Dominic Orr, CEO of Aruba Networks, argues that to sell a technical product to an executive team, an entrepreneurial firm must focus on understanding and eliminating that executive team's problems. Eliminating CEO, CIO, CTO or CFOs problems means understanding and addressing their pain point sufficiently to overcome their fear of something new.
The ultimate thing in people's minds, people have more problem in the job than just creating a wireless network. So you have to make people feel, "Okay, I'm taking problems off your plate. I'm not creating problems and another anxiety for you." So you have to go in and understand at a CIO, a Chief Marketing Officer and so on, help them at their level. If it's the CIO's major problem, operation expense control, because the corporate top-lines or his charter is to use IT at a competitive advantage. So the most important thing before you go in and see an executive is to understand from their perspective what they are looking for. And I think a lot of high tech marketing people forget that this is not about you, it's about them, because they have the budget. So that is key. So when we go into the CxO and so on, if they are functional executives, meaning the head of sales, head of product department, you have to understand what's the pain point. And they have to have enough pain point for them to say, "I want to overcome the anxiety of anything new." Fundamentally, people don't like anything new, except in cars and clothes and so on. So that is the main thing. And you have the CFO and the CIO of different industries, you have to address these.
Lecture by Dominic Orr on Entrepreneurship for Stanford University students on October 17, 2007. Dominic Orr, CEO of Aruba Networks, describes his experience applying the HP way to a startup environment. Orr speaks about his focus on giving people freedom and trust which in turn sparks the passion and confidence that drives innovation.
- Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture
- Stanford University's Entrepreneurship Corner (ecorner)
Original Course Name: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture.