Tuesday, April 28, 2009

FUD Swings Both Ways

Salesmen are an interesting bunch. They have to drink the company kool-aid to enable them to sell with conviction. But what happens when a salesperson starts to waver in that conviction? What happens when they start losing their religion? Fear-based selling! Easy peasy!

Since I noticed that my last post on FUD based selling and Vendor Selection was being used to spread more FUD (with Oracle being the victim this time), I decided to do my part to rid the world of keep-the-client-ignorant tactics and try to put the facts out there. It's interesting how fear always finds a home ("they're too small!" vs "they're too big!")...anyhow, here goes:

  • In a solid article by techtarget, Jonathan Penn points out that customers have no need to panic today, and that Oracle will have the resources to support both product lines for a while, noting that it has continued to support the ERP products of both PeopleSoft and JD Edwards following its 2005 acquisition of PeopleSoft.
  • Instead of spreading fear, let's spread facts - namely regarding Oracle's track record with acquisitions. Siebel hasn't gone away. Also, Oracle now supports multiple app servers with the BEA acquisition. (Someone else may want to chime in on this since I'm not an expert, but remember: facts over fear!)
  • Anectodal evidence: a casual conversation with a VP at a financial firm uncovered that in the past years, Oracle has acquired nearly all of their major systems, effectively turning them into an Oracle shop. The result? Fear and mayhem? Not really. In fact, Oracle offered up a free inventory analysis from Oracle Consulting to guide the client to maximize their existing software investment and determine how they might benefit from updates resulting in tighter integration between systems (although the client stated he would have opted for a deal on maintenance).
That's my $.02, and I hope it moves the conversation away from fear and closer to the facts. And although I know I didn't cover all the facts and I welcome folks to chime in with their side, the point should NOT be boutique vs. large vendor, large vs. small, red vs. twitter blue, but simply the product's capabilities to "scratch your itch", as Dave Kearns put it. Remember this, young salesman: Sell your product, not fear, for FUD is the path to the dark side. FUD leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.