Security Business

JUN 2019

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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22 Security Business / / June 2019 Modern Selling BY CHRIS PETERSON Modern-Day Networking Six ways to maximize your number of new business connections In today’s world of selling security systems, networking is more important than cold calling; however, the goal of networking has changed. While networking has historically been about meeting as many people as possible, new connections do not matter today unless they perceive the salesperson as competent. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is no longer true – today, it is what you know and who knows you know it (read that again). Here are six ideas to follow that will make you a master in modern-day networking: 1. Join the right associations. Most salespeople join groups that are full of industry people, and attend events where they are one of dozens of security salespeople. In this situation, they end up competing for facetime with prospective new customers. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then join associations whose members are business leaders, but are not focused on security. Ideally, you will be the only security professional among dozens of managers – for example, Rotary, Toastmasters, Chambers of Commerce, etc. 2. Follow-up and maintain relationships. The difference between socializers and networkers is follow-up – unfortunately, most people never do that. Two days after an event, contact the qualified people you met and schedule an appointment. Yes, two days – this slight delay will give them a day to contact you first. After the initial follow-up, the great networkers continue to maintain and grow those relationships. This process can be as simple as scheduling a lunch or coffee meeting every few months. 3. Speak. The most effective way to become known as an expert is to speak in front of an audience. As long as the content being delivered is not nonsense, the person behind the lectern is usually perceived as intelligent. Volunteer to speak in front of any group that includes business leaders – even if they are not security people. Getting introduced to a security director by a GM or COO will save you months of prospecting. 4. Build long-term relationships with the key consultants and contractors. One of the best endorsements a salesperson can receive is from a consultant or contractor; however, there are dozens of these companies that are irrelevant or not suited to your marketplace. Identify a few that can make an impact on your business and proactively build relationships with them. 5. Start a private networking group. This is a group of three to six people who call on the same accounts in related departments – for example, a networking group may consist of salespeople from a security integrator, an IT company, a landscaping business, an HVAC company and a local commercial bank. The salespeople meet regularly and help each other get into prospective accounts. A private networking group is not a leads group. While a leads group requires members bring in contact information to give to other members – and practically do zero qualification or introduction – members of a private networking group bring their needs to the group and the other members schedule appointments for them. For example, in a private networking group, you may request help getting into XYZ Healthcare, and the other members develop a strategy to schedule an appointment for you with the right person at XYZ Healthcare. When done correctly, a strong private networking group can be the most powerful source of new business that you have ever experienced. 6. Exercise a social media routine. Like most things, networking has become digital and mobile. Conduct a social media routine for 10 minutes per day to grow your reputation of being a subject matter expert. For our industry, LinkedIn is the most effective network. Every day, scroll through your feed and act – post educational content, share relevant information, comment on others’ posts, etc. ■ » Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (, a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. To request more info about the company, visit

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