Marketing and Buyers of personal security
As an independent security specialist, you need to be extremely business savvy. Everybody claims to be better than you, when they are talking to clients and at least some are telling the truth.
Here I’ll give you the edge that separates the sheep from the wolves or vice versa.
First thing you need to understand; you are not selling a service. You are selling a feeling or more accurate, you are selling the transgression between two or more feelings!
Ie. The client is going from the feeling of “Scared” to “feeling secure” by hiring you. Or they are going from the feeling “concerned” to the feeling “at ease”.
People in the security industry THINK they sell a specific set of skills. They train, study and attend schools to hone whatever abilities they think their clients need. But what you should be concerned with, from a selling point, is what clients DESIRE, and when you get the ‘ahaa!’ breakthrough, you’ll be able to identify and reveal to the client, what they desire subliminally.
Marketing as a tool
The marketing model is based on several psychologists’ materials, but looks like this:
And for the sake of my mentor, the late John Evan-Jones, the last P for Psychology
So, is your Product/Service right for the market/client, is your Price right for the market, is your Place or timing right and is your Promotion geared towards the client segment you seek.
No point in selling bodyguards in a country where there’s no crime. I tried this in 1994 in Denmark. It was next to impossible!
Even a lower price didn’t work back then. But in 1997 and again in 2001, business was booming, due to better timing and some national/international incidents.
So, back to psychology. WHY do people buy stuff or services?
Well, the buyers can roughly be categorized in these categories:
- Buyers with shallow emotional needs
- Buyers with functional needs
- Buyers with deeper psychological needs
- Random buyers
Shallow emotional needs can be our best friend. Feeling important is one of those needs. Many people hire bodyguards because it makes them feel important. Also the feeling of safety is in this category along with the feeling of being perceived as attractive and the feeling of belonging somewhere or to something.
Functional needs is a tough one. Unless you can sell yourself with added value, like being a ski-instructor, fitness instructor or divemaster besides from being a bodyguard, it is hard to categorize yourself as a practical addition to someone’s life. However, if a client has any self-preservation and is going to Baghdad, you will be a practical tool.
Deeper psychological needs cannot be emphasized enough here. Deeper psychological needs are;
- The psychological need for results
- The psychological need for Status and professional recognition
- The psychological need for safety and security
- The psychological need for low risk and proof
Though they can be very handy to know in marketing and sales in general, we can’t really use any of them but number three. Again you’ll need to understand your client or your market in depth, to entertain the idea of using the deeper psychological needs in your marketing.
However IF you can deliver a authoritative person to listen to your prospective clients, you’ll have covered at least number 3 and 4. If you or your representative has any personal skills and professional skills, you can even cover all 4. But it takes time to orchestrate a speech that can cover all 4.
Random buyers can actually also be a source of income to us. Many wealthy people, especially new money, has irrational behavior. They can all of a sudden decide to take a trip somewhere dangerous. Or they may be inclined to speak out in public in a manner, which other people take offense by. Don’t rely on a marketing or sales tactic aimed at these. You’ll go hungry. But acknowledge their existence and try to cover them in your sales materials.
Never forget, that your clients can be found everywhere and every course of action will open some doors and close others. Ie. By using the name “Exclusive” in my company name, I realize, that some clients will click past my homepage, as they associate the name with “expensive”. However, It’s a deliberate choice as I am looking for a specific type of clients.
Here’s a challenge for you;
Pick any one of the 4 types of buyers. Make a one-liner that will target that particular client type.
If you are having a difficult time selling to your segment of clients, it’s usually because you are positioned wrong according to the “product/price/place/promotion” matrix OR you are selling by inducing fear OR you simply are not selling what you think you are.
What do I mean by that? – Oh, you thought that you sold close protection and personal security…Nope, not even close (pardon the pun). You are selling whatever the clients perceive. Most times it is the feeling of safety and tranquility. Other times it’s the feeling of importance or stardom. Granted; in Afghanistan you will be selling personal security. But in Dubai, New York or London, you could easily be selling more “star status” than security. Your job is to figure out, what clientele you want and aim your marketing and sales effort directly at their emotional target.
If you need feedback, drop me a mail.