LP Magazine

MAR-APR 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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Brittain is editorial director for LP Magazine. Prior to joining the magazine, he was director of learning design and certification for Learn It Solutions, where he helped coordinate and write the online coursework for the Loss Prevention Foundation's LPC and LPQ certifications. Earlier in his career, Brittain was vice president of operations for one of the largest executive recruiting firms in the LP industry. He can be reached at JacB@LPportal.com. By Jacque Brittain, LPC PERSPECTIVES Loss Prevention Sales Strategies What do solution providers think we should be looking for in a sales partner? F inding the right solution provider that best fits your product needs is something that must reach well beyond the latest gadget or technology offered on the market. Today, decision makers must venture beyond those that simply sell a particular product or service, serving as true solution providers that work hand-in-hand with our loss prevention teams to tackle the latest industry challenges. But what does it take to be a true solution provider? How do these partners go about building their teams, approaching their business partners, and establishing the foundation for real and lasting solutions—and relationships—with their loss prevention partners? For perspective and input we turned to executive leadership from three leading companies to discuss some common themes. What would you consider the most important factor that separates one solution provider from the next? BLAKE: "Business partner" may be an overused term, but a solution provider who can be a true partner becomes so much more than a provider of things. Too often the fact that one party is selling to another creates an adversarial situation where each side is focusing on their own win. Trust never enters into the equation. In a partnership where each party is actively engaged in creating mutual success, that game-playing can be avoided, and the teams can concentrate on achieving the best solution. Partnering with your customer means ongoing collaboration. You work together to understand the customer's short- and long-term goals. You also identify challenges that they need to overcome, such as budget, IT resources, future program roll-outs, and so forth. Sitting on the same side of the table and understanding these things allows you to provide long-term value to the retailer. CUSTER: I have had the pleasure and good fortune of working with hundreds of retail solution providers in my career, both as a vendor and a retail practitioner. Just about all have been made up of great people making an honest effort to add value to our industry. There are, however, a few that stand out to me because of one particular trait or ability—one I try to emulate in my dealings with my own company—the ability to say "no" when it's appropriate. We all want to make the current or prospective client happy. We want to project our company and wares in the best light possible. So saying "no" during a sales call or follow up meeting may not feel like a good idea. But there's nothing wrong with saying no. This allows for realistic expectations to be created, along with reducing the opportunities for disappointing the client down the road. It's almost cliché at this point, but it really is better to under-promise and over-deliver, especially in a "small" community like retail where everyone knows everyone and reviews on your solution are just a click or a phone call away. TUTTLE: I think assurance is the most important factor in any loss prevention solution. A provider must do more than deliver a product. A provider must deliver peace of mind to a client. That client must have confidence that his or her business is secure without negatively affecting customers or staff. What would you consider to be the greatest value that a solution provider can bring to their loss prevention customers? CUSTER: This is a great question, and the answer is really quite simple. A solution provider should be able to provide their client with the ability to measurably impact the bottom line of their company. Loss prevention has a singular purpose—prevent losses to the P&L. For decades we have measured LP impact through the number of cases produced, accidents avoided, or "shrinkage" goals met (or missed), but rarely are LP teams able to quantify the direct impact of their everyday interactions and coaching sessions, and their ability to influence the bottom line of each location served. Regardless of what type of solution provider we are continued on page 60 Cheryl Blake VP of Business Development Verisk Retail Johnny Custer Chief Implementation Officer Spark Resultants Claudia Tuttle Marketing Manager Accuride International 58 MARCH–APRIL 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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