The CIO called me

January 3 2012

Happy New Year! During the holidays, I blogged my 2011 year in review and became an all-Apple family. Of course, that wasn't all that was going on. We're just days away from Lotusphere 2012, and we had a year to close out.

Down to the last days of the year, I was working with a few customer deals as we always do. One, a customer I had worked with throughout 2011, was a particularly inventive deal, whereby we approached a multi-national organization with the best way to consolidate and centralize, yet move to cloud at the same time in LotusLive and the IBM SmartCloud. I was working with a great sales team and they were burning the midnight oil to get the deal right. In the end, it was a classic case of the negotiation tactics that I learned all those years ago in Karrass training -- "a better deal for both parties".

After we received the signed contract, I sent the CIO -- who I hadn't spoken with in weeks -- a quick note thanking him for deciding to go with the IBM approach and committing to a successful project. I was quite surprised, in the last hours of 2011 business, to have a call come into my cell phone a few minutes later from that very CIO. He wanted to thank me, and all of IBM, for our successful contract and partnership. He heaped great praise on the sales team who had been so easy to do business with in the final hours of the contract. Further he remarked on the journey we had been on together for over nine months, putting together the right solution for his organization.

I don't get calls like that very often. As the vendor, we often think it's our job to sell and the buyer's job to buy. But the very best deals for both parties are those that are win-win partnerships, that establish the value of the technology as a business solution, and that deliver over the long term. We did all those things with this customer. It was really great for him to recognize that as well.

Best wishes for 2012.

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