No matter what a business specialises in and how long it has existed, it must deal with the reality of rampant cybercrime. For SMEs, this is especially challenging as they face the same threats without the dedicated security teams and enterprise-sized budgets larger organisations have access to.
By Jonathan de Kock, country manager of Acronis Emerging Markets
In most cases, these organisations turn to their service providers for advice and assistance. However, many channel businesses are missing out on new opportunities by not bringing security into the conversations they have with customers.
Here are five simple strategies to help introduce security and value-added services into those conversations:
- Get to know the industry – While certain fundamentals will apply to every sector, verticals like healthcare and financial services have compliance regulations and challenges unique to their industry. Having an understanding of the requirements unique to your customer’s industry will not only allow you to open those conversations with specifics, but will immediately establish you as an knowledgeable authority.
- Be the authority – Even though security awareness is increasing, many SMEs still lack knowledge of today’s biggest threats and the best methods of mitigation. Read up on all the latest statistics to position yourself as a knowledgeable and valuable resource. This will also allow you to introduce security as a value-added solution, even if your company’s main focus lies in a different area. For example, backup and recovery conversations can very easily be turned into data protection and security conversations.
- Ask the right questions – Understanding the industry your customer operates in is essential, but every business is different. It is only when you truly understand your customer’s needs that you will be able to add value, and that relies on asking the right questions. For example, the customer might think that their backup system is adequate for their needs, but may not be aware that they require specific offsite facilities. It is only by getting into the details that you will be able to provide the right advice – and solution.
- Listen – There’s no point in asking the right questions if you don’t truly hear the answers. Listen to what the customer isn’t telling you as much as what they are saying. If the question of data residency never comes up, is it because the company has it covered, or because they aren’t aware that they may need to look into moving some of their data to a different location?
- Share, don’t scare – Security – or the lack thereof – is a scary subject for most companies. By building trust, and sharing best practices, you can help your customers feel more comfortable with the subject.
Cyber security covers a broad umbrella of areas and it is often hard to figure out where to start. By making yourself a trusted advisor to your customers, you can help them choose the right solutions, and show them that protecting their business is easier than they think.