I've been engaged, more or less continuously since 1989, in trying to sell software. It's tough, because software is so weird - just a bunch of bits, you can make as many copies as you want for free - and yet so expensive. Microsoft knows how to sell software but most customers don't like the experience and are being careful to avoid getting into other relationships like the one they have with Microsoft.

At Antarctica, we're trying really hard to do something called "solution selling". Basically, what that means is that we have to show people that using Visual Net in some particular situation will deliver serious money value, either reduced costs or more revenue or both. Then, we ask for a whole lot less money than the reasonably-expected benefits. When the benefit is big, that means we can still ask for a whole lot of money. If the benefit is medium-sized, we can ask for a reasonable amount of money and still make ourselves and the customer happy. If the benefiit is small, we tell the truth, shake hands, and walk away.

The nice thing about doing things this way is you get to both tell the truth and make some money. It would be really good if more software vendors climbed on this bandwagon.

author · Dad
colophon · rights
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September 09, 2002
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