A lot of times when you speak to someone like me (in sales), you can tend to get dazzled by the technical details of the solution "it's got this many Gbs of RAM and 1.21TBs of storage and we need to get 1.21 Gigawatts to make the flux capacitor work!"
Now it's easy to get lost in this stuff, and it's easy to glaze over and not realise that last one was a line from the movie "Back to the Future".
And that's ok, because you shouldn't need to know that your server needs to get up to 88 miles per hour to time travel, all you need to know is "will this server work for my business?"
The wonderful thing about IT is that we can do almost anything, but the challenge this presents is finding the technology that will suit your business.
Here are 2 scenarios of conversations that could happen when dealing with the dreaded IT salesperson;
Customer: "I need to replace my server"
IT Sales Person: "Ok, we can give you a server that has 2 Intel Xeon Processors, 64Gb RAM, and 4 terabytes of storage"
Customer: "I wonder if I left the oven on this morning"
IT Sales Person: "The switch is a 24 port gigabyte switch that we can manage via the web"
Customer: "Did I need to pick up milk on the way home? Or did we have milk and we are out of bread?
IT Sales Person: "The operating system will be Windows 2012r2, and we need to look at replacing Microsoft Office"
Or it could go like this;
Customer: "I need to replace my server, we have this many staff, with 4 functions in our business and we need to cater for these functions. We also are planning for some moderate growth in the next 3 years and we expect these staff to have a consulting function"
IT Sales Person: "Ok, can you tell me more about each of these functions and what tasks these staff need to perform so we can match the right technology to the function"
The second scenario moves right away from the technology and allows you to both focus on the business and what your requirements are so your staff can be productive. You then don't have to worry about engaging in a technical conversation (which many of you are not comfortable to do) and focus on how the proposed technical solution facilitates your business functions.
The sales person should spend far less time telling you what is in the server and tell you how the server will facilitate your requirements.
Every single time a sales person tells you about a "feature" of their offering, you have to ask "how will that benefit me, and how does that impact what I'm trying to achieve?"
If you are met with a blank look than you know that "feature" was a part of the "smoke and mirrors show".