SECURITY DEALERS THAT UPSELL both upfront and after the initial sale are dealers who have it right. Knowing when, where and how to upsell is, of course, one of the most important aspects of the process. If it’s not performed in good taste and for seemingly valid reasons, it could very well chase a prospect away or make an existing client a past customer, either of which is not an acceptable outcome.
“It seems that a typical salesperson in the security business will not always take the time to explain all the services available. I believe that most of the time this is because they’re afraid that if they do, it might scare the prospect away,” says Mike Simon, managing partner of Connected Technologies of Crystal Lake, Ill.
It’s really not that difficult to make the case for increased security as long as the salesman is honest with the buyer on the upfront. Think of it this way: Just because a single motion detector without window protection works for the average small home, just because three motions and a limited number of switched windows is workable for most small commercial structures, doesn’t mean that these same equations will work in every case. Upselling is simply the act of offering additional protection and validating why it’s necessary.
This would seem to be common sense for security professionals. And yet, as Simon says, many of us are willing to make a sure sale, often a minimum sale, without telling the client about all the bells and whistles. This approach allows you to earn a certain commission and obtain a monitoring account without shaking the apple tree and having the client run in the other direction. At the same time, it leaves money sitting on the table. Many salespeople also use this approach because they have learned that if you give the prospect(s) too many choices; they may end up not buying anything. This is because they are unable to make up their mind, so there has to be a balance.
Just because a single motion detector without window protection works for the average small home, just because three motions and a limited number of switched windows is workable for most small commercial structures, doesn’t mean that these same equations will work in every case. Upselling is simply the act of offering additional protection and validating why it’s necessary.
Simon’s message is, “Let the prospect decide what he or she wants, don’t make up their minds for them.” Be honest with the client by giving them the minimum requirements for their situation. Provide them with the various add-ons in the form of options on the bid, but always with actionable causes and reasons why they may or may not need them.
The main text ahead offers some general upsell strategies for the enterprising security dealer.
1. Find the Client’s Pain Point
Sometimes it’s what a prospect doesn’t tell you that speaks more than what they do say. Perhaps it’s a personal issue that prevented them from mentioning an important factor in the decision of what to buy, or perhaps they don’t realize the importance of an issue in their situation. Be thorough in your investigation and ensuing analysis so you can provide them with a proposal that includes numerous options that center on known needs rather than fear and emotion, a tactic that can and often will chase people away.
“First of all, you have to understand a client’s pain point(s),” says Simon. “In all likelihood the prospect has approached me about security because of a pain point — something that concerns them. It’s my job as an alarm dealer to find out what it is and to provide a variety of solutions.”
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Perhaps the prospect is a municipal judge and he’s concerned about reprisals by criminals that he sent to prison in the past. Maybe the person in front of you is a banker. Or maybe it’s a personal issue where the woman you’re talking with is afraid of a violent ex-husband who was recently released from jail. Maybe the reason why they called involves numerous break-ins in the surrounding neighborhood. In any case, additional protection that reaches above and beyond the norm may be well justified and it’s up to you as a security professional to give the client a number of options and provide reasons why they should consider each.
Here’s the thing: No one knows what that pain point is without asking the right questions. Be thorough, take your time, listen to what the client has to say and find out what their need is before you decide what he or she should buy. Lay it all out with a thorough proposal that includes a well thought-out base bid along with a number of add-ons.
Continue to the next page for how to use system integration to upsell…
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