By Blase E. Belobrajdic, Sales Representative, Low Voltage Contractors
What is your advice to individuals who are looking to build a career in security systems integration?
Twenty years ago I was told two things about integrated security sales… “The learning curve is long, but if you stick with it, you will be able to make some good money and work anywhere in the country…”
I can verify that both statements were true then and true today.
The learning curve is long, and the technology is ever changing. There is no way to know everything about rapidly changing technologies, but there are a few things you can do to stay on top as best you can. There are several magazines available that can not only keep up with products and trends, but also understand the ever-changing concerns of your clients. Just internet search for “security magazines” and there are many to choose from.
Other resources are in-house management, factory training, trade shows, product reps, distribution houses, co-workers, technicians, competitors and clients.
Don’t let this long learning curve scare you. There is always a resource, typically within your company that has the info/answers you may need. If your client knows you are willing to get the information, and you follow through with delivering that information, your lack of knowledge becomes less important. As you learn and grow in this industry, you will gain valuable expertise that will serve you well in your budding career.
New to Sales? Try this revolutionary tactic.
I win and keep clients simply because when they need me, they can reach me.
Answer the phone! I win and keep clients simply because when they need me, they can reach. Important client phone calls are different from other types of communication like texting or email, because a direct call is usually a very important item that needs immediate attention. These are gold.
My approach to phone calls may be different than what others may advise.
Some claim that when you are in a meeting with a prospect or client, you should shut off your phone as not to be interrupted. In this setting I do shut off email and text notifications, but I leave my phone on silent.
If a client of mine calls with an urgent matter, I ask the person I’m with to excuse me for a moment, tell them I will call them back shortly, then resume the meeting. I always say to the person I’m with…something like…”I apologize for the interruption, but one day you are going to need me, just like the client who just called…and I’m going to answer the phone for you just like I did for them…” Of course there are times when phones calls are inappropriate, so use your best judgement.
I cannot emphasize how important it is to “respond” to your clients. This includes being early for scheduled appointments, replying to emails, answering voicemails and delivering proposals.
I make it a personal goal to not have one unanswered call/email/text…even if I can only leave them a message and follow up the next day.
Listen, Learn, Earn
Years ago I was called out to a family business the day after they were robbed. They had no security system, no cameras, and lost everything they spent their lives building over many years. I was new to the industry and did not have all the answers they needed. However, I listened to their all of their concerns. Went back to the office, consulted more experienced security professionals, proposed a solution and won the job.
Remember, as a professional security systems provider, you do not just supply equipment, you provide solutions and systems that helps to protect employees and property. They don’t need to think you know everything about integrated security, because you won’t. More importantly, they need to know you will listen to their concerns, work hard to propose the right solution, and be there for them.
Low Voltage Contractors, a PSA Owner Company, is based out of Minneapolis, MN with additional locations in Rochester, MN and Tempe, Az.