Michael D. Moberly February 13, 2014 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’.
In far too many instances, vendors, marketing, and sales personnel engaged in the security product, system, and/or services sector overlook, dismiss, or neglect to describe (familiarize) prospective client(s) with the intangible assets that will most assuredly accompany and add value to products, systems, or services being marketed and pitched.
What are ‘pitch scripts’ and how are they relevant to marketing, selling security intangibles…
Pitch scripts are persuasive tools to command premium fees and quicker purchasing decisions, especially when they include – describe intangible asset deliverables that enhance prospective clients’ value, competitive advantage, and profitability…(Dale Furtwengler)
The reality is, a majority of business transactions now occur in circumstances in which intangible assets are in play, often times with the transaction itself being dominated by intangible assets. Thus, it’s all-the-more likely that a favorable ‘purchase decision’ will occur when sales, marketing, and/or business development practitioners duly incorporate ‘security intangibles’ in their ‘pitch’ that draws favorable attention to the product, service, and/or systems’ deliverable security intangibles.
Why is this important…
Why is it important for security vendors (marketing and sales representatives, etc.) to reflect on this finding and incorporate it into their respective marketing – sales pitch scripts?, it’s because, globally speaking, 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, growth, profitability, and sustainability lie in – evolve directly from intangible assets.
This makes it not merely prudent, but essential for…
- vendors to acquire an operational familiarity with what intangible assets their products deliver and how, and how the delivery of those intangibles are relevant to prospective buyers.
- prospective buyers to acquire an operational familiarity with intangible assets insofar as helping them discriminate and articulate, with greater precision, what they want the security products (services, systems) they purchase to produce on relevant to the environment and the users of the environment in which they are to be deployed.
An increasingly essential requisite for buyers and sellers of security products (services, systems, etc.) is to acquire this level of operational familiarity with intangible assets, to routinely act on the above, i.e., for…
- vendors, this includes understanding and being able to articulate the desirable and value add intangible assets their product can deliver – contribute to a broad array of environment.
- existing or prospective clients/buyers achieving operational familiarity with intangible assets will bring clarity to identifying and articulating, precisely what they want a security product (system, service) to achieve and develop objective means to assess actual pre and post outcomes and deliverables.
These perspectives evolve from informal, but respectful and random encounters I had with 100+ vendors – exhibitors at ASIS Internationals’ 2013 Annual Seminar & Exhibits held in Chicago. For those unfamiliar with this event, it is correctly touted as being the world’s largest security education and exhibits venue, with, as I understand it, well in excess of 5000 exhibitors displaying and marketing their innovative wares to 12,000+ attendees.
Admittedly, I am a intangible asset strategist and risk specialist who has been directly engaged in the security profession for 27+ years. Since I have been examining these issues, starting in the late 1980’s, I have consistently found, with few exceptions, that most security products, systems, and services produce – deliver meaningful and valuable intangible assets to most every environment in which they are applied, but largely remain unrealized, unattributed, and unmeasured.
For example, security products such as access control, intrusion detection, and/or CCTV systems, when correctly incorporated into an environment can produce constructive intangible assets that will compliment buyer’s operating culture and equally important, what have now largely become user’s expectations. As already noted, these expectations broadly translate as that sense of feeling safe, secure, and being in an environment where they can be productive. Absent the ability to clearly articulate these senses (deliverables) qualitatively and quantitatively, there will be a lot of unrecognized, unmeasured, and accounted for value left on the proverbial negotiating table.
Articulating ‘security intangibles’…
The responsibility for articulating this or related ‘sense’ of personal or asset safety, security, and ultimately return on security, lies primarily with vendors, because it is expected and assumed they know and understand the intricacies of their product relative to where, how, and/or whether it will accommodate a clients expressed concerns and needs and the boundaries and/or margins of its designed and intended application.
Too, much responsibility lies with vendors to thoroughly understand each prospective buyer’s environment and the needs and/or concerns they aspire to prevent or mitigate as well as what they want they seek to sustain or achieve on behalf of their users and their overall environmental culture and demeanor.
As consumers, we have come to expect that when we purchase most products’ retail, the transaction is supported and accompanied by a warranty, some type of service contract, or the retailer’s return policy which we may or may not ever have to execute. These are generally taken-for-granted manufacturers pledges of sorts, which translate for consumers as a favorable sense of assurance about a products’ quality, longevity, and functionality, i.e., a company’s reputation, which collectively reduces the likelihood we, as consumers, will have to incur any additional costs other than the inconvenience associated with returning the product to either its manufacturer or point of purchase if need be.
So, can or should security product manufacturers and vendors be expected to develop and possess in their sales pitch repertoire sufficiently precise language to articulate the actual intangible assets their product(s) will deliver once purchased and correctly deployed? In light of the economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and competitive advantages evolve from intangible assets, I am confident the answer to that question can only be a resounding yes. Yes that is, that manufacturers should be cognizant of – routinely reflect on the intangible assets their product will produce even during its earliest stages of development. This will help ensure the intangible deliverables will be effectively conveyed in product marketing materials and ultimately be integrated in vendor – sales rep’s ‘pitch scripts’.
The underlying inspiration for this post is credited to my colleague Dale Furtwengler and the various messages conveyed in his fine book ‘Pricing for Profit: How To Command Higher Prices for Your Products and Services’.
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