Of course I want people to buy my products and security solutions. Yet I spend 50% of my time talking to people with whom I meet about how THEY can sell more. About taking THEIR core product, adding other quality features to it to differentiate it, and to solve their end user/customer challenges in ways their competitors won’t.
To me it seems obvious. My work matters. I work within the security field. I have for many years now.
The early years of my career were filled with rewarding work within Security Management, Investigations, and Operations. My work protected people. Good people like employees, customers, vendors, and others benefited from life safety and physical security systems I managed and directed. My work investigated and addressed challenges in the workplace like sexual harassment, employee fraud, and organized crime. I trained staff in workplace safety, being first responders and even self-defense training.
I sell, It’s true. Yet I am unlike any Salesperson you know.
As a Salesperson I am rejected daily without regard for my insights, talents, expertise, integrity and offerings.
Yes, I realize that stopping in unannounced at your facility while I am in the area can be seen as an unwelcome disruption.
Yet the tone and inflection in your first question, “Are you a salesperson?” has given you away. The Gatekeeper shields go up and the stage is set.
How are you at spotting trends, predicting future behavior, and connecting the dots within your chosen profession?
More importantly, how well do you act on that information? Do your resulting actions advance your career, land a big sale, result in a new product or service that becomes a huge hit? Do you fail to act? Are you blindsided before acting? Do you take actions that result in poor outcomes?
No matter my role….Sales Director, Account Executive, Business Development, Sales Mentor…….my selling of security technology (hardware, software, and services) boils down to hard work. Honing one’s craft, if you will.
I’ve done it door-to-door (starting at age 8! – and again later in life). I’ve done it with cold phone calls – residential, commercial, and at the enterprise level. I’ve done it walking through factories, jails, chemical plants, hospitals, schools, utilities, hotels and more. I’ve presented to Executives, Architects, Consultants, IT Departments, Facilities, Law Enforcement, and every flavor of Security Professional you can imagine.
- Salesperson 1 shows up two hours late to an appointment with no call, email, or explanation upon arrival.
- Salesperson 2 backtracks on prior, written, sales programs, resorting to name-calling in the process.
- Salesperson 3 “drops in” unannounced and offers no focus/value.
- Salesperson 4 fails to return phone calls and emails – and allows his staff to justify the behavior.
- Salesperson 5 uses the same canned message for every type of prospective customer.
I know sales quite well. I engage with salespeople all day long. I also sell.
If you are in Sales are you a Giver or a Taker? Most in the sales business are Takers.
Sales Account Executives who are Takers (similar to, but not to be confused with order-takers) have an expectation that a customer will lay out a nice tidy outline of what they want to buy.
I had a great Sales Mentor. Bill Dobson sold nationwide more than 80 years ago. And were he here today, he would outsell all of us. He’d use every available tool…old and new…..from social media to sitting across the table listening to a “soon-to-be customer.”