Marketing the craft

As I blogged before “80% of your clients come from 20% of your client base”.

How do you market your executive protection company or yourself as a trusted and experienced specialist?

If you look at security management magazine you’ll notice that within the couple hundred pages there are about 3 articles that are worth reading. The rest is advertisements and other professionals blowing their own whistles. But who is the audience? We are? I doubt if the CEO of a serious company is subscribing to that periodical. Maybe his security manager is but do you think he’s looking to get replaced? Hell no! Perhaps he may be looking for equipment. But chances are he’s probably not looking for an executive protection company. Anyone in his position is probably going to call one of his peers and ask for a recommendation. That’s where that 20% kicks in. In that case your client is marketing for you. This has happened to us on countless occasions.

We have an evergreen contract with a company to support their global security team with the protection of their CEO as well as their EP training for their global security personnel. About every 3-6 months we hold an EP course that is specifically catered to their needs. One of their managers went through our course some years ago and I was challenged by the fact that he was less than 9 months removed from the USSS CAT team. To me, I thought, what can I teach this guy. When the students walked in for the first day of class I spotted him without knowing who he was. Extremely fit, close well groomed haircut and the eyes of a shooter. I knew he was the one they told us about. As the students introduced themselves I was surprised that he was low key about his experience.

During a break on day 2 he approached me and Mark and said, ” you guys got it”. He went on to say that the way we broke protection down made him realize that he still had things he could learn. Me him and mark formed a very close friendship over the years. In fact, it was through him and his relationships with another gentleman that me and mark were able to attend some CSAT courses as well as a CAT school.

Now to my point. About a year ago he called us and said that he had a colleague that needed support in India and that he referred BPI to his counterpart. We got the call and supplied his needs. That’s how it works.

I’m not against making cold calls to execs nor mailers but to me mailing company bios and packets is corny as well as falls in the junk mail category. Now, thats not to say that if you’re doing it you’re wrong. I personally just don’t like doing it.

Web pages are a hub to who you are. It’s not a primary marketing tool. When people go to your site, they’ve been guided there from another source or need. If you google executive protection, you’ll be behind the computer all day and won’t know one company from the other.

As for marketing yourself as a specialist. There’s no better reference than from another specialist who is revered as a good quality specialist. We tend to associate ourselves with people of like attainment. If you know the unethical thieves in the catfish network, you don’t have to look too far down the bar to find one or two more drinking beer with him.

As an individual I don’t see any harm in passing your bio around to “good” companies to keep your options open and stay busy. Key word here is good companies. Catfish guys tend to collaborate in the same fishing holes.

So in closing, as a company, market by success referrals and as a specialist market by mail and word of mouth from respected peers.

Just my view on things.

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