Called to task

Yesterday I posted on twitter, “A client can change my position but not my standards”.  I can not take credit for this phrase as it is a common phrase that Mark has used over years in his TheMTMS executive protection course.  Well as I tweeted that again as I have done in the past I got a response from twitter.com/@richdd who responded, “This is NOT a job for closed minds.” His retort could have been in line with what I stated but I felt that there needed to be some definition regarding the statement.  Although @richdd made his tweet I have been directly called on that statement before and the person(s) in the past disagreed with it.

I want to explain the statement, “a client can change my position but not my standards”.  The first thing that I will say is that BPI Security has never and never will sacrifice its ethics or professionalism for the sake of making money.  There is a standard that I am proud of that all money is not good money.  If a potential client calls me for service and after we go through their preliminary needs I will advise them how BPI can assist their issue.  If at any time the conversation crosses the line between and executive level of service and that of just bodies on the ground, I have no problem advising the client that we are probably not a good fit for them.  I will offer them options to possible other colleagues in the industry that may fit their needs.  I can not put my company’s reputation in jeopardy nor place my specialists in harm’s way just to make money.  That is a BPI standard and will NOT change.

When it comes to changing my position here is an example.  The obvious is changing my “physical” position within a protective sphere.  If a client/protectee tells me that he wants me or my team to give him or her more space in the protective sphere, I will accommodate them on that, but my standard of protection does not alter based on my physical position.  From a business standpoint I have a general position on pricing.  It is a very fair, yet competitive pricing scale that meets the industry’s range.  If I engage in a possible long term agreement with a client I also know that there will come a time where “sticker shock” will cause them to re-evaluate their need for protection.  In those cases relationship with the client will always prevail and I will offer a price break to lessen the financial burden or strain.  I will not go below the bottom range of the price scale for the sake of having a client.  If I do so I will cause a ripple effect in the industry that will make it harder for my colleagues.  This is one of the prevailing issues within the industry; over pricing and under pricing for service.

There is a sector in this industry that we coin “Catfish network” for their bottom feeder mentality that will approach a client that is receiving protective coverage and offer a lower price after promising that there will be no change in the type of service they are currently receiving.  I have never done that and I abhor that kind of behavior.  The reality is that it is prevalent.  Given that same scenario, if the client tells me of the unscrupulous clandestine meeting and requests a lower price based off of their conversation, I will respectfully tell them that they will not receive the same level of executive service at that lower rate and that I can’t.  If this causes me to lose the client, then I can walk away with my head held high because I know that I did not lower my standards in lieu of unethical standards of the catfish.

When I lower the price it is for maintaining a relationship but I won’t do it as a result of unethical backstabbers.  This happened to me about 5 years ago.  The client took on the new team and in less than 30 days he/she called me and begged me to come back at a higher rate.  I came back with an understanding and did not take the higher rate.  His/Her lesson was learned from making the mistake, it was not necessary to punish them any further for that.

I could go on and on regarding this subject matter but my standards are not written down anywhere I just know them when they come up.  Whenever a decsion has to be made where your reputation and integrity comes into question, that is a standard.  If it never comes up you may need to ask yourself if you have any.

Thanks @richdd for raising this issue.

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