Security Business

JUL 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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26 Security Business / www.SecurityInfoWatch.com / July 2019 Modern Selling BY CHRIS PETERSON How to Create an 'Addicted Customer' Loyalty may be dying in today's sales world, but these tips will ensure customers will never buy from anyone else "Customer loyalty is dead." "All they care about is price." "Customers would rather nd bad information online than call me for the facts." Sound familiar? These and dozens of other similar statements should sound familiar because they are valid. While customers were more loyal and willing to build personal relationships 15 years ago, they do not seem to care about salespeople today. Instead of blaming our customers for this change or accepting this situation as the status quo, let’s take a look at the changes that they have experienced in the last decade or two. A salesperson used to have a point of contact (POC) at each account. In general, if they met their budget, the POC made purchasing decisions. Once the first sale was made, the salesperson would build a relationship with the POC. They would go to lunch, work together on projects, and attend non-work events like ballgames or personal dinners. When the POC needed to buy something, they would buy it from their salesperson – even if the salesperson’s company made a mistake or two, the POC would always give them extra chances for two reasons: There was a trusting friendship; and also because no one ever challenged the decision. Today, most decisions are made by committee, and everyone can access information about every decision. Even people who don’t understand the difference between access control and intrusion detection can find enough ammunition online to challenge a Security Director’s decision. Trusting relationship or not, POCs must validate all decisions today. The result is a perception that customers are not loyal, only care about price and listen to Google more than they listen to their sales professional. This perception may be accurate, but it is not the customer’s fault. Salespeople have not given them any reasons to be loyal. They have not made their customers addicted to them. Loyalty may be dead, but addicted customers will never buy from anyone else. Here are five ways to make your customers addicted to buying from you: 1. Find problems before bringing solutions. Google finds solutions; great salespeople find problems. If they do not, their customers are always catching up to fix problems after they happen. Find problems for your customers before they happen, and they will become addicted to buying from you. 2. Conduct vision meetings. Account managers do account review meetings; great sales professionals lead “vision meetings” – an annual meeting with key stakeholders and led by the salesperson. While an account review meeting summarizes the past and present, a vision meeting focuses on the next three to five years. Lead a customer’s vision, and they will become addicted to buying from you. 3. Ask them to be part of your organization. The best way to elevate a relationship to a trusting friendship is to ask a customer for a favor. When they help you, they feel part of your organization. Invite them to be in a user group, test new technology, host site visits to potential new customers, etc. When they become part of your organization, they will become addicted to buying from you. 4. Become sticky throughout multiple departments. To win the committee, a salesperson must win each person on the committee. Do not limit these actions to security or facilities. Navigate throughout the organization and become an addiction to human resources, IT, finance, sales, marketing, etc. 5. Prioritize. No salesperson can do all these things for every customer, so prioritize accounts to make sure that your best accounts are addicted to working with you. Make sure the others are happy, but the top 10-20 percent of accounts need to be addicted to you. ■ » Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (www.vectorfirm.com), a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. To request more info about the company, visit www.securityinfowatch.com/12361573.

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