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[BEST OF] What CISOs Love That Vendors Do

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Dear cybersecurity vendors, way to go!

After I came back from Black Hat, I had some time to evaluate what vendors were doing on the exhibition floors and map that back to what I’d heard from my previous podcast guest.

Some analysis and episode cutting developed a beautiful creature of an episode:

The Best of What CISOs Love That Vendors Do

What does that mean?

In every episode, I ask my guest one critical question:

"What's one thing a vendor has done that has made you feel good?"

So, I've compiled a pretty sweet list of things that make CISOs and security practitioners happy.

Even if you don’t win on customer acquisition today, if you make people feel good, they’ll remember you forever.

It’s a win-win!

So, do me a favor, have a listen.

And, as always, apply those insights.

Dear Cybersecurity Vendors, Start (or Keep On) Doing This:

  • Save their bacon
  • Respect their time
  • Be fast to respond to emails
  • Ungate information on websites
  • Keep support lines exceptionally short
  • Be open to fixing things that you broke
  • Do not sell them something they do not need
  • Be fast to provide support even if you’re slammed
  • Be authentic, transparent, and speak their language
  • Do research to help, guide, and advocate for your clients
  • Don’t try to sell your platform at thought leadership events
  • Constantly improve messaging at conferences and digitally
  • Be very approachable in the technical support side of things
  • Be open to taking the heat and criticism when things go awry
  • Have realistic conversations about how you can and cannot help
  • Bring in more security researchers and pentesters who are women
  • Host events that promote diversity, equity and inclusion in cybersecurity
  • Spark genuine conversations about life vs. deep conversations about security
  • Ditch swag at events and allow prospects to donate to their favorite non-profit
  • If you do not have a solution to their problem, find the people that will help them
  • Be intentional about the channels and media being used to provide them content
  • Do everything possible for a project to succeed vs. onboarding and ghosting them
  • Embrace failure and lean in to learn how to improve to fix the issue that was caused
  • Send out useful emails about releases or betas to look out for that will help them do their job
  • Respond quickly to emails to solve technical issues vs. telling them to send a ticket to the support desk
  • Subscribe to their mission of doing the right thing for the right reason even if means you might not make a profit right away
  • Sponsor a big women's event and make them feel welcome, especially in spaces where they’re still vastly underrepresented
  • Provide a direct line to a really good pre-sales professional or technician that knows the code of the system they are working with
  • Roll up your sleeves and work with them to solve unexpected problems that arise when using your solution, even during inconvenient times
  • Use a more polite way of communication to make buyers feel like they are getting value and education that will make them more successful at their job

That’s it.

30 quick tips on how to make security pros happy and continue a long-term collaboration with them.


  • Respect their time
  • Keep support lines short
  • Don’t sell them something they don’t need
  • Teach them something they already don’t know
  • Go above and beyond to help them solve challenges
  • Do the right thing for the right reasons. The money will come
  • Be radically honest about when you can and cannot help them

Oh and if you’re interested in hearing what they absolutely hate, check out The Best of What CISOs Hate (+ The Alternative)

Interested in sponsoring an episode like this with your target buyer?

→ Reserve your sponsorship here. ($2,575)

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