Mainframe - The Art of the Sale
September 11, 2006 6:52 PM   Subscribe

Mainframe - The Art of the Sale. Lesson 1, Lesson 2, Lesson 3. Brought to you by 360comedy. It helps to know what a mainframe is, but is not absolutely essential. Enjoy! (Post contains YouTube links)
posted by purephase (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I LOVE these.

These are so typical of [funny] training videos that I sat through during my sales career (job) with a large computer company.

If you have sold large (expensive) computers, you will laugh out loud.
If you have not, you will say "huh?"


P.S. All three are the most important attributes.
posted by davebarnes at 7:19 PM on September 11, 2006

posted by dmd at 8:27 AM on September 12, 2006

I can't tell if this is some independent guy who dreamed these up and produced them on his own nickel, or whether he was contracted by IBM to poke fun at itself and presumably provide some levity at an otherwise dull internal mainframe sales meeting.

Either way, highly reminiscent of this video produced for Rockwell as (I believe) part of a sales/presentation skills course as an example of what a jargon-laden pitch sounds like to the uninitiated.
posted by kcds at 9:05 AM on September 12, 2006

You may be right Dave. I find these just inane. I used to work with a mainframe all the time, but never sold (or bought) them.

My impression is that sales are usually upgrades for organizations that already have mainframes, and are based on the understanding that it's too difficult, expensive and risky to port all their code to another brand of system or rewrite everything to run on Unix, and provide for the same reliability and security. Sort of a natural lock-in situation. They wouldn't even upgrade except support ends for a particular model or OS version.
posted by jam_pony at 11:24 AM on September 12, 2006

I chuckled, especially because IBM is one of the fathers of corporate slogans like THINK and developed, by the mid-20th-century, probably the largest and most effective sales organization on the planet (although they were later eclipsed by Xerox).

This works for techies, I suppose, by mocking the cluelessness of marketing people, and that even works for executives and CTOs, who probably view themselves as a class above. It also clearly fits in with the last 6 years or so of IBM ads -- although few of them were in this reality vein, many of them have mocked business pieties, like the one about the time machine.

Ultimately I think the sales message is that there are clueless people trying to sell you competitive hardware for nonsensical reasons, so you should -- surprise! -- go with the brand nobody ever got fired for buying.
posted by dhartung at 12:05 PM on September 12, 2006

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