This Is the Key to Securing Your Clients’ Trust
As a general rule, people buy from people they like. If you are not a mind reader, what is it that people like? While I can’t give you all the answers, here are some tips.
The four keys to selling strategically and effectively are simple to identify, but challenging to consistently implement unless they are core to your company sales culture. Let’s examine them:
Likeability: Customers like people who make their work easier with quiet confidence and skills.
Persistence: I like hearing NO! It gives me a great place to start professionally selling.
Curiosity: Be genuinely curious about their business and how you can make it better.
Trust: “Earned Never Given” is our USMC ethos and applies directly to selling.
Master these four characteristics as part of who you are and how you sell, and your sales triumphs will be legendary. Need some help with that journey? Let me recommend a great book and live session with the author and myself, on a date to be determined, at PSA TEC in Denver [Ed. note: PSA has since canceled the event after initially postponing it].
I will be presenting with a professional acquaintance I met six years ago at an ASIS luncheon event where I spoke about physical and logical security convergence.
Let me introduce you to Daniel Schmelzer, director of global physical security for a Fortune 20 company based in Ohio who authored a book, which I strongly endorse, called, “Securing Trust.”
It is appropriately subtitled, “A Guide for Security Technology Sales Professionals Written from the Customer’s Perspective.” Believe me, it certainly is!
This book captures nearly all the success elements that helped me be a sales professional for over 40 years. It is a great investment of your time and money. So what makes it special?
When a very large global customer shares with you how to “sell” them, you best pay attention. It will help with what you must start doing, continue doing and stop doing if you want to earn the trusted advisor relationship that differentiates you from your competitors. But I digress, let’s get back to our core message.
As a general rule, people buy from people they like. If you are not a mind reader, what is it that people like? While I can’t give you all the answers, here is a short version: People like confident people. Be more confident with how you meet, greet and interact with new clients. You know, smile, make eye contact and stand up straight.
When someone new walks into the room, deliver a firm handshake and a “nice to meet you” in a sincere tone of voice and with your eyes as well. Trust starts with first impressions, don’t you think?
You can become more confident through persistence of preparation for your meetings. Do not fall prey to the insidious time vampire that whispers, “there is no time for that” or “it’s only a first meeting.” The prospect will launch you on the pile of other sales amateurs. Beware and prepare!
Building a trust bridge takes time and effort. However, if you have the other foundational elements built on bedrock, you can build that trust because they like you enough, you have done your homework, have a grasp of their business concerns and are confident enough for them to listen to what you have to say. They understand you are seriously prepared and not wasting their time.
Trust bridges are constructed of different materials to withstand time, environmental elements and the gross weight of a customer’s trust and concerns that you will be able to help effectively manage risk. What are these unique materials?
- Knowledge of physical security principles
- Learn what you don’t know early and backfill that knowledge
- Do “risky business” by understanding business risk from your customer’s perspective
- Design safety nets in your solutions to mitigate risk and improve their career safety
- Be the ultimate “general contractor” by helping to build value, communication bridges and by learning the new business language and passport to the territory
- Help your customers create security standards to reduce risks and deliver performance
Working more closely with customers requires a shift in selling tactics and strategies centered around their perspectives, not yours.
Customers take risks awarding project contracts not based on pricing alone, but rather on the competence and confidence of those they choose to work with.
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