Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, identifies the need to understand what the customer wants to achieve in order to deliver the right solution.
Coming back to work for an installer for family reasons, I found it difficult to adopt the approach of the salesman again, so I didn’t.
I was told to expect a 1 in 12 win ratio (moving from a 1 in 4 ratio back in 2000) … all that wasted time with no benefit! Surely it couldn’t be cost effective enough to employ me?
So I spent a couple of months looking at the industry again. I looked at where a CCTV installation company could still add value without playing in a Dutch auction on prices.
Using my consultative head (based on working in partnership with the client, rather than just being another contractor) we, as a company, used the same style of approach:
- understand the needs of the customer and the site
- offer advice first
- advise on a need basis, not a sales one
- recommend the right solution even if it isn’t in your portfolio of products
- assist in finding a reputable supplier of that solution
This approach has led us to making partnerships with several suppliers of other security related products and services, so we are not ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’, we are a professional organisation working in partnership with other like minded individuals to mutually benefit our customers.
Through this approach, our partners will also benefit and the sales pro-rata will come around. We are now back into a 1 in 3, 1 in 4 win ratio of good quality business. We have won some very credible national contracts in the past three months and we have a rosy future ahead. We are also willing to walk away from those sourcing cheap alternatives.
Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.