Sales and closing

During the week that I have been here, I have been going out with friends, and spend sometime in the pool. But to be honest, beside spending time with my parents and having a conference with my alma matter. I have no idea on what to do here, so as my mom was meeting with her friends, he came up with the idea to introduce me to one that has experience on selling insurance.

Nowadays I have been pretty open about connections and listening to what people have to say, specially when it comes to experiences.

So we went to have some coffee and eventually her friend arrived and start talking to me about the sales process. How to evolve from the first meeting and how to schedule meetings until the closing period. I have been very frustrated with the way I have dealt with people when they don’t say no ever, but always apply delaying tactics until you are just exhausted to keep going on.

Key issues regarding closing and dealing with multiple entitled and also transition to negotiation techniques. Prepare to offer deals but also offer contracts to sign.

The techniques go like this:

  • Planning the meeting
  • Break the ice
  • Products
    • Offer benefits from the features
    • Regulate the voice
  • Manage inquiries and objections
    • Anticipate by handling the most common ones
    • Assertive questions

The talk also had some tips like how to return to the questions and the value, and focus the value in a business reasoning. Applying strength to true business cases and also returning to the possible questions and defining the key drivers. Otherwise document it and propose an alternatives.  So is key to be able to understand and target the value of it.

As far as advice, trying to maximize the amount of clients that I am trying to gather. Practice some cold calling and be more out there through email and phone sales.

Here is some of the notes that I could gather from the conference although some further analysis should be involved.

first meeting document
1er Entrevsita is the first document of the interview on how to get the first meeting and key points

salesdoc2

Localizing OpenOffice to spanish with Lokalize

I am Not a fan of localization, is repetitive, boring, and sometimes confusing. However is something that needs to be DONE. With OpenOffice, there are hundreds and thousands of words on the interface, we need a healthy team to be able to do the translation and another team for the quality assurance. Unfortunately the community doesn’t have enough helping hands or simply are not focused on do actual contributions. In this case only the people with experience are left to go into it and do it. This means me, myself and I in charge on localizing the whole review.

OpenOffice community uses a website at the moment using Pootle, which is great. However the server is deadly slow and translating or reviewing the moves is very hard to do. So I eventually realize that the advantages of instant commit and cloud base review.

Pootle on Apache OpenOffice
Translate Apache OpenOffice through the web.

So eventually I start trying with different PO files, at the beginning I tried POEdit which is simple but compliant and very popular. However is somehow too limited, and to be honest, I still dont get how the memory language works that well. So I actually went into trying virtaal, but this wasn’t a very good choice in my Linux distro that created a python error which prevent me from running it. So eventually I went to KDE proposal called: Lokalize

The tool is actually quite nice, KDE has usually been condemned for looking like windows, however I never believe that crap, KDE looks like a power user tool. And that is what I actually like, I can configure it as much as I want, and having shortcut for many different behaviors actually was worth it to learn some of the shortcuts. And the result: It was awesome.

Lokalize PO and XLIF editor
Lokalize screenshot

I was flying through 100 string modules and was able to commit the translated PO really fast, and even the more scary modules where somewhat long to resolved but in the end took me around 10 or 5% of what it would have normally take on the web.

Key shortcuts like move between strings with Pg Up and Pg Down or jump to the next untranslated or fuzzy string with Ctrl+Pg Up/Down.

To copy the content from the original string to the Spanish one using Ctrl+Space and maybe the best thing to do on localize is the capability to do Search / Replace for the terminology.

Lokalize also offers other things that I need to explore like Autocomplete, Glossary, and correctly use the Translation Memory. I should read the documentation (here) and learn about projects and such.

Translation of OpenOffice 4.0 might come with a better quality however, there are still a lot of layers to be able to understand the way we are putting the accelerators (the key selection letters in a word like File), terminology of tools and even evaluating some of the current terms and it’s extension. One that I keep debating is the use of shortcuts for words like Auto<word> vs <word> automaticamente or Re<word>, lke Rename, Rephrase, Refresh etc. Phrasing is so important that maybe the correct Spanish shouldn’t be the priority.

But I think this will be my tool from now on to be able to work with to translate, and maybe doing something else like the wiki, to be able to break down the jobs on each project. We’ll see how it can go from now on.

FLISOL 2013 – The experience

This post is dedicated more toward the actual event, having a great location in La Gran Plaza was a great way to start. Adding the wittiness of Sandy was a great help to organize the decoration of the venue. With many high quality flyers and also great ammount of projectors we were able to make a very lively and hip place.

The event was very well animated
balloons and fun
Demo of technology
Awesome technology was exposed

Many people came to the event and was good to be able to chat with them and also see them gather around to learn about different areas of software and areas of discovery. The topics went from games to enterprise to educational involvements.

Some of the talks we had included:

  • How to make money as a programmer
  • Education in technology with free software

The installfest area,was the main area, which means that a lot of Free software was installed, from USB, to CDs. Many people was able to experience different distros and applications on education and such.

Finally we had some social media with tweets from across the globe, on different events across latin america.

I think the event acomplish it’s goal, we would have hope to see more students and such, but I think it was a great experience for everybody.

FLISOL 2013 – random notes for the future of events

Finally after 2 years of constant development, the event that I was hoping to carry across came to a reality. After a big push by some sponsors including Universidad del Sur and members of Tequila Valley we were able to gather the right spot, with enough tables, chairs, baloons and volunteers.

Organizing the event gave me a different perspectives and lessons learned from the previous ones. To start, I was able to focus more on the variety of the event. Different activities and also more focus on the amenities and decorations.

I also got some bad assumptions like trying to asume that the technique with the mic will work on the conferences and we wont be able to suffer from last minute delays.

Other issues were the way promotion was held, some schools are too bureacratic and are just not very easy to get a hold of the channels you need to go through many motions and most people don’t know how to handle your request.

Usually when u have 1 sponsor that cover most of th things, there is little to no problem, but trying to do this without any single big sponsor is a bit hectic.

Having documentation, does help, however there is alwaya a juggle between flyers, banners, digital promos and multimedia promos. The development is not as hard as the promotion but is definetly something you want to go about with enough time.

Money is probably the hardest thing to come by. Many people promise to give money but very few do, so is always good to plan for scarcity.

Besides all these lessons, we can also review some more specific goals. Things like, how much money you want to charge, and how much u think you will make back. If you charge is important to know who will handle it, and if this will be something you will be able to afford moving forward.

Events, specially free one, are sometimes hard to manage since resource are scarse, but having good footage of the event is something we want to consider for the future. If we want to get more and more partners we would need to have a better image and documentation of it.

A good blog, column, and gallery can be enough. Even better if ther is some video footage. In the end a sales pitch for next year and marketing kit should be gathered and developed.