What a True Investment in Success Requires
Installing security contractors can stimulate their firms to be financially sound, but many fall well short of providing sufficient preparation to achieve maximum success. Find out how to evaluate if your team’s abilities are being fully realized.
Does your value proposition still rest on low price as the significant differentiator? If so, do you offer the lowest price in your market? If not, how can you expect to profitably grow when there are other security providers out there cheaper than you?
If you refuse to price yourself among the lowest providers perhaps it’s because you believe in your service, your team and the products you represent. You don’t cut corners on security and this is why your service is worth more than the lowest price. That is well and good, but how are you stirring the pot to create and intensify a value proposition? The goal is to be more in control of your own economy, as opposed to the out of control frustration associated with unyielding excuses laying blame for lost sales on price.
Harvested from working with a number of other recurring revenue model industries during the past few years, I’d like to offer you some thoughts and also ask some tough questions. Some of this may hurt a little, but there’s rarely any growth without some pain. Let’s begin with the most important priority.
Open Wallet to Land Top Talent
“Where can I find great salespeople?”
I’m asked this question almost every day by installing security firm owners and managers. My blunt answer is the best way to find great talent is to go out and buy it! That’s how market leaders in just about every industry get there and stay there.
Just about every great company ascended to the top by spending money on recruitment. How else do you honestly expect to attract top talent with a track record of knowing how to make money and also knowing how to pitch, promote and get past the objections? Talented professionals are not afraid of higher prices and possess the skill and confidence to close big deals. So are you truly recruiting top talent or are you looking for people looking for a job?
Nearly every well run security company, regardless of size, can easily afford to invest in talent but typically do not. Why? Because the owner refuses to wipe some dust off his/her wallet. Perhaps he or she has been “burned” in previous years by a vendor or by employees who failed to perform.
Very often, I hear owners say, “I would give anything to improve our profit and performance!” In reality, they mean everything but the money it would cost to do so. Make no mistake, far more money has been lost to procrastination than has ever been lost to determination.
Today, owners who embrace proactive change can reap purpose-driven growth by employing top sales talent together with technology, which is now typically only available through third-party central stations or other third-party vendors.
The world is in constant flux! People who refuse to change the way they view control over new technology will no longer be able to compete with those who recognize that a piece of the pie tastes much better than none of the pie.
Some Tough Questions to Ponder
Once you invest in first-rate talent, how is your company equipped to promote, support and drive them? It is utterly astonishing to me how many companies in our industry make absolutely no commitment to any sales or customer service training whatsoever. In this economy, we should be investing not in a little but in massive training that stimulates constant progress, thereby reinvigorating our teams to deliver much more than they currently do.
What happened to sharpening the skills associated with effective cold call and referral strategies, exciting closing approaches, and workshops on overcoming tough objections? Have we really become a “sales-driven” industry that no longer trains, develops or stimulates our talent to continually improve?
Please tell me we haven’t become so exceedingly arrogant about our RMR that we no longer need sales or customer service training. If so, perhaps the perception of being “burned” by the talent you bought way back when was in reality your own fault by failing to invest in ongoing training to build them up, encourage and ultimately propel them to greatness.
How do you support the talent you have on your team right now? Are you training or motivating your sales and customer service managers to get in the game and bring it? A sales manager must show their team they not only still know how to sell, but that they also know how to push, inspire, motivate, drive and lead by example with new levels of possibilities.
Many managers have been beaten up for a long time in this low-price market we have created for ourselves, and they’re drained of energy and ideas. Consequently, there is much to consider:
- Are your managers being inspired so they can pour back into the their team and win?
- What have you invested in customer service training to help shore up your frontline to restore their enthusiasm and capability to save more subscribers from canceling?
- Are they capable of more?
- How do they get better at defusing angry customers rather than simply passing problems up the ladder for others to deal with?
- How can you honestly expect to passionately stimulate growth throughout your organization when you refuse to invest in such decisive requisites as talent and training?
- What is your value proposition to create growth in 2012 and what catalysts will you employ to stimulate continuous improvement throughout your organization?
What’s Missing in Training Choices
Major industry conferences and association events offer education on everything from trends to technology and on selling your business to finding new products to sell. What you typically cannot find are seminars and workshops on invigorating sales-closing techniques and exercises on working through tough objections or becoming better equipped to hand a prospect the proverbial pen.
A considerable amount of available training coursework lacks professional education that imparts meaningful takeaway on specific tools to save more customers from canceling, defusing and redirecting angry ones. You need to create value and differentiation as opposed to just delivering the lowest price. What we must demand is education on specifics that help us exceed customer service expectations, valuable communication competencies and ways to restore organizational enthusiasm from the top down.
Vendor-based education has become the rule rather than the exception at our large industry and association conferences. However, a handful of state alarm associations, equipment distributors and third-party centrals have begun to invest in extraordinary educational opportunities for their dealers. They understand the importance of helping businesses grow and become more competitive. Some of them have even made sales and customer service education a large part of their own value proposition because they understand that when their dealers grow, they’ll grow right along with them.
Perhaps 2012 will be the year we start pickin
g up much more of the low-hanging fruit that goes unrealized so much of the time. You can motivate your team to become completely independent and financially successful regardless of a bad economy, but you must be willing to embrace change and commit to training the team. Progress or procrastination, how passionate is your pursuit?
Bob Harris is President of Los Angeles-based Attrition Busters, offering seminars, workshops, and consulting services for recurring revenue model businesses. He can be reached at (818) 730-4690 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit attritionbusters.com.
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