Elite CEU’s Customer-Centric Approach
No one could accuse the security industry of lagging behind technologically. One need only observe the way in which the industry has embraced recent advances in wireless technology, networking, and component miniaturization.
Year after year, security companies continue to introduce products that offer more and more utility for less and less money. The question is, has the industry kept pace with changes in today’s buyer environment?
Simply put, consumers have developed a social resistance to being sold… especially if their needs have not been addressed first. In addition, consumers are less likely to accept seller claims without verification. The internet has enabled consumers to obtain “social proof”, further enabling this trend.
The era of the forceful salesperson, steeped in sales techniques, wowing prospects with their amazing wares, is rapidly coming to an end. The customer, not the product, is now taking center stage.
In this article we will explore specific steps that security organizations can take to bring their sales efforts more in-sync with today’s customer-centric buyer environment.
Step 1 – Think in terms of product benefits
Security technology providers are accustomed to thinking in terms of product features or attributes, whereas, consumers are more likely to think in terms of their needs. No one goes to sleep at night wishing they had a motion detector or touch screen control panel, but they may be occupied with thoughts related to their family’s safety. Delivering peace of mind, in this instance, would be an example of a product benefit.
Step 2 – Uncover customer needs and pain points
Our lives are full of worrisome, unmet needs or pain points. A mother who has to race home each day from work to arrive before her children has a pain point. The salesperson’s challenge is uncover pain points and resolve them with product benefits.
Step 3 – Address specific needs with product benefits
Prepare scenarios by creating a “persona” for each type of customer in your target market, based on demographics and other factors. Consider particular pain points each might have and list the product benefits that best address them.
Step 4 – Focus on value, as opposed to cost
In a competitive, commoditized marketplace, it is important to focus on all the benefits you can deliver rather than the cost. Someone is always ready to offer a lower price. Value, on the other hand, is not so easily duplicated. Once the perceived value of your offer exceeds the actual cost, a sale is likely to result.
Step 5 – Develop your USP
What makes your company so special anyway? It is your USP or unique selling point(s). Here again, it is the customer who decides what is or isn’t important. It could be a product package that addresses the needs of a certain demographic, special payment terms, or something entirely unrelated. Some possibilities include senior discounts, contributions to the local fire department or other social effort. Whether you choose to highlight existing differentiators or develop new ones, your USP is essential to arriving in first-place.
To Sum up:
The skill set required to sell today’s security technology, goes beyond a knowledge “bells and whistles”. The new paradigm requires a shift from selling product features to understanding customer pain points – and addressing them with product benefits. These benefits, combined with your USP create value. In the final analysis, it is this perceived value that wins the day.