DIY and MIY: How #ProSecurity Sales Teams Can Win
By Gretchen Gordon
The security industry has been notoriously stable – with growing revenues, continued marketplace penetration, numerous capital resources for growth and opportunities for wealth accumulation by company owners. Not even the great recession of 2007-2009 derailed many industry businesses.
But time marches on, and, in the words of Bob Dylan, “times they are a changin’.”
Two trends are now threatening the industry and getting much attention. We refer to them as DIY (do it yourself) and MIY (monitor it yourself) and they are having a real impact on security businesses — especially the residential components of the industry.
So, what can be done?
How to Beat ’Em
If you have a traditionally operated, successful security company offering professionally installed systems, stay the course.
Spewing your advantages to prospective clients about why a professionally installed system is better than doing it themselves won’t yield much success. And don’t stick your head in the sand by ignoring the threat of non-traditional competitors. It is real. There is a segment of the population that gets excited about available DIY and MIY options.
To beat ’em, you must embrace the threat. Now, more than ever, security company sales professionals must be savvier and more refined. This means three things:
Know Your Target Market
Who is the ideal client for how you choose to operate? Is it the individual who just bought their first house and can barely pay the mortgage, let alone pay for a professionally installed security system? Maybe not. They are more likely a great fit for a low-cost DIY scenario. It doesn’t mean that they won’t be a client down the road, they’re just not ideal now.
Be very clear about who your ideal clients are and why. And be realistic. So many folks in the industry say they can serve anyone and everyone. Be more granular. Sure, you can serve everyone, but is everyone the best fit?
If they don’t have the money, they aren’t a prospect. And, if they have the money but they don’t see the value in spending it with you, they are also not a prospect. Be honest and focused in defining your target market.
Know Your Value Proposition
What is the value to the client of doing business with you instead of a competitor? You should know this for each key competitor and each type of competitor you have.
For instance, your differentiated value as compared to a professionally installed, national–brand system is different from your value compared to an online seller of DIY systems.
Be sure to identify this through the eyes of the client. Drill down to what your best clients value about what you and your team provide, then define who the prospective clients are that would value those same things.
Questions to Help Prospects Choose You
The third critical step in beating the competition is to create a list of questions that help differentiate you. Rather than telling a prospect why your company is so great, create a list of questions to ask that help them understand you offer what really matters to them.
I’m not talking about technical questions like how many doors, how many windows, who is coming and going and when, etc. It should be a list of questions that gets to the core of what the prospect is thinking. Ones that identify how they will make decisions and why.
Here’s an example that skips the puffery and asks about what the prospect thinks regarding something in your value proposition: Instead of saying, “Mr. Prospect, we are locally owned and operated since 1973.” Ask, “How important is it to you that the operators who monitor your system are local residents in touch with what is going in our city?”
If they say it isn’t a big deal or isn’t a differentiator compared to other solutions they are considering, move on to the next question. Keep asking questions using items that differentiate you from the competition until you find something that is important to the prospect. The more you can pose questions that get them thinking about ways your offering is different, the more likely they are to see the differences for themselves and make a purchase.
Gretchen is a sales performance expert transforming the productivity and effectiveness of ESA Member company’s sales teams to boost revenue. Learn more about exclusive ESA Member sales development programs with our choice service partner Braveheart Sales Performance.