Security Intangibles and Client Self Discovery

Michael D. Moberly    February 19, 2014   ‘A blog where attention span really matters!’

Tapping into the power of client self discovery…

There is little argument, certainly among education practitioners that what one discovers themselves, i.e., self discovery, is usually more memorable and presumably retained.  Plus, it often triggers a desire for a ‘self discovery’ learner to share their discovery, suggests St. Louis-based Dale Furtwengler, author of ‘Pricing for Profit: How To Command Higher Prices For Your Products and Services’.

With respect to engaging a prospective client whom you aspire to sell a security product or system, the key to achieving ‘client self discovery’ Mr. Furtwengler says, lies in framing and posing the right questions.  The questions should be posed in a manner that respectfully allows each prospective buyer to begin the process of assigning a value to the product or system in the context of the environment in which they are to be deployed.

Client self discovery however, seldom, if ever includes actually ‘telling’ a prospective client what the product or systems’ value is because in some instances, it can trigger skepticism or even resentment to being told this information versus exercising patience and respectful counsel that allows a pathway for the client to commence their own assessment and valuation process.

I define ‘pathway’ in the context of the previous days’ post which emphasized guiding prospective clients/buyers toward the concept – construct of ‘security intangibles’ produced by security products and/or systems as a value and/or return-on-security-investment assessment approach.  This will allow prospective buyers to ‘discover’ at least initially…

  • the added value the product/service will deliver to their space or environment, and also
  • allow them to ‘validate’ that value, preferably through a particular experience, i.e., risk, threat, adverse event that has occurred to – in their company.

So, to effectively ‘tap into the power of client self-discovery’ the security sales professional needs to determine – assess whether a prospective buyer…

  • understands and values the offerings, i.e., security products or systems and the ‘security intangibles’ that will be produced.
  • recognizes the products – systems contributory value as a pathway for elevating company image as being a leader and innovator.
  • has an interest elevating the company’s image and stature amongst its peers in its sector as an integral part of the overall value proposition innovation to the security products – systems being pitched.

Client self discovery…

Here are some qualities of an effective consultant that helped a client ‘self discover’ extracted from ‘The Strategic Planning Blog’.

“I asked a colleague recently how a strategic planning meeting with a new client turned out. Her response was conveyed as…

  • the good news is, together we crafted an excellent and viable strategy.
  • the bad news is, the clients believe they did it themselves. Adapted by Michael D. Moberly from a August 22, 2011 post at ‘The Strategic Planning Blog’ authored by John Johnson.

What my consultant peer considers bad (i.e., ego bruising) news would be music to my ear. Why? When the light of understanding and, thus, conviction turns on in the client’s head, it is considerately more powerful than when a vendor ‘spoon feeds’ your solution. What characterizes the development of a successful strategy is not necessarily a brilliant answer by the vendor, but a brilliant question posed by the vendor to the client that influences them to shift their thinking.

Strategy invariably involves new ways to approach problems and challenges as well as opportunities because it has become clear that the previously applied processes/ways were not working successfully. But new ways are sometimes interpreted as being threatening to some based on the assumption they are untried and therefore success is not guaranteed. The crafting of a new strategy is just the first step. The execution of that strategy is the vital next step and falls primarily in the client’s lap to ensure they are invested in its outcome.



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