keyboard cry! Few times when your number seems close enough to a recognizable number, I pick up the phone and out of pure politeness, I give you 30 seconds to convince me why I should continue to listen. 95% of the time you have barely finished asking me how I am doing and how the weather is, before 30 seconds pass by and I cut the conversation. Sometimes, you try to impress me by saying how great my blog is or my tweets are. Thank you so much for doing some homework. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a product that matches our needs, this doesn’t do you much good, but I sincerely thank you for your efforts.
If you read my blogs carefully or follow my tweets, you should have a pretty good profile of our philosophy. We love open source, we are on to a careful management of our product portfolio, and we generally are cheap, among other things. I may have introduced myself as the Cheap Information Officer for that reason! BTW, don’t let our endowment fool you, so saying what it is and thereby implying that we can afford to buy your product will take you nowhere. We are no different than many other Higher Eds when it comes to tight finances.
Please understand that I have a job to do which already takes up a lot more time than the regular work hours. So, if I don’t respond to your emails or voicemails, take it as a No! Saying things like “I have already written to you two or three times…” doesn’t make me feel bad or guilty for not having responded. Responding to every vendor who tries to reach me would be a full time job in itself. By the same token, if I accept to go to every dinner invitation thrown my way, I can eat free food for months and possibly put on a lot of weight. Thanks for those invites, but I don’t fall for them.
CIOs tend to be very well connected and rely on our group for referrals and explorations. We each have other trusted channels that we read from where we gather information about products. We go to professional meetings where we look at some of your products. These collectively help us chart our plans for the future. Not random calls from vendors about whom we have absolutely no idea. Sit for a minute and think if you would buy anything from a random person calling and trying to sell you something.
Finally, I have a request for my brothers and sisters from India. Please don’t try to fool me with an anglicized name and fake accent.
I hope, Dear Vendor, you are reading this and giving up on calling me or sending me emails. When I come knocking on your door because you have a great product that I found out about, you can tell me “If only you had taken my call earlier…”
Call me just Ravi!