WARNING: May contain naughty language.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Day Job

Been a little too long since I last posted here. But I've got a bag full of excuses;
- Working like a dog
- Excellent vacation in the Grand Cayman Islands
- Back to working like a dog
- Heads down on a collaboration project
 But now I'm back in the saddle again.
I've gotten a couple of emails from readers about my "day job" and what I do. To pay the bills, buy stuff, and keep a roof over my head I sell software for an amazing company with a funky name - Splunk. My role is simply that of a technical resource to answer questions, show customers how to use the software and present the solution in such a way that the audience "must have this yesterday." And yes, it often involves heady topics such as;

- Utilization of open source JAVA SDK wars, enabling RT textual analysis pattern discoveries
- High performance, high availability (HA) network topologies with streaming transaction engines
- Spath-based syntactical analysis of multi-tiered XML payloads and tag syntax distribution

Not for the faint of heart, but cool to me. But ultimately what I get to do for work is TELL STORIES, though they should be of a non-fictional bent. Let me explain.

I learned a long time ago that no matter how awesome your technology is, no matter how amazing it looks/works if your pitch doesn't resonate with a prospective customer you've got no chance. There are some pretty startling parallels between my writing approach and the way I engage with a "future customer" (sales parlance, of course). Structure, plot, conflicts, protags and antags? They're all there in a pitch to a customer if you do it right. Many of the correlations are highlighted in the table below.

I'm still early on my writing career, but I've been selling software for a very long time for a variety of different companies. There are several truths which pertain to both activities;

1. You can never be too prepared.
2. People buy from people they like.
3. If you don't hook them early, you're lost.
4. Telling a story is the best way to change opinions.
5. Always be engaged, sincere and honest.

I'd love to have make the time to delve further into this congruence. Who knows? Maybe I'll write a book about it.

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