IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Selling Cybersecurity Even If You’re Not a Security Expert, Part 5: Overcoming Objections and Closing the Cybersecurity Services Sale

Many providers believe that selling security is significantly harder than selling managed IT services. It’s not. By Erick Simpson

Security is the No. 1 concern of business owners today. This isn’t surprising given the number of hacks, breaches, data thefts, ransomware attacks, and privacy violations that we hear about on a daily basis. And those are just the ones we know about. According to the Online Trust Alliance’s (OTA) most recent Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report, cybersecurity incidents nearly doubled from about 82,000 in 2016 to 160,000 or so in 2017. But since so many breaches go unreported, the OTA notes that this number could easily be more than double that.

The necessity to thwart cybercriminals and protect critical business, financial, healthcare, and other data has created a tremendous opportunity for IT service providers to address this challenge while benefiting from a continually growing revenue stream.

In this series, I’ll dive deep into the topic of selling security services and cover essential topics such as the solutions available within different levels of security offerings; how to lead with security to prospect effectively and set appointments; and how to price, position, and sell these services, even if you’re not a security expert.

Overcoming Objections and Closing the Cybersecurity Services Sale

Overcoming Objections is the fifth step of the 7 Step Sales Process, and usually takes place immediately after the sales presentation of your proposed cybersecurity services, your proposal, and your return on investment/value on investment analyses.

However, the process for overcoming objections should be executed by the sales professional at any time an objection is raised prior to this point during the overall sales engagement.  Proper execution of the previous four steps in the 7 Step Sales Process should minimize the number of objections the prospect would voice at this stage in the sales engagement.

It’s important to understand that an objection is typically the result of a prospect or client’s misunderstanding, or lack of information. It’s their way of saying “slow down” and allows us an opportunity to clarify the misunderstanding and provide the appropriate information in order to move forward in the sales process.

A few tips to avoid creating unnecessary objections include not overselling the features and benefits of your cybersecurity services at this phase in the sales process, as you should have already properly built your prospect’s buying temperature during the sales presentation phase, immediately before this point. And don’t blindly push forward towards the close, but instead confirm your prospect’s understanding of the key points of your sales presentation and the benefits of your cybersecurity solution. When the prospect has questions, recognize them and answer them. And finally, refrain from using “sales profanity” during the sales process.

Sales Profanity

Sales profanity includes words that can potentially decrease sales velocity or lessen the value of your services, or even the relationship with your prospect, due to the way they are perceived. When spoken, these words typically have a subtly negative effect on your prospects. Being conscious of this and making the necessary adjustments to create new habits will dramatically improve your ability to successfully navigate through the 7 Step Sales Process.

About the Author

Erick Simpson's picture

A Technology Businesses and Channel Growth and Transformation Consultant | Business Process Improvement, M&A and Integration Expert

Co-Founder of one of the first "Pure Play" MSPs in the industry, and creator of the MSP Mastered™ Methodology for Managed Services business performance improvement and the Vendor Channel Maturity Level Index™ that identifies IT channel program maturation for strategic growth, Erick Simpson is a strategic technology business growth and transformation specialist. He is experienced in improving top and bottom-line business performance by increasing operational efficiencies, boosting marketing and lead generation outcomes, accelerating sales velocity, shortening sales cycles and maximizing service efficiencies.

With over 30 years of experience in the IT industry as an Enterprise CIO, MSP, Strategic Coach and Consultant, Erick is a Business Process Improvement Expert with hundreds of successful IT Solution Provider, MSP, Cloud and Security practice business improvement consulting engagement outcomes.

One of the most prolific, recognized and sought-after  business improvement and transformation experts, authors and speakers in the industry, Erick has contributed to numerous industry publications and spoken at hundreds of events.

His published works include "The Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice"; the definitive book on Managed Services, “The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!”, “The Best I.T. Service Delivery BOOK EVER!” and “The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER!”, along with 50 Best Practice Guides.

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