Keeping people safe and secure has become one of the primary responsibilities of management at today’s organizations. With the wide range of different hardware and software available to meet that objective, it can be challenging to determine what best suits the needs of a particular facility. Even once a prospective purchaser has made the determination to deploy a specific product or system, there are still many decisions to be made.
To help customers through this process, ideally there should be a person they could turn to for a consultative point of view. This would be someone with a great depth of knowledge both on the products they are considering and on their particular application. This person should also be completely agnostic when it comes to brands, in order to give a fully fair and honest perspective on the best choice to meet all security goals.
These are some of the qualities that make a great security systems salesperson. If you are in the market for physical security products, it is imperative that you find a salesperson who will deliver this level of service – and if you are in sales, this should be your approach to customer relationships.
Here are 10 traits that are a “must have”:
1. They Listen
The only way to truly help someone is to understand their problem. A great listener does so fully, not just waiting for their turn to speak. When a person really listens, they gain a better understanding, know what questions to ask, and have a better baseline from which to help their customer.
2. They are Subject Matter Experts
When a customer is trying to find the best product – whether it’s a security entrance, a video camera or a PSIM – their best resource is someone who has great depth of knowledge on that very thing. Technical aptitude is another huge plus.
3. They Ask Good Questions
A salesperson should ask thought provoking questions to understand the “why”…like “what are some recent security problems you have experienced?” This will help the customer give more thought to their answer, in turn helping the salesperson understand and serve them better.
4. They Give Their Time
It takes time to understand the customer’s pain points. If you perceive you are being rushed, you probably haven’t had the chance to communicate your needs. The outcome is likely to be solutions that are not a good fit for your situation.
5. They Build Relationships
A sale is never a one-time interaction, especially with something as important, complex and potentially costly as a security solution. Good salespeople understand the importance of providing occasional after-hours service, advice, and, at times, simple kindness.
6. They Understand the Budget Process
End users plan based on budgets and fiscal years, and large purchases often must be scheduled to fit within this framework. Additionally, organizations have different budgets for capital expenditures, which are large one-time investments, and operational costs, which are ongoing. There may also be a difference between how leased space and owned facilities are treated.
Knowing about these things, and how they function within organizations, makes it possible for a salesperson to have a more informed conversation that helps their prospect actually get approval for their purchase.
7. They Know How to Break Down Silos
There are often numerous steps along the way to getting a solution approved. The initial research may be done by a security manager, who then has to get the approval of the C-suite as well as Procurement. A salesperson who can help with communication and understanding for all internal stakeholders can help move a solution forward.
8. They Sell Based on Impact
The word “solution” is often used to mean a product or system – but in reality, a true solution should have a positive impact on the user by solving a problem for them.
For example, a data center director might have experienced a crime during which unauthorized people entered the facility using stolen credentials. A good salesperson could recommend installation of a security mantrap portal with facial recognition, which would neutralize that threat by validating each cardholder’s identity and ensuring only that one person can enter using that set of credentials. That’s a recommendation that would have a truly positive impact.
9. They Understand Risk and Liability
Risk takes a lot of different forms, all of them threats to the organization. An active shooter can cause injuries and loss of life, but the harm does not end there. There can be property damage, business interruptions, professional liability and even personal liability for management. By understanding all of the different ways that risk can affect an organization, a salesperson can provide a high level of value to customers.
10. They Think Like a Criminal
It’s not enough to address just one vulnerability – that leaves the end-user exposed to potential crimes. By thinking about all the different ways a criminal might act, and where the end user could be vulnerable, a salesperson can do more to help their customer.
Of course, not every security systems salesperson is going to have all of these traits. However, by recognizing what to strive for, whether you are a customer or a salesperson, you can make the sales process the best experience it can possibly be.