Security Systems News

JAN 2019

Security Systems News is a monthly business newspaper that reaches 25,100 security installers, product distributors, central stations, engineers & architects, and security consultants. Our editorial coverage focuses on breaking news in all major se

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SEC ur IT y S y STEMS n EWS january 2019 www.securitysystemsnews.com suppliers 21 The most trusted security news source The most trusted security news source www.securitysystemsnews.com/renew www.securitysystemsnews.com/renew Don't let your free subscription end! Renew online today. Renewing your subscription only takes a moment, and keeps you up-to-date on the evolving security industry. Don't let your free subscription end! Renew online today. Renewing your subscription only takes a moment, and keeps you up-to-date on the evolving security industry. How to lead without authority By Chris Peterson I was recently onsite working with the sales leadership of a manufacturer client of ours. We were brainstorming ideas that would boost the influence of their regional sales managers with their channel partners. Leadership's perception was that their field sales managers were working so hard on the day-to-day that they were making less of an impact on their partners. In the open- ing discussion, when I try to spark conver- sation and get all the prob- lems scattered on a white board, someone said it: "… and we can't fire their sales people, so how can we influence them?" That's when I smiled. That's when I knew that we were going to have a major impact on this team. That's when I confirmed my assump- tion. My client equated influence with authority, and probably hadn't implemented any ideas on leading their channel partners without authority. The sky was the limit on the changes and positive outcome we could make. I was still smiling. Since childhood, when our par- ents would influence our behavior with their authority, we've likened punishment and fear as primary tools of leadership. As most success- ful leaders will tell you, using their title is their last resort to influencing behavior. Below I've listed five best practices that are relevant to sales people that need to influence others over whom they have no authority. 1. Help solve their biggest chal- lenges. Don't assume you know their problems. Imagine your channel partner at a cocktail party talking to a new friend they just met. The friend asks them: "What's the biggest challenges you have in your job?" Not challenges about you and your company, but in general … what are their biggest problems? Now, solve the ones that are relevant. 2. Clearly communicate your objective. I used to work with a retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant. While having beers together, he told me that one of the main obstacles he faced in the business world was the lack of communication. "Just tell me my objective and who I report to, and I'll get the job done." Do your channel partners fully understand why you're traveling to their area next month? What is your objective of meeting with them on Wednesday morning? What is your goal in their region next year? Be crystal clear with these answers. 3. Get in the field. When I worked for a distributor over 20 years ago, we represented about 30 primary product lines, but I devoted my time and loyalty to one company. You know who? The one for who Joe Dabinski worked. Joe worked in the field every day. With or without his distribution reps, he got dirty. I loved the guy because of his fieldwork, and regardless of his product line, I gave him most of my effort. share in their failures and help them create solutions to their problems. So, no more "Well, you're 30% behind year-to-date. I'm not sure if I can save the line for you if you don't pick it up." Instead, approach them like this: "We're 30% behind. Let's figure out a solution and start catching up together. We're in this together." 5. Create a fun, competitive environment. Don't be a typical regional sales manager. When you send the email that you'll be in the area in four weeks, give them reason to be excited. Make it fun. Make their work competitive and fun. Chris Peterson is president of the Vector Firm, a leader in helping secu- rity companies improve their sales and digital marketing performance. SSN 4. Share in their shortfalls and develop solutions. One of the major sales leadership mistakes I see—whether one has authority or not—is telling a salesperson about their shortfalls but not developing a solution with them. People know when they're failing, and they'll follow teammates and partners that Chris Peterson

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