Monday, June 3, 2013

Selling the Wheel . . .

At a recent meeting of the Data Governance Society meeting, someone said that a major part of the role of a Data Governance professional is selling. This could not be more true. Data Governance is a composite of activities some of which have been around for decades and some are brand new. In most cases, the difference between what we call Data Governance and the historical functions leading up to today is a simple nuance of difference in our approach. The "old" way of mastering data is close but not quite right. In a modern DG program, we strive to make it just right. This means that we spend a lot of our time convincing people that this program is different from the ones they've seen in the past. This is the hardest sell of all.

I would add that they key to all of this selling is to NOT SELL Data Governance. Sell the value of DG. Sell what's in it for your business or customer. This may seem obvious to many reading this but I can't tell you how many people I speak with that ask my, "how do you get them to understand data governance?" Simple answer. You don't! You get them to see how they will spend less time struggling with the data or how they will be able to generate more revenue or save money.

We all know that we are all sales-people and we sell every single day. It's a question of what we're selling. Successful sales-people know it's not the product, nor is it what the product does. It's how the product makes the customer's life better.

Final thought, when the first person to invent the wheel came calling, s/he didn't sell wheels, s/he sold carts and things that use the wheel. After people saw how much better their lives were because of the things wheels made possible, they started asking about the wheel and they started finding new way to use the wheel to make other parts of their lives better. Data Governance is like that. Strive to find ways to make people's lives better using data governance and they will thank you. Then, they will ask you, "how did you do that?" That's the magic question. Then, and only, then, can you sell Data Governance.

If this looks familar, it's because I originally posted it on the Data Governance Society LinkedIn group, found here:

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