When we think of the skills that a protector must have, the first thing that comes to mind are the spectacular courses of executive protection in which the participants use weapons of all calibers; perform all kinds of physical and motorized acrobatics; carry the executive in a "tie" while running and shooting at the same time; shoot from a moving vehicle and perform all this repertoire of practices that are highly entertaining but which bear no resemblance to their real work activities. We are facing the famous "95 Fallacy", in which escorts spend 95 % of their time training in techniques that 95 % of them will not use in their working life, and, if they do, they will fail in 95 % of the cases.
On the other hand, the essential knowledge and skills that protectors use on a daily basis are not taught or are taught very little. One of these skills is the "selling skill". At this point many will be surprised or even annoyed, as the "common" image of the escort is that of a warrior and not a merchant. However, if we do not understand that every human activity involves selling, to a greater or lesser extent, we are lost. We all sell our work to our clients, to our bosses, and, in this case, to our protégés, so how we will be valued depends on it. Communication, persuasion and convincing skills are essential in our work.
We have heard our colleagues complain countless times about how little they earn, the unwillingness of the executive to invest in their safety or the lack of the necessary equipment to do the job, for example. The users of the executive protection are, in general, people with resources; we are witnesses of the investments they make, by the millions, in different projects. However, their refusal to invest even a fraction for their own safety and that of their loved ones is surprising. Something is definitely not right here. But the answer is simple: yes, there are resources, but we do not know how to sell.
This probably bothers many of us, since we like to give our responsibilities to others and not assume them ourselves, but this is exactly what we should not do if we want our profession to be more respected and better paid. Poor "selling" skills are one of the biggest problems of the executive protection current.
Of course, in order to sell something you need at least two things: a good product and sales skills. Executives, for the most part, are intelligent, practical and skillful people, who understand and accept well-founded reasons and concepts.
The major problem, on the other hand, is that the executive protection traditional is a difficult product to sell when offered to an intelligent person. That is, traditional, reactive protection is generally not based on logic or hard data, as I explained in this article:
Therefore, it is very difficult to sell something illogical to someone rational.
Many executives with whom we have spoken have even pointed out that they do not want to invest in more salaries or in more weapons or patrols, because they say that if they "go after them" they will do it with their bodyguards, and they also cite several examples where executives have been murdered or kidnapped despite their security team, which either failed to react or did not react adequately. We must accept, however, that this is a difficult argument to refute both historically and statistically.
In the same vein, some of them told us that they mainly use their protectors to deter the most common and "benign" crimes, so they do not consider it prudent to make a more serious investment. Others, in turn, prefer not to use escorts and opt for a "low profile", a fallacy we explain in this video:
Of course, the attitudes of these executives are dangerous for both them and their protectors; therefore, we need a new "product", a new concept of protection that is clear, logical, effective and supported by hard data, while being easy to understand and with a clear cost/benefit concept acceptable to the executive. This is explained in detail in the book Executive Protection in the 21st Century: The New Doctrine.
Once we master this concept we have to train ourselves in different techniques of persuasion, convincing and other methods related to our abilities to sell and negotiate with our client who, being capable and reasonable people, after a good negotiation, always end up accepting the well founded concepts.
Of course, there are always foolish and irrational users who, many times, are even rude; however, in our experience, they represent a minority with whom it is better not to work, if we wish to preserve our reputation.
Our training should be increasingly focused on the knowledge and skills that we actually use on a daily basis and that are fundamental to effectively provide a more professional service, always with the objective of making the company a more professional company. executive protection into a more respected and better paid profession.