Your New Year’s Resolution: Less Shaggy Dog Calls

The Shaggy Dog (2006) - IMDb
Who’s a good boy? Follow my ask of you in this blog, and I’ll give you a belly rub.

As we approach almost two years of working remotely, I want to remind readers that we need to respect each other’s time on calls.

Less is more when it comes to meetings. Go in, get what you need, and get out. Simple.

Too often our customers are subjected to what I call “shaggy dog” calls. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s essentially something that goes on too long and is anti-climatic. You know you’ve delivered a shaggy dog story when you tell an anecdote, and then your audience says something like “and then you found ten bucks.”

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What I Learned from a Year of Making Demo Videos

The inspiration for most of my demo videos.

A year ago this month I was asked to make a video of a demo for a customer. It sounded easy. Flash forward a day and I still wasn’t happy with the product, but I had a deadline, so I handed it off to the customer.

Flash forward to June. I’m sitting in that customer’s offices with their new CEO and my Regional Vice President of sales. We didn’t have an agenda, but I’m asked to pull up the video. I warn the two of them that this was my first video so it’s rough, but we watch it together. We pause every minute or so and chat. It’s summer and it’s hot outside, but I’m hot under my collar having to hear my voice in front of others. The most sobering thing about being a sales engineer is having to hear your own voice. The meeting ends and self-critiques about my videos aside, it was positive. Two days later we landed the new logo customer, and they’re now off doing some really awesome things on Salesforce.

I learned a lot from the first vide, but now that I’ve done a baker’s dozen videos this year, I learned a few lessons that I want to share. Since Martin Scorsese is probably my favorite director, I’m going to reference him and his movies exclusively in this post.

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Tales from Adolescence: New Year’s at Jewel with Stoner Kelly

You know you’re in the Chicago suburbs when you’re at Jewel.

I don’t remember when I met Stoner Kelly. Jewel was full of colorful characters and I recall there were some silly nicknames, but nobody had a name like Stoner Kelly.

My first recollection of him was as I walked to the break room one day and saw this tall, hirsute, mouth breathing man, with large bags under his eyes, wearing a butcher’s apron and staring into space behind the meat counter. In other words, he looked stoned. All the time.

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