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Relationships and Attitudes: The pressure-free approach to selling cybersecurity

Jan 13, 2021

Allan Alford posted one of my favorite LinkedIn posts to start 2021. He clearly and concisely shares his requirements for selling him something. I assume many people try to sell him products and services that he was not looking for given his role and the company he represents. The approach he shares help him and the people selling to him avoid wasting time. This is valuable for all involved. Many commenters said they wish that more people would follow Allan’s lead. My contribution to this story begins where Allan’s commenters left off.

How do you convince people to buy without annoying them to pieces?

When I want to sell something, my highest priority is to educate the consumer. I think it is important to show people what you do and show your approach in an environment this is free from pressure and stress. If I am just there to teach (and hopefully inspire), I can avoid the pressure and desperation attached to sales quotas. If you ask my sales team, they will confirm that nobody is measured on a quota because we have no control over the buying process used by the consumer.

A different sales model

Imagine receiving an invitation to join an event that promised to provide good information with no strings attached. The event closes with a note of thanks and an invitation to opt-in to receive information and updates about similar events in the future. Three outcomes are likely:

  • Some people will have fun and appreciate new perspective about something that they already know. I will be happy that your time with us was valuable. These people may never become customers, but they are more likely to make a referral because of how we operate.
  • Some people will learn a lot and would love to be customers, but there is no budget for our services. No worries. We have a motto that “The time is right when the time is right.” I am always happy to have people join the family at the right time for them in the future.
  • A few people will turn into customers now because they appreciated what was shared at the event and there were no strings attached with the invitation.

Any of these results is acceptable. Our approach is effective because there is no desperation, no quota, and we are not measuring success by the number of people who receive and open our email after the event. Attendees do not want an onslaught of unsolicited emails after an event or for any other reason. I have experienced that. I do not like it. I will not do that to other people.

Having a touch of class, patience, and a focus on delivering value to participants does a better job to help us develop and curate long-term relationships that eventually open the doors of opportunity. We know when the time is right because we have a relationship and some credibility to go along with it.

I hope people find this helpful. My recommendations are the result of being the guy who sells products and services to customers. I also happen to be the guy, like Allan, who receives a ton of solicitations because of the titles listed on my LinkedIn profile or in event registrations.

Thanks for joining the conversation on LinkedIn.

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