Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Potty Training Businesses

My son is 2 years old. Now when I say he's two years old, that usually brings to mind a 3 ft tall human who sprints around screaming for no apparent reason, has absolutely no bodily shame, (everyone knows, you can run much faster without the nuisance of clothing.)
and will cry at the drop of a hat over the fact that the object with which they want to move and or play with is over nine times their size and more than quadruple their body weight. I feel like my little monster gets a bad rap just because he's 2. Yes, he does do those things but he's polite to a fault, even in the midst of a huge tantrum, "NO THANK YOU MOMMA!" always follows the bouts of unintelligible screaming. His imagination is enviable; sometimes I don't exactly know what the story line is that we are playing but he always makes sure to tell me when I'm a T-Rex and when I'm supposed to be a duck. Or a robot. Or a carrot. (I didn't do that last one correctly. Apparently, I was NOT supposed to lay still on the floor.)

Amid all of this chaotic fun, my husband and I feel that full on toilet use for him is *just* around the corner. Some days, that corner feels like a huge labyrinth that we just can't get around.
It started innocently enough; my son would tell me when he had to go potty, eventually he would tell me when he needed to go "doody". He would wake up from naps and sleeping through the night with a dry diaper. And then... I got a little too excited. The thought of being done with changing diapers was too much for me to handle- I was ready to start making diaper-mache animals in celebration, throwing them insanely in the air and laughing like a crazed goon. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that my dear, sweet, whimsical child likes using his potty seat as a hat. In retrospect, I may have emotionally scarred my child by making him sit on his hat to go potty that day. I can still hear the heart breaking sobs, "My hat Momma! Itsss myyyy HAAAATTTTTT!" But, not all was lost but a few tears that evening. We ended it on a watery-eyed note with a little tinkle in the toilet.
Fast-forward to last month. We bought a little Elmo potty chair just for our son and some dinosaur big boy underwear. Within 12 hours of purchasing said items, little man had changed his mind. It wasn't just a hemming and hawing that could be persuaded into using the potty chair by candy or a cookie or taking a trip in the motor-home. (Yes. My husband is incredibly proud that our son is in love with our motor-home. As I'm not a boy, I fail to understand or comprehend this.) It was a full on NO. Actually, I take that back. His exact words to me were, "No thank you, Momma. I absowutewy not go potty." We tried everything, from putting Cheerios in the bottom of the bowl for him to "shoot" (Worst idea ever. If you choose to go this route, pick a cereal or food item your child DOESN'T like.) to letting him sit on his Elmo potty WHILE wearing his potty seat hat. We tried candy, popsicles, books, letting him play his Dinosaur Train game on my phone... all to no avail.

As I was trying to figure out a new game plan for reassuring my opinionated kiddo that going potty in the toilet wasn't something he should be afraid of; (even though it wasn't a necessity for him to be potty trained right now, it would be a necessity later in life) it struck me how similar this situation was to selling our product to businesses. 

Being in sales, it can be daunting to make cold calls into businesses; you in essence are selling a solution by fishing for a problem that often times is not recognized as a solvable issue. It is easy to "jump the gun" within the early stages of the sales process, much like I jumped the gun potty training my son. Push too hard too fast and you lose them. But what about those other customers who agree to the demo of our product, knowing they have a server storage issue but still show signs of fear in proceeding forward with purchase?

To me, its not that far of a stretch to see that if you have a server that has the capacity for up to 10TB of data storage and your business has used 5TB thus far, you may not need an archiving solution today, but you will down the road. I can throw bells and whistles to you as a means to entice you to buy our product but the fact remains, eventually you're either going to have to purchase server after server after server to keep housing your data or you're going to decide to find a solution that will enable you to never have to purchase another server again.

I liken the idea of purchasing server after server after server in my head to my son's pull-ups. Not big boy status yet, but slowly getting there; if your company shells out the money to buy another server, chances are, more rules and policies are set in place so as to keep that server from getting filled up again. While it's easy to see that if my son would just give in and start using the toilet regularly so we don't have to go through the hourly potty checks, could start wearing big boy underwear and not pull-ups that EVERYONE in our household would be much happier and feel more independent; its a little harder for companies to see that if they just used an archiving solution there would be fewer policies, fewer backup "accidents" if you will, and a much happier overall business.

I guess at this point in my life, I could truthfully answer the question, "Sarah, what do you do?" with: "I am a potty trainer." Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love my job with Waterford Technologies. But I cannot lie. Potty training my son is way more fun than potty training businesses, though both lend me huge insight and awesome humor.

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