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Are Your Salespeople Selling You Down the River?

Four security experts, including dealers and consultants, deliver suggestions for strategies that will help steer your new salespeople on the road to success.

Anything for a sale. For many of us that is a scary statement, but there are a fair number of salespeople with that mentality and conduct. Much worse are the sales managers, executives and owners who encourage that type of behavior, support it by looking the other way or are flat-out incompetent.

These companies effectively have predatory sharks sniffing the waters for any bits of chum to attack, devour and the coldly move on. Their supervisors either don’t understand or don’t give a damn of how that approach ultimately undermines the reputation and long-term success of that business, let alone the harm it inflicts upon the industry itself.

This is particularly true in a field like security where clients’ well-being is supposed to be the primary objective, and in an age in which building trusted relationships as consultative partners is paramount.

Look, everyone wants their salespeople to possess a certain degree of tenacity, but there is a substantial difference between a go-getter and a scruples-forgetter. Sales being the lifeblood of an organization does not make vampires any less monstrous.

How many times have you, as an installer, technician, customer care representative, central station operator or another customer-facing position, been confronted with a customer who was misinformed or misled by the sales rep? All too often as those salespeople are celebrating their conquests and enjoying the commissions the supporting staff is bearing the brunt of misinformation or empty promises. That in no way fosters a strong corporate culture and positive morale.

But getting back to management’s role in this equation; that is where the true blame lies. After all, in many instances salespeople are never properly trained or given subsequent reinforcement and guidance. I believe this area is not only one of the most critical but also one of the most neglected or overlooked aspects of the sales and marketing function within many industries, including security systems installation.

To get some pointers, I presented four renowned experts with a question: What are some tips to get new salespeople off to the right start?

Here is now they responded:

Bob Harris, president, Attrition Busters:
There is no better way to create enthusiasm in a new salesperson than to give them the tools to succeed. Once they go through your in-house training, why not bring in an outside expert to empower them with real-life examples and specific ways to succeed?

Educate them on what makes you stand apart from everyone else selling the same products and services. Show them how to get in the game and not drop their pants to low price by becoming proficient at differentiating themselves and your company in meaningful ways that will add value.

Russ Ackerman, author of “Proven Sales Strategies”:
The new salesperson must have confidence that he or she can do the job, see that achieving success with their new company is very likely and must realize success quickly. The manager must understand new salespeople always have some degree of anxiety and nervousness. The manager or top salesperson must get out in the field with the new recruit.

Sales training is not only done in the office but in the field. A good sales manager is willing to go out with the new salesperson and help him or her close sales. Celebrate small steps of success. When the new salesperson generates an appointment or makes that first sale everyone should celebrate the event. Pay special attention to new salespeople. The sales manager must spend some one-on-one time at least once a week for the first few weeks to evaluate the success and needs of the new salesperson.”

Paul Boucherle, principal, Matterhorn Consulting:
A well-disciplined onboarding, continual training, mentoring and setting a realistic ramp up to productivity, or RUTP, process. We help our clients map out a 12-month process that has proven successful in nurturing and retaining sales talent.

Melissa Brinkman, CEO, Custom Alarm:
Teaching them the technology and scheduling them out with technicians and other salespeople can be a successful plan. You want them to understand the why and believe in it or they won’t be successful. Going out with technicians on installations and service calls gives them the chance to see and hear many different stories and builds up a toolbox for them to hit the ground running with compelling stories and confidence in what they are doing. Having them roleplay and practice with the team is helpful too.”

About the Author

Contact:

Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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