The Big Idea with Ron Davis
Right on the Money
Roy is a success by any standard. He has an “old world” response on how to run a business.
In thinking about his idea, I was prepared to make light of the answer and kind of fudge how it might apply to us in today’s business environment. However, his response is right on the money, literally.
Think about all of the things for which we borrow money: credit cards, a line of credit from our bank, or a second mortgage on our home in order to run the business. Roy’s philosophy, like many others, has been embedded in families since the time of the Great Depression, and who’s to say that we aren’t about to go through another one in the next few years?
Regardless of whether our economy picks up, stays the same or — as impossible as it is to imagine — goes further down, Roy’s philosophy of running a business should probably be re-examined by everyone that has a business checkbook.
If you’re borrowing money, ask yourself why. If you are charging something on a credit card, ask yourself if it is really necessary. Chances are it isn’t. If you can force the discipline on yourself about not using money that you don’t have during bad times, can you imagine what your life would be like during good times?
Exploring the Options
Roy also had a great idea for salespeople in the industry: Always offer your customers a choice of options. He went on to explain that whenever he or his salespeople go on a sales call, they have a series of options they offer customers at the end of the presentation.
I began to think about one of the basic principles of selling, and that is when you ask a closing question, always give your customer an alternate choice. That means one of the lternate choices could be a series of options.
For example, if I’ve just finished a sales presentation on a security system for a home, in my closing questions I could ask the customers if they are interested in further protection. Of course, they will feel safer at night and more protected in their home, but they could also add freeze detection, water detection, gas detection, full perimeter protection or basic entry protection. There are plenty of additional options for you to sell to the customer.
These great ideas are from a conservative businessman who has had great success in the operation of his business. Take the time to try Roy’s ideas in your own business — they are well worth looking at.
Remember to only spend what you have, and when you close a sale, tell your prospective customers about alternative options. And when asking the closing questions, keep quiet; the answer will usually lead to a sale!
Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Group, a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates Int’l in the 1980s.