Start at the Beginning – Who, What, How…

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ASIS 2014 is this week.  Within the industry, there should be a great deal of trade coverage of the event, new products, trends, and presentations.  In other words, the opportunities for educating, awareness, networking, and sales should be significant.

The process reminds me of my own responsibility as I work locally with Security Integrators and End-Users in the Midwest.  What I have found is that many know me, personally, as a Security Professional, yet I am finding many do not know my employer, Anixter, as well as others might imagine.

That presents me with my own educational and awareness opportunities.  I have found I cannot assume that my prospective customer base knows Anixter and all that we offer.  Yes, we are a Fortune 500 company, Yes we operate in 50 countries, Yes we just bought another major US security distributor.  And the list goes on.

Yet, to many a prospective customer, this is unknown and/or not enough of a foundation of “Who is Anixter” upon which to build a relationship with me.

My lesson here (one I learned long before joining Anixter) is that my interaction with prospective customers (even current customers) should always start at the beginning.

This means an exchange that outlines who we are and what we do.  Done well, a talented sales professional can gauge how “deep” and how “wide” one needs to go in setting this foundation.  Not done, or done poorly, and you will have missed sales opportunities and customers who consider you and your company to be more one-dimensional than you really are.

How does this tie-in with the ASIS show this week?  Well, around 200 (round numbers) of those exhibitors who are working to educate, network, and explain their company, products, and solutions to the ASIS attendees are from companies that Anixter partners with and represents when we explain our abilities to customers and prospective customers.

Many reading this (or with whom I meet) are surprised to learn this.  Some think Anixter has a couple lines of IP/Network Cameras and is all high-end enterprise IT-only focused.  They are surprised to learn we can offer so much more.  Surprised that I will take the time to suggest options (and cautions) for one covert camera, or that I can provide maglocks, door contacts, PoE extenders, intercoms, and so much more.

I have a story to tell about my employer and the solutions we have to offer–and that same process is taking place at the ASIS show this week.  Always start at the beginning!

*Please note a disclaimer required by my employer–While I work at Anixter, the content of this site, opinions, observations, writing, and commentary are my own and may not reflect the position of Anixter.

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