20 Years of Law Enforcement Experience
Does NOT Make You Special
What makes you special is your story
We do business with more retired law enforcement investigators than we do with any other retirees from any other industry – former librarians, attorneys, secretaries, auditors, etc. But if the only thing that makes you special or different than the other investigators in the field is 20 years of prior law enforcement experience, be prepared to answer difficult questions as you put yourself and your company in a **** measuring contest.
Prior to taking on a new client, we always ask them a series of questions. Two of them are: “What makes you special?” Followed by “Why are you better?” The questions back to back cause most of our clients to stumble. They are two completely different questions that require two different answers, yet, most of our clients don’t have an answer to what differentiates them from the rest of the field. This isn’t just a law enforcement problem; this is a problem with anyone that becomes a private investigator with nothing more than a few years as experience in their back pocket.
I’m focusing on this industry because they compose the bulk of our clients.
If you go to a client and tell them the only thing that makes you different is 20 years of experience in law enforcement, does this mean that a private investigator with 25 years of law enforcement experience is better than you? What if you have 20 years of experience in small town USA but a competitor has 20 years of experience in Detroit? Or better yet, what if you have 20 of experience years but a competitor has 10 years of experience at federal levels?
I don’t know what the conversion rate is between local law enforcement v/s federal level, but does it even matter?
Outside of creating websites and marketing plans, our goal is to create business road maps that will help our clients find what makes them different and special, what makes them better, and why people chose them over other investigators.
So, what makes you special/different?
It’s not “We use the latest investigative equipment” because unless you’re buying $4,500+ video cameras and $1,500 lenses, the chances are that you’re using an AVCHD 60 Optical Zoom Handy-Cam from Sony or JVC, maybe Cannon.
It’s not “Access to proprietary databases” because all private investigators have access to the same database brokers. If you have a proprietary database, you can make a hell of a lot more money selling access to the database than you would using it for your own cases.
It’s not “XX Years of Experience” regardless of what you have, everyone can have experience that trumps what you are doing. Why should I use you? “because I have 20 years of experience” well, I already use a PI With 25 years of experience…. now what?
What makes you different and special should always be your story.
When you sell to a client and they want to know how you’re special, tell them why you became a private investigator instead. This is a story from one of our clients:
What makes you special? – We understand the ins and outs of employee theft, burglaries, and break-ins. We are very good at keeping people out of places they should not have access to.
How do you do that? – I was a law enforcement officer for 10 years, during that time, I investigated hundreds of business break-in cases, employee theft, robberies, and the like. I realized that, although law enforcement was great at assisting business owners, the cases did not have the necessary funding to actually be solved. The cases that were solved were luck of the draw or from the results of unrelated arrests. Most of the business owners that I know simply used our reports to file insurance claims. I know for a fact that if they had hired a dedicated officer to handle the investigation, we could very easily track down who burglarized their business.
After 10 years of working as an officer, I opened an investigations company and began to offer my services to local business owners. My forte is not in tracking people down, even though I’m confident that I can with the proper budget, my forte is in preventing break-ins and burglaries from happening.
Why are you better than other investigators? I know the methods and techniques that are used to break into businesses. I also know who is moving the “products” through town, and have a list of prior ex-convicts who assist our team.
So you are telling me that you are going to hire criminals to come into my business? No, I’m telling you that if you want to protect your business from being broken into, I have the knowledge and resources to protect your business.
Our client did not push around years of experience or location based experience. Instead, he used the reason “why” he became a private investigator as the reason he is different and better than other investigators in the area. He identified a problem within the community, and built a business to provide a solution. Does he have prior law enforcement experience? Yes, but he was able to tie it into a story that resonates with business owners.
He joined his local chamber of commerce and rotary club. We helped him create a local marketing campaign, brochures, and created a sort of “check list” to help small business owners protect their business. He now offers monthly workshops to educate his audience and has hired on 3 former law enforcement officers in 2015.
I’m not against law enforcement experience, but I am against experience based on the number of years, location, and jurisdiction. Next time a person asks you why you’re different, tell them your story as to why you became a private investigator instead. If you need help finding your why, we’re here to help!