Try selling the sizzle of what you do.

Subject: Try selling the sizzle of what you do.
From: John Posada <JPosada -at- book -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 16:20:17 -0500

The participants on this list, if they haven't placed me on their Kill list,
know that I've been doing alot of Visio charting for Process flows lately.

Let me tell you a little story, if ya got a minute.

When I got here about a month ago, I learned who were the major players;
major holders of the information that I needed. I then walked up to each of
them over a few-day period, introduced myself and explained what I was doing
here. I thought it was necessary because I'd just replaced someone who was
here for several months and never produced anything...that I can find.

At that introduction, I could see on one of the guy's face THE LOOK...we've
all seen it.."Oh, great...another idiot who is gonna waste my time, ask me
stupid questions, and not do anything to make my life easier."

So. I approached his cube neighbor, introduced myself, and asked him of what
process was he "the man". He identified what he did, and over the last three
days, we've been diagramming his process. This morning, we finished the
drawing and it came out pretty well...17" across and 66 inches long. Color,
shading, arrows, and the name of the developer in the corner...his name, not

I taped the pages together so it's about chin high and pushpinned it to the
outside of his the hallway, directly in sight of the guy who I
thought might be difficult.

No more than 20 minutes later, "Tim" (why? because his name is Tim) comes
over and says "That's a GREAT looking drawing!"

"Tim! I'm glad you think so! Infact, next week, we're going to start
discussing YOUR processes to create the same thing!"

All I got was a big smile and a thumbs up.

Consider that there are some very brilliant SMEs toiling away in their
little cube farms that would LOVE to show that what they do is a six foot
diagram with "pictures and arrows, and little paragraphs on the back" and
not just 25 pages of code.

I've said it here before...people don't buy the steak...they buy the sizzle.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
NY: 212-414-6656
Dayton: 732-438-3372


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