This article originally appeared in the July 2022 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.
When my wife and I bought our house, we inherited a yard that was about five times the size of our previous one. I was going to need to purchase a bunch of new equipment to maintain the lawn and landscaping; or I could hire someone to do it.
So, I gathered data and did the math. I shopped for lawn mowers, edgers, blowers, weed whackers, etc. I then asked three companies to give me a price on what it would cost to take care of my yard. The results came back at about $800 for the equipment and $125 per month for a service. The math is clear, isn’t it? After six months, I would be losing money with a service. I could mow and take care of my yard and save thousands every few years.
I could do it myself, right? Yes, I could do it myself, but should I? Nope, I hired the service!
The biggest obstacle most salespeople face when selling services is their own mindset. Salespeople have been told by a million different forums that they should never try to sell someone a product or service they do not need. When selling services – whether an extended maintenance agreement, cloud services to host a customer’s video, or managed services of an access control system – most companies do not need you to do it for them. They can do it themselves, but should they? Most of the time, the answer is no.
How to Change the Mindset of Sales Teams
If salespeople are serious about selling services, then they need to get past the mindset of only selling the things that customers need. The value a great salesperson brings is to identify what a customer should be doing to make their situation better. When considering services delivered by security companies, here are three things to help change the mindsets of salespeople.
1. Your company will do a better job than you customer will. In the 10 years since hiring a lawn service, they have done a better job on our yard every single time than I could have done. Why? Because that is their craft, and they get paid for it. The result for customers will be significantly better if your company delivers your services instead of them doing it themselves – it is what you do, and you are getting paid for it.
2. Your clients can focus on their core competence. During the 100 hours per year that I do not spend mowing our yard, I take my daughter to the movies, play golf, workout, play in our pool, take my wife to lunch, or write an article for Security Business. I focus on my core competencies and the things I want to experience. If you sell your services to your clients, you will be giving them this gift of time.
3. The total cost of ownership virtually always makes sense. Sure, the up-front math did not make sense for my lawn service decision; however, I didn’t count the fuel, maintenance, equipment replacement every few years, and the value of my time in that math. Yes, the beauty of a professionally manicured yard and the benefits I gain from doing other things are worth the $125 per month, but it is not just the value; even the costs make sense over time. It is the same with your services when you count the labor, materials, server replacements, space, and other miscellaneous expenses that come with doing it yourself. Yes, the value you deliver is worth it, but when you dig below the surface, the costs also usually make sense.
If you want to sell more services, your mindset must be focused on the improvement of a customer’s situation, not just their needs. Remember, maybe they can do it themselves, but should they?
Chris Peterson is the founder and president of Vector Firm (www.vectorfirm.com), a sales consulting and training company built specifically for the security industry. Use "Security Business" as a coupon code to receive a 10% lifetime discount at www.vectorfirmacademy.com. To request more info about the company, visit www.securityinfowatch.com/12361573.