Be a Big Brother

Security Sales & Integration

The Big Idea with Ron Davis
April, 2009

Be a “Big Brother”

Steve Sopkin's great idea
A long time ago — almost 50 years — as I was trying to learn the profession of selling, I sat down with a book that many people told me was the “bible of selling.” The book, titled “How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling,” was authored by Frank Bettger. In fact, if you come into my office today, you will see it sitting there in a prominent spot on my shelf. Battered and torn, read and reread repeatedly, it really helped me through some very tight spots in selling. And by the way, it is still relevant!
Ninety-five percent of the material applies to everything that we’re doing today. I remember in one chapter of the book the author talks about closing the sale. I believe he referred to it as the “big brother” close, and while it may smack of manipulation to today’s readers, it seemed like basic stuff back then.
Simply, the big brother close was to look at a prospective customer, and utter these now famous words, “If I were your big brother, I would tell you to do this exactly the same way!” Or, if you were older, you would substitute the word “son” for “brother.” When a salesperson starts thinking about the customers they serve, and if they react and respond to the needs of that customer, they will be acting like a big brother. 
Gain Respect With Respect

In my business I find myself having a lot of meals with prospective clients. One of the first things I notice is whether or not my potential client is treating the waiters and waitresses and other staff of the restaurant with respect.
It’s amazing what a tip-off this can be to giving you insight into a person’s ability to respect others. For example, does the other person treat servers with respect by saying “please” and “thank you” whenever asking for something? Do they say “thank you” when they’re ready to leave? If they do, then you’re probably talking to someone who has respect, naturally, for other people.
On the other hand, if your guest treats restaurant personnel with dismissive shrugs, grunts or worse, it will give you a deeper understanding of the type of person you’re sitting with.
Make it a habit to start treating everyone you meet — and I do mean everyone — as though he or she is important to you. You’re acknowledging their presence, you’re letting them know that there is some level of caring, and you will generally be viewed as a pleasant person. For those of us in the life-safety business, that’s not a bad thing.
What are the financial rewards of acting like what I’ve described above? Well, Mijac Alarm has grown because of that attitude. Chances are Sopkin will answer that question the same as most other successful people in this industry. Top on the list is treating everyone you meet as though they were the most important person in the world. When you do, you will be accorded the respect and courtesy that comes with being that kind of person.
Click here to read the original article in Security Sales & Integration, April 2009

Ron DavisRon 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 International in the 1980s.