We’re all in sales now. Always have, whether we realized it or not. Its time to reconsider the role of selling and how to get better at it to be successful.
During a break in the meeting, I wandered away from the table. I just wanted to stretch my legs. One of the older gentlemen from the group headed in the same direction. He put his hand on my shoulder.
“I’m impressed that you figured it out so young!”
I simply replied, “Thank you.” I wasn’t entirely sure what he was talking about.
“The key to security is the realization that we’re all in sales. The sooner we embrace that, the more successful we’ll be.”
It was the late 90s. Security was still considered “new” in the corporate space. I was representing Accenture (then Anderson Consulting) at a meeting hosted by Network Associates.
The meeting was for the leadership of the newly established security groups for large consulting companies. I was not the leader. I’m not really sure why I was asked to go, but it was a great opportunity. (Aside: good reminder as leaders to send our younger members to big opportunities. They’ll learn and we’ll all be better.)
Sitting at the table, I felt a bit like the kid who graduated from the kids table at Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t recall too many details from the meeting, save the exchange about sales.
I reflect back on that moment often.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand that his observation about my embrace of sales was not a conscious effort on my part. Rather, he saw my natural ability to translate complexity into understanding and help groups reach consensus. I bet he knew that and found a gifted way to help me see it, too.
Almost 15 years later, it’s a realization long overdue in the security community.
If you’re in security, then you’re in sales
We’re constantly selling our solutions, ideas, processes, and changes to others. We sell executives on the need for budget. We sell our partners on the need to conform to our policies. We sell our ideas and solutions at conferences and meetings around the country.
Own it. The key to our success is our ability to sell security.
Keep reading to find out how to embrace and incorporate sales into your security practice: Want to be successful in security? Embrace your role in sales