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