Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Sales Support Information
From time to time I receive emails from a variety of security related companies that have discovered my blog while doing some internet searching about chemical facility security information. Typically these emails come from a market development type person who is looking for information to either justify moving into the chemical security market place or to help them identify potential customers in this expanding market. Sales Support Generally I try to be courteous to these folks. They are doing a tough job, breaking into a new market. Besides, if the technology or services they provide are worthwhile, high-risk chemical facilities can use all of the help they can get putting cost effective and efficient security systems into place. Unfortunately, I seldom have any way of evaluating how cost effective or efficient their products/services are. I received one today that is fairly typical of this type of email. I’ll leave the company name out of this discussion because it could have been anyone of a number that finally drove me to write this posting. This one had a list of questions that they wanted my help answering; questions designed to help them determine the size of the market segment and potential sales volumes that might be directed at the type of service they were selling. This email writer is going to receive less help than normal because I won’t be able to provide much in the way of answers. Some questions I can’t (and wouldn’t) answer. For example they wanted to know where to get a list of Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities. DHS is obviously closely holding that list for good and legitimate reasons. Anyone in the security business should understand that. Most of the other questions presuppose a level of knowledge about the current state of security system installations at CFATS facilities that I just don’t have. Most of my long time readers understand that I haven’t worked in a chemical facility in a couple of years now and I certainly don’t have the type of wide spread contacts necessary to know the level of spending being allocated to various types of security systems. I wish that I did; it would provide me a better understanding of the problems being experienced industry wide with the CFATS implementation. As I said, I try to be courteous and helpful to these types of people. I spent a short time in sales and know how hard it is to develop the type of information that is necessary for starting entry into a new market. Unfortunately, I won’t be of hardly any help to this company’s representative. I just don’t have the necessary information. Information Exchange One thing that generally surprises me about these information solicitations is that they are almost always one way; they want me to provide information to them, but offer nothing in exchange. Long time readers realize that I am a true believer and I am not making any money from this blog (well, I did recently receive a small check from Google for allowing them to post ads on my site, but that doesn’t really count). I’m not asking for monetary compensation for the information they request. Actually I’m asking for something more valuable from my point of view; information. Information about their company and products would be helpful. Information about how they can help hard-pressed facility security managers do their job would be better. Information about the threat environment would be best. You see, to do my job as a blogger, I have to have great stores of information to draw upon to write my daily screeds. I have to be a valuable source of information to attract readers; readers who will ask interesting questions, and provide interesting information. That is what I need, information. If they can teach me something new, tell me a new story, or provide me new contacts, then I’ll be more than happy to share my information with them. Not by Information Alone My wife wants me to add a crass commercial note. I do have to pay bills. I currently support this blog by writing some articles for the Journal of Hazmat Transportation and doing some contract industrial development training. I am a free lance writer and always willing to talk about doing writing work. I obviously have some background in chemical facility security issues, but I am a quick learner and willing to write just about anything. Feel free to contact me at anytime about doing some writing work.