Go after the Lamb NOT the Tiger

I have been vigorously researching the process of how protection companies and specialists approach going after new clients.  About 2 weeks ago I put out BPI Security’s Top 10 secrets to building client relationships.  Let me start by saying this, “BUILDING” a relationship implies you already have the client’s ear and interest.  These 10 secrets were not about how to get a client. That is a different subject and process.  What I have found is that there is huge chasm of misunderstanding about obtaining a client as well as how to parlay that existing relationship into further clients within their network of colleagues.

The first issue I have found is that too many are feeding in the chum.  What do I mean?  Too many of you are going after potential clients that already have security.  That is a 99.9999% automatic fail approach.  If I am a lifelong lover of Bull Mastiffs and you walk up to me with a German Shepherd and say your breed is a better breed – I am going to laugh at you.  Maybe, just maybe, if you can clearly articulate [and I mean articulate] why your four-legged flea bag is a far better breed, you may peak my interest in possibly getting a second dog.  BUT if you are not able to get me past my HISTORY with the breed I am used to – we probably will not have a subsequent conversation later and I will write you off.  Before you get 3 minutes away I would have already forgotten you. Perhaps you might catch the client at a moment when they are disgusted or fed up with their existing security team, BUT that window of opportunity is very small. You have a better chance of catching lightning in a bottle.

Secondly, if you do NOT know client psychology [and it differs from niche to niche] and their NEEDS you will not be able to address their issues and how you can help.  ” I am a professionally trained executive protection specialist” is NOT good enough anymore.  Everyone is saying that and many are lying about it.  In fact, that team you see with him/her is probably populated by many of those liars.  Understanding client psychology means you understand what they do, how they tick and what their understanding of security is.  Let me give you a tip – most CEO’s do not like having security personnel in their private space.  Why is that important?  Because I already know that going in the door for the meeting.  I cater to that disdain and meet them right where they are.  Before I leave them it is my responsibility to make them think to themselves, “How did we manage so long without BPI.”  Notice I didn’t say, “How did I live so long without BPI” but “MANAGE” without us.  If you truthfully break down what we do, the actual percentage of security is small in comparison to the other facilitation methods we employ.  Remember we are NOT selling copiers.  We are selling a service that includes unfamiliar personalities.

Yesterday, I TRIED to invoke a conversation on the NABA Facebook page where I posted – Clients are the Lifeline of this industry-If you have them, you work, and you get paid.  If you don’t you struggle. What is your most difficult hurdle in getting a new client, AND what is you most difficult problem in maintaining a relationship with a past or current client? I want to address this issue based on my experience and any mistakes I have made.  One of my successes in this industry is forging and maintaining client relationships.

I am asking all of the blog subscribers the same question in the form below.  Pass along to your colleagues to do the same:


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