Security Business

NOV 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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66 Security Dealer & Integrator / November 2018 Modern Selling BY CHRIS PETERSON How to Beat Low-Cost Providers Six ways salespeople can compete in a price-driven market One of the most common reasons that salespeople lose business is because their competition was less expensive. As our world is becoming flatter and the do-it-yourself customer is becoming more common, price is becoming more significant every year. How can you compete while continuing to deliver high value? Here are six best practices to competing and beating low-cost providers: 1 Let them know you will be more expensive. Winning a sales opportunity after surprising your prospect with the highest price is like walking up a hill of ice – it is possible, but you are going to get hurt along the way. When you know that you will be the most expensive, let your prospect know as early as possible. Don’t be a jerk, just humbly explain: “In our experience of competing against these other two companies, we are usually more expensive, so I assume we will be the highest on this project as well. I just wanted you to know so there will be no surprises.” 2 Sell yourself. Your goal is to make your prospect willing to pay extra for you – not your company, services or products…for you. During the selling process, be the most professional salesperson possible. Make sure your prospect understands the unique things that you do after the job has been awarded. Make them addicted to working with you and wanting more. 3 Develop an internal champion. You cannot bash the competition, but your internal champion most definitely can. After establishing a relationship with your champion, make sure that they understand your superiority over the low-cost competitors. You can be as transparent as: “I hate to say these things about a competitor, but I feel like you should see this comment from one of their customers. I’m not going to show this to your board – that’s my style – but I want you to know.” 4 Give them a taste. If I do not get upgraded to first class on a flight, I always pay a little more for the economy premium seats. Why? Because I have sat in them before and cannot go back to standard coach. Give (or sell at your cost) something to your prospective customers. For example, offer to conduct a risk assessment or fix a challenging problem they have faced for months. Let them see, touch, and feel the difference between working with you and the cheap guys. If you do this right, they will never go back. 5 Know your differentiators. When I ask 10 salespeople to tell me their company’s differentiators, I get 15 different answers. This idea is simple, but rarely do salespeople fully understand and clearly articulate their company’s differentiators. Once you are able to do this, you will be able to answer the question, but also will be able to hold yourself higher throughout the selling process. Fully understanding the factors that make you better is a key confidence builder, and your prospects will spot your poise a mile away. 6 Justify the extra expense, but mind your timing. Most salespeople have an ROI graph that illustrates a higher initial investment making logical sense in the long term. This is an excellent way to help a customer justify spending; however, salespeople tend to do this too soon. If you present this justification too soon, you will not get a prospect’s full cooperation; however, once you make them into a raving fan of yours, that prospect will go out of their way to support your justification. » Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (www., a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. Request more info about the company at "When I ask 10 salespeople to tell me their company's differentiators, I get 15 different answers . Rarely do salespeople fully understand and clearly articulate their company's differentiators."

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