One Simple Phrase Might Have Saved Target Billions

targetWhat One Simple Phrase Might Have Saved Target?

Well, I can tell you what, one simple phrase, crushed Target…it was, “We’ve got it covered.”

In this case, it wasn’t the security guy in Minneapolis saying it…it was someone higher up.  The root problem here might be the senior management team – unwilling to spend money $$$ on yet another assessment.  However, when I see a story like this unraveling, I first like to think about the technology providers serving that company.

What if The Value Proposition Worked?

What are the technology companies doing in there?  Are they recommending security assessments?  Probably – but are they more focused on compliance (Target was PCI compliant), or are they thinking about the preemptive security strategies that must be in place for any large retailer today?

Imagine how big a hero the sales rep would have been if he had only had compelling justification to do more assessing, or to sell Target on something more proactive than what they have in place right now.  Certainly there was a need…isn’t that evident?  And what would the ROI look like – when compared to the billions of dollars this fiasco is going to cost.

I’d be happy with just a small piece of that in commissions – how about you?

Did they really not have a need, or was the sales team just ill-equipped to sell them on it.  Apparently the security analyst knew there was a need.

What’s Your Client Doing About Security?

Chances are you have a client just like Target.  Maybe not as big…but with a need just as important to the stakeholders and customers of that company.  It doesn’t matter how big it is – cyberciminals are still interested, and the customers are still going encounter major life disruptions if their data gets stolen next week.

If you’re waiting for senior management to approve some sort of budget, or finally see a need – don’t hold your breath.  They’re too busy to think that way.  They’re thinking about up-time, customer experience, more sales, and competitive pressures.   If they are a big company, someone probably is thinking about security…but chances are it’s someone in IT who won’t have a strong enough message to sell senior management on immediate action.  Someone like the guy in Minneapolis.

Some executives will look over at Target and say, “We need to do something.” Most will just hope it doesn’t happen to them.

Bottom Line: Your Message Must Sell It

If your client is going to take steps of action, it’s probably going to take another sales call from you.  But this time, rather than going in with your old presentation on what your company does – asking them if they need help.  Go in with a mindset that they absolutely do need help…they just don’t realize how much help they really need.

If your message is good – it will wake someone up.  If it’s good, there will be an unexpected interruption in their day.  If it’s good, it will likely lead to action.

So what’s the One Simple Phrase?  It’s your re-crafted value proposition – the one that sells the senior managers on taking proactive steps to prevent this type of thing.

© 2014, David Stelzl

P.S. Read the House & the Cloud, and find out what Security Sales Messaging should look like…


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