What keeps security executives up at night?
The top concerns facing SIA members include finding and keeping top talent. Security industry executives are not alone in this regard. Indeed, key findings of the AON Global Risk Management Report conducted last year indicated this to be one of the “Top 10 Risks” facing businesses globally. You may be wondering what SIA is doing to help its members address this critical worker shortage.
The hallmark of SIA’s plan to help our members enhance their workforce is centered around a vision that was first articulated by the late Frank De Fina more than three years ago. I still recall very vividly how frustrated Frank became when he described the difficulty in filling many open positions at his company. Through his participation at a Board meeting in the summer of 2013 at the Security Industry Association (SIA), he developed an incredible vision for a new education program that would not only benefit his own business, but the entire security industry—the concept of a SIA two-year degree program in physical security was born!
Just a few weeks ago, James Marcella from Axis Communications became the second instructor in the SIA-Mercer County Community College in the Associate in Applied Science Degree program. James is currently teaching a course in Security Product Technology that educates students about how products operate and integrate. Doug Haines (Haines Security Solutions) kicked off the program in February by taking the inaugural class of students through a semester-filled journey as part of “Systems Integration: A Business Blueprint.” If you speak to Doug and James, they have thoroughly enjoyed giving back to the industry a part of this one-of-a kind learning experience made possible with the strong support of Mercer.
Now, it is your turn! If you are a sales professional who has truly excelled, you have a chance to influence future professionals who will be entrusted with the future growth of the security industry.
Led by Kimberly Roberts, SIA director of education, SIA is currently developing the curriculum for the third course in this SIA-MCCC degree program, “Security Sales: The Consultative Approach” which will launch on campus in February. This introductory course on the sales process will instruct students on how to organize the sales effort, to assess customer needs, to present security solutions, to assess return on security investment, to manage the customer experience, and to maintain profitable and consultative relationships with customers.
Each of these competencies is being developed into various “units” of instruction. However, translating the course learning objectives into practical curriculum is something SIA needs input and advice from qualified sales professionals. A building-block for this effort will be the principles found within Frank’s book on sales, PowerZone. However, the course will be made more complete if you provided SIA with the names of the books, courses, webinars and mentors, who have helped to make you such an essential part of your sales team.
Are you willing to step up and be a part of the SIA-Mercer Team? Please contact Kimberly Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information on how you can become involved in this exciting program.