Thursday, April 29, 2021

Overcoming the Belief in Unicorns

In the last post, I talked about the belief that your company is somehow unique. Your clients are unique. Everything is unique. As a result, you can't standardize. You can't can't create "A Process" or a set of processes to drive your success.

That belief is absolutely incorrect.

Every large, successful company in the world has figured this out. Are you really so unique that your company can never figure it out? Quick answer: NO.

One of the associated fallacies about this belief is that really great customer service cannot be standardized. Or really great culture can't be built that way. But look around. 

Many companies have amazing customer service even though they're very large. In addition to Zappos, always a favorite example, I can think of several restaurants and hotel chains that have truly great customer service. On the culture front, Southwest Airlines stands out. But they're not alone. In fact, there are so many large companies with great culture that several magazines publish annual lists of them.

Overcoming The Belief in Unicorns

First: Learn to delegate. No. REALLY delegate. No company grows without delegating tasks. After all, you turn over technical chores to technicians. With luck, you've turned over administrative tasks to administrative assistants or an office manager.

But time and time again, I see companies where the boss/owner still retains the final word on everything. Invoicing can't be finalized without the boss. Project proposals can't be sent until the boss approves them.

And, worse, some companies are run with the understanding that any decision can be reversed at any time. So, decision-making is delegated, BUT not authority. In other words, the boss wants people to help make decisions. But any decision can be suddenly overturned at any time for any reason.

This behavior leads to employees not trying very hard. They put in a half-assed effort because there's no point in working really hard on something if it's just going to be reversed. Some employees take another approach: Constantly checking in with the boss at every stage for every tiny detail. This ends up taking more time than if the boss had just decided to do the work in the first place.

Effective delegation means that you turn over authority. People are authorized to make decisions and then implement them. You might butt in on rare occasions, but keep it rare. The goal is to hire good people and then let them do their jobs.

Effective delegation will allow a company to grow as fast as you want.

You'll know you're successful when you start figuring out who other than you can execute the work as soon as you've committed to a new project.

Second: Give Up Control

In the end, most problems within management have to do with ego and control. Delegating is a very visible means of giving up control. But there are others. 

If you've built a company, it's "your baby." The clients are your clients. The relationships are your relationships. Even the product offering is your product offering. It's yours and some part of you wants to keep it that way.

You have to realize that, as you grow, everyone still knows you're the boss! In fact, as you grow, individual employees will have less and less direct contact with you. In their minds, you will become more and more distant as "The Boss." So, stop worrying that anyone will think this is not your company. They will be very aware - even if you go on vacation for a month.

Here's an interesting thing that happens with control. Sometimes, an employee will really feel like they "own" a process or department. They will become territorial. Perhaps even too territorial. They will start to exhibit the behavior of a boss who needs to learn to delegate and give up some control.

Believe it or not, that's not all bad. It shows that they have deep knowledge, commitment, and the authority to make decisions that stick. Now, you have to push the culture of delegation down to this person. But acknowledge that it's great to have employees who love their job so much.

Third: Believe That a Company Can Do More Than an Individual

If you have good policies and procedures, that becomes a solid base for your success. Next, you need to hire good people who can execute those policies. 

Think about it: How long would it take you (personally) to build a 787 Dreamliner? Answer: It's a trick question. There are no circumstances under which one person could do that. It takes a company. Remember that. Even within your company there are things that need other people. Embrace that.

Invoicing is better when it's done by someone else. When you hand over invoicing to someone else, and let the process work, two things happen. First, invoices go out on time, for the correct amount. Instead of just another task on the over-worked boss's desk, there is someone whose job is to get invoicing correct.

Second, you make more money. The person hired to do invoicing doesn't know that we don't charge ABC Corp for all the work because they've been with us for fifteen years. They don't know that DEF Co. gets a free hour every month because you know they had a tough quarter. And so forth.

What happens is: Invoicing goes out as defined in your process. If you don't like it, you need to fine-tune your process. But you'll also see that clients don't complain. With very few exceptions, they just pay the bills. If they do complain, you can always adjust. But in the meantime, you'll just make more money.

There are a million other examples, but let's stick to money.

Once you adopt true standardized pricing, you'll also make more money. There are two elements of standardized pricing: Hourly rates and bundled packages. I highly recommend that you have one hourly rate, and roughly twice that as your after hours/emergency rate. If you have one rate for one company and another for another, and the boss is the only one who knows what promises were made, you are losing lots of money.

You are losing money by not charging the appropriate rate. And you're losing money trying to administer a program in which there is no standard rate. 

The other element of standardized pricing is your bundle offering. You might call this your three-tiered price list. Remember: You can always sell things on top of the bundle. But every client needs to start with a bundle. Pick one. Pay for it. Then, if you want something else, we can talk.

You simply cannot have "Kinda" bundles. They are kinda like Gold, except we don't provide patch management. They are kinda like Platinum except we don't manage passwords.

Remember, part of the magic of bundles is that there are unused licenses. Get over it. Honestly. No one goes to Netflix and asks for a different price because they only watch on two devices. No one asks Microsoft for a special deal because they don't use PowerPoint.

The bundle is the bundle. And the bundle is a standardized offering that makes you more money!

This is a perfect example of creating a process that's bigger than an individual. Create a pricing process that "just works" for your company.


Wilfried Wittkowsky, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The bottom line: Standardizing processes, procedures, and offerings will help your company grow - and be more profitable.

There really are no unicorns. And what you've built in the past, is really a woolly Rhinoceros with the horn of a Narwhal.

Quit calling it a unicorn and making excuses.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Download a Model Sales Funnel Spreadsheet over at Cheeky Sales Coach

In Episode 25 of the Cheeky Sales Coach, I mentioned a Model Sales Funnel Spreadsheet you can create in Excel. Then I went ahead and made one for you.

See the video here:

This download consists of an Excel spreadsheet for documenting sales campaigns, and a 4-page instruction document.

You can use this spreadsheet to document campaigns in real time, and then use this information to define and set goals for future campaigns. Over time, you can determine benchmarks for the performance of your sales campaigns.

The following items are included in this Zip file:

  • The Model Sales Funnel in Excel format.
  • Instructions in PDF format.

Note: The spreadsheet is part of the "premium content" on the Cheeky Sales Coach site.

Note also: If you are a member of the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community, you can use a discount code to get all of the premium content at no additional charge. Your discounts are found as a drop-down next to your name once you're logged into the Community.

Other Cheeky downloads include:

  • Amazing Proposal Template
  • Sales Campaign Construction Kit

. . . And if you haven't watched all the Cheeky Sales Coach Videos, you can view all 25 for FREE over at YouTube:


The Addition of Seasoned Esports Personnel and Specialized Resources Will Help D&H Partners Capture a Wide-Open Market of Opportunities

Press Release from our friends over at D&H . . .

For Immediate Release:


— The Addition of Seasoned Esports Personnel and Specialized Resources Will Help D&H Partners Capture a Wide-Open Market of Opportunities —

Peter DiMarco

HARRISBURG, PA – April 27, 2021 – D&H Distributing, a major provider of SMB, mid-market, and consumer technologies to the North American channel, announces it has organized a new “Components and Gaming” Business Unit around its esports, PC gaming, and integrated components for customized PCs and computing systems. This new initiative involves investments such as the hire of sales leaders and industry authorities to support escalating opportunities in these areas, especially in the education vertical. The new leaders to spearhead D&H’s Components and Gaming Business Unit include former Samsung sales veteran Chris Geiser; Esports Sales Specialist Brandon Beyer; industry Esports Consultant Bubba Gaeddert, Founder of the Varsity Esports Foundation; and Esports Program Manager Logan Hermes, of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). This market is significant, since total esports viewership is expected to reach 646 million in 2023, according to Business Insider, which translates to considerable green-field opportunities in this emerging area.

Bubba Gaeddert

Other offerings encompass installation and pre-/post-sales support from the distributor’s comprehensive Professional Services and Sales Enablement teams, plus partner opportunities such as an esports solutions panel at the April THREADcast virtual engagement, which was hosted by D&H along with Xbox, Dell, and ASUS. In addition, D&H has developed a step-by-step “Playbook” on launching an esports business, plus customizable marketing collateral. D&H’s solutions specialists have real-word experience discovering, marketing, and deploying successful gaming installations. These tools and services will be available throughout the US and Canada.

D&H’s esports portfolio includes a growing list of offerings, including prebuilt systems, gaming consoles, broadcast equipment, professional design and install services, and furniture; plus components, peripherals and accessories such as high-performance motherboards, graphics cards, controllers, keyboards, and joysticks. The categories encompass high-end embedded components that add value for custom-built computers and integrations in a range of verticals.

This is in addition to the distributor’s portfolio of proAV solutions such as digital LED displays, videowalls and kits, and content management software. D&H will help partners secure tournament licenses that will allow schools to compete in organized events—everything partners need to implement full-fledged gaming programs on the high school and collegiate levels.

“As it stands, only 10 percent of K-12 schools are competing in Varsity-level esports tournaments, yet the sport itself is growing exponentially,” said Peter DiMarco, vice president of VAR sales at D&H. “This creates a ground-floor opportunity, where 90 percent of the education community is open for deployments. D&H is directing considerable resources to help partners add this discipline to their core competencies including VAR, retail, and DMR partners. We’ve gone into the esports community to align ourselves with organizations with expertise in this area, and are proud to welcome more of those professionals into the fold at D&H. Together, we’ll help our partners profit and expand as the category accelerates.”

D&H’s New Esports Leadership:

Chris Geiser, Senior Director of Components and Gaming Sales: Geiser will lead a team of sales experts focused on driving sales initiatives and enhanced customer focus in the PC gaming and components marketplace. He comes to D&H from a sales director position at Samsung, where he was responsible for B2B SSD sales. Geiser launched Samsung’s system integrator business development and sales team, targeting custom PC builders, DMRs, resellers, and integrators. He has worked with a strong list of system builders and integrators as well as leading vendors and OEMs including Veritas, Google, Dell, and CyberPower.

Brandon Beyer, Senior Sales Specialist: Beyer will support the gaming and components sales initiative with impressive business development and account management skills spanning areas such as esports, IT solution sales, networking, public sector business, technical support, and customer service. This includes previous sales positions with gaming laptop manufacturer MSI and a global IT solution provider. He is currently an EEN-certified esports specialist with a “relationship-first” sales strategy. 

Bubba Gaeddert, D&H Esports Ambassador: Gaeddert is the Executive Director and founder of the Varsity Esports Foundation, where he partnered with D&H Distributing and other industry associations to establish the channel’s first esports certification program for partners. He continues to support the scholastic esports ecosystem through education, grants, literacy, networking, and advocacy. He has coordinated with D&H creating online video and on-demand esports certification courses exclusively for D&H partners. Gaeddert’s contacts extend to educators, administrators, athletic directors, student athletes, scholastic esports leagues, vendors, and channel partners. He will deliver market insights and support to help D&H’s specialists meet the unique and evolving esports needs of the K-12 and higher ed sectors.

Logan Hermes, Esports Program Manager: In this newly-created role, Hermes will execute D&H esports growth strategies and relationships, forging partnerships within the channel and manufacturer communities. His background includes a wealth of B2B experience and extensive work in program strategy, planning, budgeting, and execution. He will spearhead efforts in emerging markets to foster new growth. Hermes has worked with the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) chairing their eligibility enforcement committee. He is also head of operations for Minnesota Esports Club in Minnesota.

D&H has specialized in the education segment for close to two decades, through efforts like the K-12 Advisory Group, in which the distributor’s top education partners share best practices and feedback. Esports has been gaining momentum in the marketplace, leading D&H technical experts to gain an early foothold, developing real-world expertise in everything from small classroom gaming rooms to full-fledged esports arenas.

“The potential for esports and gaming has applications beyond just the education sector. The market will continue to expand as it aligns to the massive growth of virtual engagement across the public and corporate sectors. Many organizations are leveraging gaming solutions for engaging associates, testing, and attracting new customers.” said Chris Geiser. “We’ll be initiating sales through channels including VAR, system builder, DMR, retail, and consumer electronics. These are markets where D&H has had a traditional stronghold, bringing this prospect to a greater range of partners. I look forward to accelerating D&H’s momentum in this category.”

“D&H’s new business unit is positioned for success like few other sales organizations in the channel. The company has built-up a profound amount of resources for partners, earning a head-start by aligning with organizations in the field so early in the esports lifecycle,” said Brandon Beyer. “I’m excited to join the team at D&H, continuing my work in developing this high-potential market. I’m truly looking forward to working with the company in a vertical where leadership has devoted such an admirable focus.” 

“Esports is a fantastic opportunity for channel partners and educational institutions to collaborate on something that goes beyond just competitive gaming,” said Bubba Gaeddert. “The creation of an entire curriculum around esports can engage team members in all aspects of this category, from hardware to branding and marketing. I’m ready to engage more closely with D&H to drive adoption at the high school and college level from a more practical and technological standpoint.” 

“D&H’s rich portfolio of resources will deliver everything required to serve as a strategic, knowledgeable esports advisor for partners in this space,” said Logan Hermes. “Our Sales Enablement and Professional Services teams have real-world expertise and industry prowess that will help education and commercial partners not only assemble cutting-edge solutions, but teach them how to create demand, leverage available funding, and navigate this vertical’s sales cycles, supporting them right through to the installation phase.”

D&H solution providers can visit, or visit the distributor’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, and @dandh. Call 800-877-1200 in the US or 800-340-1008 in Canada to speak to an account representative. 

About D&H Distributing 

D&H Distributing supports resellers and MSP partners in the corporate, small-to-midsize business, consumer, education, and government markets with endpoints and advanced technologies, as well as differentiated services. D&H is ready to fill new market needs created by the recent consolidation in the marketplace. As the company enters its 104th year, its vendors and partners can be confident in its ability to provide a wealth of enablement resources, multi-market expertise, credit options, and consultative services. D&H is agile in response to the needs of its VAR and MSP partners, demonstrating resilience through decades of industry mergers and market disruption, overcoming everything from wars and recessions to pandemics. 

The company works to expand the competencies of its partners in areas such as cloud services, ProAV, collaboration, UCC, mobility, esports, digital displays, smart home automation, video surveillance, digital imaging, and server networks across a range of markets. Its value proposition includes highly lauded training opportunities and partner engagement events, dedicated Solutions Specialists, certifications, professional marketing resources, and an expanding digital Cloud Marketplace. 

The distributor is headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, in the U.S. and Brampton, Ontario, in Canada with warehouses in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Fresno, CA; and Vancouver, BC, Canada. Call D&H at (800) 877-1200, visit, or follow the distributor’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, and @dandh.



Tuesday, April 27, 2021

No Unicorns in IT!

 Sometimes I find it hard to believe that, after more than fifteen years of pushing documentation and standard operating procedures, I still meet people who believe one of these falsehoods:

  • All of our clients are unique. We cannot create policies or procedures across all clients.


  • We are unique. Our mix of products, services, employees, and clients makes it impossible for us to standardize what we do and how we price it.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you can't build a successful business based on exceptions to the rule. And there is a rule - a norm.

If you're super old-school, your small business clients probably look a lot like this:

  • Primary Server
  • Maybe another server for backup, SQL, Exchange, or Line of Business app
  • Office products - probably Microsoft Office. Open license or O365/M365.
  • Hosted web site (not onsite)
  • Network includes router, firewall, and one or more switches
  • Maybe a wireless access point
  • Security includes anti-virus, spam filtering, anti-malware
  • Most people print to network printers. A few have USB-connected printers.
  • Desktops include monitors, keyboards, pointing devices, speakers, Windows-based operating systems, VOIP phones, and UPS batter backup
  • Maybe a few Apples
  • You support some additional devices, including a big scanner/copier, label printers, signage, or cameras
  • Perhaps client-specific technology such as access control, employee time tracking, or CNC machines

If you're not old-school, and you've figured out cloud services, all of this is the same except:

  • Hosted storage
  • Hosted Exchange mailboxes
  • Office is definitely M365

Of course, one client is an architect and they will have a large onsite storage system and monster onsite backup system. One client is a dentist and has x-ray equipment and related storage. One client is a call center with 300 phones and 1,500 employees.

Each client might have some things that are different.

But the lists above probably apply to ninety percent of what you need to manage at ninety percent of your clients. When clients have unique setups, it's probably on top of the standard stack that you sell, install, configure, and maintain at every single client.

Yes, there are exceptions to the rule. That's what exception means. but you can't build a successful business based on exceptions to the rule. But you CAN build a standard operating process based on the 90%. 

Early in my career, I was impressed with the book and concept The HP Way. You can Google the HP Way and find a list of values-based guidelines they developed to guide their growth and success. The book is also excellent.

When I started my business, I was committed to providing very high quality service. I had a believe that there really is a "best" way to do things. So I went in search of the best way to design backups, the best way to set up desktop PCs, the best way to hire, the best way to invoice, and so on.

Was my way THE best way? I don't know. But I quickly began to refer to our way of doing things as The KPE Way. My company was KPEnterprises. The KPE Way was our way of documenting networks, processing purchase orders, creating tickets, tracking time, etc. Everything.

Well, we tried to document everything. Let's be honest, some things really do happen once. Some happen once every four years. The Y2K roll-over happens once every thousand years. So, we acknowledged that some things fall into the ten percent we can't document and create SOPs for.

But here's the good news: Whenever we came across one of these rare incidents, we still found that ninety percent of our behavior was guided by our knowledge, processes, and procedures drawn from daily habits of acting within our established SOPs.

When a unique incident arises - such as Y2K or the time a client's office burnt down - we still had the way we go slow, document carefully, backup up again and again. Because all of our technicians were steeped in The KPE Way, we had a lot of guidelines to help us excel at the unexpected.

As a Company Grows, The Boss is Often the Problem

As companies grow to have ten, twenty, or fifty technicians, there's one common obstacle that keeps them expanding their processes and procedures to be truly scalable: The boss.

In many cases, the boss (often the owner) makes most of the sales. The boss also makes "exceptions" to the rules. So employees can never know absolutely and for a fact how to handle each client. It depends on the price the boss quoted and the promises the boss made.

And, all too often, these things are not written down. They're not in the PSA/CRM. They're not standardized. That's the problem.

This insistence on the uniqueness of each client, each relationship, and each interaction keeps the company from growing. To be successful, you need to stop believing in unicorns.

Don't get me wrong: You can grow your company to a very large size by most standards. But it won't be successful. It might not even be profitable. This behavior is self-limiting. I have worked with multiple companies who have five, ten, or even twenty million dollars in sales but are unprofitable or barely profitable.

Did you ever notice that business owners love to talk about their revenue and not their profit?

In the next post, I'm going to talk about some strategies for overcoming this self-limiting behavior.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Data Breach and Identity Security Beyond the Technical

I received my new business insurance policy. I'm not sure why I look through these things except to keep an eye out for things that don't make sense. I say I don't know, because I fully admit that I've never really figured out insurance terminology.

In my opinion, if you need an example of industry-specific terminology, insurance is a great place to start. Maybe insurance sales people say the same thing about technology. I understand every single word I read - until I read them in a sentence in my insurance policy.

Anyway . . . I'm thumbing through this fat document and I find the page printed here:

Here's what's going on here. First, this notice is information only, not part of cybersecurity insurance or even the business property insurance to which it is attached. Second, my insurance provider wants me to educate myself about data breach, identity "theft," and the laws in California related to those things.

Third, this is a self-help portal for information. But, fourth, there's a phone number I can call to help me with both breach preparedness and breach response.

I've heard lots of smart people (including Mike Semel of Semel Consulting) point out that you should be looking to insurance companies for leadership. They've been hit by ransomware where it hurts: their wallet! And they've responded. One response, obviously, is to raise everyone's rates. Another is help to minimize the problems that can lead to payouts.

Note, also: You and your clients have some serious responsibilities if you want to get a payout after a data breach. If you don't know what's required, you probably don't have a checklist to make sure you're insured.

In this case, I'm dealing with Nationwide Commercial Insurance. Once I logged into the site, I found a treasure trove of free services, including:

- Pre-Incident Legal Consulting (one hour). There is a list of topics that can be discussed, including risk assessment, incident response planning, and development of related policies and procedures.

- Cybersecurity Risk Consulting (one hour). Plus discounted rates on services. These services include security audits, vulnerability assessments, and penetration testing.

I know an hour doesn't go far, but it's a start!

The site also includes an "Incident Roadmap" that can be used as a starter for building your own incident response. And there are sections for news, legal updates, risk assessment tools, and more. There's also some good training from some brand names you've seen before.

Two lessons from this excursion into my insurance policy:

1) Thumb through your policies and see what services you might have available to you for the money you're already paying. And if you're not willing to do that, call your agent and ask them to go fishing for it.

2) If you've been putting off "dealing" with the cybersecurity threats to your business as well as your clients, it's really time to dig in. At least protect your company, your data, and your butt.

Comments welcome.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Brand New Five-Week Class: MSP Professional Sales Program

Brand New Five-Week Class: MSP Professional Sales Program 

Taught By: James Kernan

Five Tuesdays

April 27 - May 25  - Register Now

All classes start a 9:00 AM Pacific

Want to master MSP sales? Small Biz Thoughts has partnered with award-winning sales training company Kernan Consulting to offer the MSP Professional Sales Certification Program. This content-heavy, motivational program will reveal how top-producers succeed in 2021’s uncertain marketplace:

1. Bring new prospects into your pipeline

2. Shorten the sales cycles

3. Increase average deal size

4. Sell value so you do not have to compromise on price

Learn the industry’s best practices on the overall sales process from Prospecting, Qualifying, Needs Analysis and Assessments, Connecting your value proposition to the customers issues. Tips to get through the Sales Process faster and Closing the Deal!

The MSP Professional Sales Certification Program will include five live training sessions delivered in 60-minute classes. Designed for technology business owners, sales managers, and sales professionals, this training program covers industry best practices for selling contractual monthly recurring revenue.

Complete all 5 courses – receive MSP Professional Sales Certification certificate

The MSP Professional Sales Certification Program includes five 60-minute trainings. After completing all five sessions, you will receive a sales certification from Kernan Consulting. All five sessions will be recorded LIVE and delivered with a PDF workbook. For more information on James Kernan or Kernan Consulting please visit:

Weekly Session Outline:

1. What is Value Based Selling?

  • Why value-based selling is best
  • 5 principles of value-based selling
  • Matching your solution to their business challenge

2. Qualifying

  • Why you do not chase after every opportunity
  • 8 step process to qualify all opportunities
  • The power of NO

3. Sales Process

  • 7 step sales cycle
  • Emotional sales cycle
  • The customers buying process

4. Framework for Successful Sales Departments

  • Create your Sales Plan
  • Goals/KPIs
  • Unique Sales Proposition (USP)
  • Compensation Plans
  • Corporate Marketing Leads
  • Sales Skill Training/Mentoring
  • Communication/Meeting Schedule
  • The Right Tools
  • Staffing the sales team
  • Documented Sales Process

5. Negotiating/Closing

  • How to overcome objections
  • Trial closes
  • How to ask for the order
  • Letter of Understand technique

About James Kernan

James Kernan is the author of the 36 Month Millionaire Program, and recently published books, Leadership Essentials for Successful Executives and Business Tips. For the past 12 years, James has served as a Principal Consultant for Kernan Consulting and provides Coaching, Advising and Mentoring programs to entrepreneurs and leaders. Kernan Consulting offers One on One Coaching, CEO Peer Groups, M&A Consulting and online training programs.

James is a frequent speaker for TechSelect, CompTIA, XChange, Convergence, Robin Robins Bootcamp, HTG, Mastermind Peer Groups, SMB Nation, SMB TechFest, and Microsoft IAMCP events. He has been recognized and written up as an extraordinary “example of success” in industry publications such as CRN, Business Solutions, VAR Business, CRM Today, and Inc. Magazine.

Includes five weeks of webinars with related handouts, assignments, and "office hours" with the instructor. All classes are recorded for download.

This course is intended for business owners, managers, and sales people. It is particularly useful for the Sales department.

Only $299

Register Now

Check it out at


Monday, April 19, 2021

Get In On this Fun Give-Away Free!

 Inspired by a recent phone call . . .

I have ordered a bunch of door hangers. As a service to our Community. This is roughly 8.5" x 3.5" and is a great door hanger to keep you of the Internet meme scene!

You can get yours FREE by simply filling out the form below.

I will be happy to send you TWO of these door hangers - absolutely free of charge. That's one to use and one to share with someone who might need it more than you. <wink> <just sayin>

Obviously, you need to give us your correct address to receive your your freebie via US mail.

* Sorry to folks outside the US. If you live outside the US, but assume that I owe you a beer. Remind me of that when I see you.

Yes, we'll add you to our newsletter. Yes, you can always unsubscribe. 

Thank you, as always, for your support!


Friday, April 16, 2021

Grab This Amazing Sales Proposal Template

In case you haven't been following . . . 

I'm in the middle of a 50-week video series (and podcast) call The Cheeky Sales Coach. The videos are on my Relax Focus Succeed YouTube Channel:

and the index of videos and podcasts is at Cheeky Sales Coach:

This week I posted Episode 23, which includes a walk-through of seven things you need to know about creating a great proposal. But the real juicy goodness is in the premium download that accompanies this video. 

Note: If you are a member of my Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community, you can grab a discount code and register for premium content on The Cheeky Sales Coach for FREE. 

If you are not a community member, you can still buy a one-time pass to the premium content for only $99. This template download is easily worth that much!

This download is a great example of an “Amazing” proposal, including a detailed example in PowerPoint format. It also includes a video of me presenting the proposal exactly as I would present to a prospect. 

Once you understand the key elements of creating a proposal (see the video), you can customize this template to build your ideal client presentation. We also show you how to record your presentation on Zoom so you can send the MP4 to your prospect, if necessary.

The following items are included in this Zip file:

  • The Template Proposal in PowerPoint format. Edit and customize everything for your business.
  • The Template Proposal in PDF format
  • A recorded presentation in MP4 format

Download Now at

Watch Cheeky Sales Coach, Episode 23 on YouTube. (And, HEY: Go ahead and subscribe to that channel.)

Feedback welcome!


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Mike Semel Joins the Small Biz Thoughts Roundtable

I am proud to announce that Mike Semel will join us on the May SBT Roundtable. This intense conversation will be all about thinking at a higher level.

Mike Semel is recognized as a thought leader in the compliance and IT industries. Mike developed Semel Systems, a series of training systems for MSPs to help jump-start sales based on cybersecurity and compliance. He is the President and Chief Security Officer of Semel Consulting, focused on regulatory compliance and Business Continuity planning. 

The SBT Roundtable is a monthly escape from the daily grind to dive into a purely intellectual discussion about thinking at a higher level as a business owner. Our previous guests have included Fortune 100 creative directors and some of the best-known thought leaders in public relations, marketing, and (of course) IT services.

Our goal with the SBT Roundtable is to move guests away from their standard "prepared remarks" and talk about how they think differently from the rest of us. 

The SBT Roundtable is a members-only event for the Small Biz Thoughts Technology Community. It happens once a month and has become one of the primary benefits of membership.

More about Mike:

Mike is a CMMC Registered Practitioner, Certified Security Compliance Specialist, Disaster Recovery Institute Certified Business Continuity, Certified HIPAA Professional, and Certified Health IT Specialist. Mike wrote the Certified HIPAA Security Professional (CHSP) and Certified Workforce HIPAA training for 4MedApproved. He has owned or managed technology companies for over 30 years; served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for a hospital and a K-12 school district; and managed operations at an online backup company.

And, of course, he's the author of the book HIPAA Headaches.

Join Us!

If you're a SBT Technology Community Member, be sure to join us!

If you're not a member, join us. Then you can join us. :-)


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Alan Weinberger is on a Mission to Elevate the Role of the Managed Service Provider to the Public

The picture is mine. The press release is from ASCII . . .

A new book released by ASCII’s CEO explains the necessity of the MSP and how they are pivotal in the ongoing fight on cyber security 

Bethesda, Maryland – April 14, 2021 – The ASCII Group, a membership-based community of independent North American MSPs, VARs and Solution Providers, is pleased to announce that its Chairman and CEO, Alan D. Weinberger, has published a book illuminating to the general public how important a Managed Service Provider is in maintaining the health of our economy and our infrastructure itself, in the new cyber security era.

Weinberger’s book, “The Doctor’s In: Treating America’s Greatest Cyber Security Threat” explores the ever-changing online world and how businesses can safeguard and equip themselves with the best protection - in the form of a Managed Service Provider. In an easy-to-read format, the book explores how MSPs help us protect our ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ in our new digital age. The book also features forewords by noted experts in the field, Theresa Payton and Frank Abagnale.

“Alan has done an excellent job in helping the end-user to understand the necessity of the MSP in keeping the IT components of virtually every size company operating smoothly. Like a virologist today, there is no standing on past laurels when a criminal component is looking for new ways to get through the body or current IT defenses,” said Alan Bayles, a lawyer and businessman in New York City.

A long-standing supporter of IT professionals, Weinberger founded The ASCII Group in 1984 in Washington D.C., recognizing the important role these individuals played in the IT revolution of the 1980s.

“Alan Weinberger brings his decades of IT channel experience to bear on the topic of how Managed Service Providers are the indispensable link in the technology chain for small businesses the world over. Alan provides a bit of historical context and then explains the critical role that MSPs play in the deployment, maintenance, and ongoing securing of IT in businesses of all sizes,” said Joshua Liberman, President, Net Sciences, Inc. 

“The Doctor’s In: Treating America’s Greatest Cyber Security Threat” is a 62-page book with a retail price of $10. The ISBN is 978-1-6366-1343-7. It was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information go to the online bookstore at  

About The ASCII Group, Inc:

The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, VARs and solution providers. The Group has over 1,300 members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national and international reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more.  ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of leading and major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit


Tuesday, April 06, 2021

GreenLink Networks Announces Larry Meador Joins as Channel Manager

My friends at GreenLink slide this note under my door . . .

GreenLink Networks Announces Larry Meador Joins as Channel Manager

Addison, Texas – April 6, 2021 – GreenLink Networks, a channel-only provider of Business VoIP Services, is pleased to announce the appointment of Larry Meador as Channel Manager. In this role, Larry will be responsible for managing and developing GreenLink’s community of MSP partners across the country.

Larry is an industry veteran and well-known in the channel, and prior to joining GreenLink Networks, he was Senior Solutions Manager at CNET Content Solutions. He has also held Sales Management roles with Corel Corporation, Fujitsu and other retailers.

GreenLink Networks was started by an MSP with a vision to achieve the right balance between flexibility in services, reliability in uptime and call quality, and a commitment to partners by being 100% channel-focused.

“We are thrilled to have Larry join our team because he fits our core values and company culture. His dedication to his MSP relationships and commitment to the channel made it an easy decision for us,” said Mayron Herrera, CEO & Co-founder, GreenLink Networks. 

“GreenLink has quickly become a well-known and formidable competitor in the VoIP/UCaaS space. They truly care about helping their clients and are devoted to building long-term relationships with them,” said Meador.  “I’m honored to become a member of the GreenLink team and look forward to growing what they have started!”

“Larry’s 25 years of experience within the channel makes him the perfect addition to our team. We look forward to him showcasing our business communication solutions and helping our partners succeed,” said Jhovanny Rodriguez, Vice-President and Co-founder, GreenLink Networks. 

For additional information about GreenLink Networks, visit Follow GreenLink Networks on Twitter @getgreenlink. 

About GreenLink Networks

Founded by Managed IT Service providers Mayron Herrera and Jhovanny Rodriquez, GreenLink Networks is a channel-only provider of Business VoIP Services with a generous partner program. The portfolio of VoIP services includes Cloud Business Phone Service (Hosted PBX) and SIP trunking. GreenLink Networks is compatible with multiple handset brands, offers flexible procurement options including purchase, rentals or use of existing IP enabled phones. For more information visit