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Are You A “Big Hat, No Cattle” Security Dealer?

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the expression “Big Hat, No Cattle”, but if you’re from the “good ol’ boy” state of Texas, you sure as heck know what I’m talking about. If you don’t hail from the Lone Star State, then here’s the jist of the expression: A person who has a big mouth and nothing to back it up, a person who acts like they have a lot, but doesn’t have a pot to piss in, a person who claims they can do something, but cannot, or (for those in of you in Texas) a person who wears a large hat and possesses no livestock.

Back in 2007, I was invited to a seven-course meal + cee-gar dinner party with my lawyer at the Fay Club in Fitchburg, MA. Once a year, they hold this big to-do networking event for the members. I couldn’t resist smoking 2-3 cee-gars and eating way too much fine food. After all, it was a Friday night and I could recuperate the following day.

Big Hat, No Cattle…
During the course of the food/smoke fest, I was introduced to an IT computer consultant wizard, by the name of Wesley (not his real name), who claimed that he had NSA (National Security Agency) programming capabilities. I was very intrigued with his sales pitch on his computer networking prowess and with his savvy integration skills. Besides the fact, I was in the market for a new computer geek, and was in a “buying mode” for some new electronic computer gear (laptops, hubs, routers, and VPN access) for my office. That night I thought I had meet my future IT savior.

The following Monday, I sent an email to Wesley to ask him to swing by my office and go over my IT needs cuz I was ready to revamp my tired old computers and network.

Player With Money (PWM)
Would you believe that I never got a reply back from Wesley?! After I listened to his two hour spiel about how he was going to hook me up with a new computer system, and mind you, I’m a “player with money.” Someone who will cut a check for something I want or need at a moments notice. I’m not one of these types that say, “Hmmm, I got to think it over.” And then go home and ask mommy for permission to buy it.

Besides, my policy is to never ever call someone back a second time that I’m going to be opening my wallet for and giving money to for services rendered. That’s his/her responsibility to keep in touch with with me… if you want my money and want to earn my trust and confidence!

Staying In Touch
Long story short, my assistant Alex (at the time) receive a direct mail postcard – one of many in a sequence of postcards and emails that we received over the years from a certain PC/Networking services company. We received this postcard just at the right time. I was in “buying mode”, due to Wesley, and he failed to follow up with me and then the IT services postcard came in the mail.

By the way, the whole postcard and email sequence from this PC/Networking company was featured in an issue of the Smokin’ Security Newsletter in 2009. Needless to say, Alex called the company and had them come to my office. I dropped about $8K-9K on new computer/networking equipment with them. Not a bad little payday for sending out a couple of postcards and a few emails to me…probably costing them $3.00 in total for their direct marketing efforts.

Fast Forward Three Years To Last Month
This one really, really, really blows me away! I just recently received a reply from the email I sent Wesley 3 years ago!! He is asking me if I still want to get together with him and discuss computer/networking options for my office. Can you believe that?! This gets even better. I was hanging out with my lawyer, at Cigar Master in Worcester, and I asked him what his buddy Wesley was up to now-a-days. He said that good ol’ Wesley went back to school because he thought he needed more IT training. Wesley said he couldn’t compete with the other IT pro’s in the area. Poor Wesley! He couldn’t compete cuz he had no system in place for fostering, nurturing and maintaining his clients and prospects. If he did, he would have had all the business he could handle, and them some.

Fact is, Wesley never did a stitch of marketing and I’m sure back in 2007 he had all the IT work he could handle. He never had to work at generating new leads and maintaining client relations. He was making money with random luck.

A Cold-Hard Slab Of Reality
For many of you reading this, you may think you need a new Dealer Authorization Program, a new CCTV camera line, more technical know-how or a new fancy logo to attract more clients and make more money. But you’re wrong….dead wrong!

In my opinion, what you need – the most valuable skill and asset you can possess – is not just being able to install a security system, but having a marketing system in place that attracts and retains prospect and clients for life!

Bottom line is… that VERY few people make the investment into their business and their marketing that will make it a Smokin’ success.

Cage Fighting…
While, I’m wrapping this email up, I’m watching some old reruns of the UFC (Ultimate Fight Championship) on Spike TV. One thing I noticed is that the guy on the bottom, in a mixed martial arts fight, many times he ends up winning because he just stops fighting (but still protects himself), and smartly comes up with an action plan for his next moves while the guy on top is wailing ineffective punches.

2011 starts in 43 days….Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock
How much money are you leaving on the table by not having a regular marketing system in place to follow-up and maintain relationships with clients and prospects? You need to take action and come up with a game plan now to make 2011 your best year ever!

Have a great weekend!

– Bob

P.S. Football doesn’t get much better than this…Brady VS Manning at The Razor (a.k.a Gillette Stadium) on Sunday at 4:15pm!

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