Dealing with Clients & Managing Expectations

As security professionals, we have a lot to contend with, but sometimes we can be our own worst enemies. Mission creep is a military term that refers to increasing scope without adding additional resources. In the commercial world, we have a similar experience when we haven't clearly defined the terms of a contract or set the right level of expectation from the off.

Clients come in many shapes and sizes, as do their expectations of us, our capabilities, and our cost! Therefore, it's imperative that we establish clear boundaries and set the proper baseline of conduct and expectations before we start the mission.

Knowing your value will help you stay mission focused and avoid the unnecessary drag and drain that comes with unclear boundaries.

In this edition of On the Circuit, we've got some great pointers to get you started on exploring these opportunities.

Let's get into it!


Firearms in EP - An International Perspective | Orlando "Andy" Wilson

If we should train as we fight, where does firearms proficiency sit for protectors both in and outside jurisdictions where carrying one is even a possibility? We are delighted to finally welcome longtime Circuit Magazine Contributor and Firearms expert Orlando "Andy" Wilson to the podcast to discuss:

  • Jurisdictional challenges when carrying a firearm both in the United States and internationally

  • Best or better practice when handling concealed weapons

  • The balance between hobbyist competition shooting and firearms skills relevant to EP

  • Possibilities for effective firearms and ammunition training

  • Reputational risk from firearms incidents

If you enjoy listening to the Circuit Podcast and can spare a minute, please rate/review us. Your rating will help us to rank higher making it easier for others to find the podcast.


Japan said on Friday it would begin a once-unthinkable $320 billion military build-up that would arm it with missiles capable of striking China and ready it for a sustained conflict as regional tensions increase

The activation of the U.S. Space Forces Korea at Osan Air Base came after North Korea test-fired a barrage of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

Two dozen suspects including current and former members of the military and a former lawmaker are arrested in dawn raids

President Vladimir Putin was seen in late October overseeing the launch of a similar Yars nuclear missile on a mock attack on the West amid high tension over his February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Former Albanian president Sali Berisha, 78, was leading hundreds of anti-government protesters when a 31-year-old man emerged from the crowd and attacked the politician.

Ryan Fischer was shot by James Howard Jackson while walking two of the singer's French bulldogs.

The property association is "aware of the bounty placed on 6ix9ine's life" ... after getting out of prison "in exchange for information regarding others," which creates a dangerous situation for residents, guests, employees and staff members.

For more timely global updates like this, get the Circuit Daily Briefing delivered to your inbox... daily! Get on the list >


Knowing Your Value

The problem with cutting your rates is that it sends a signal to your client that you are not worth the money you charge.

As Harlan Austin explains, you should think of it like as a consumer. People who are selling a superior product or service do not have to drop their prices. They know their product is worth the money. And they know their customers will pay a fair price.

This is not arrogance; this is confidence. Clients may not always enjoy paying for services rendered, but they appreciate knowing they are getting good value for the money they spend on personal protection. When you stick to your guns, you send a message to your client that your services are worth every penny of what you are charging.

If you enjoyed this article and want more great content from across the industry then subscribe to the Circuit Magazine >


Circuit Magazine - Issue 63 - Get Your Copy


"This is a fantastic publication. This magazine is included in our (BBA) Corporate membership package. It’s a great read, informative and keeps the team at Pinnacle Risk up to speed and ahead of the industry."

- Tracy Webster - Pinnacle Risk Consultancy


Does Escalating Unrest in North Kosovo Point Towards a Return to War?

On Dec. 10-11, tensions flared in north Kosovo as hundreds of ethnic Serbs erected roadblocks using heavy machinery at two border crossings with Serbia, obstructing traffic in the Zvecan and Leposavic areas.

The Serbs exchanged gunfire with the Kosovar police near the Brnjak checkpoint, while EULEX — the European Union mission tasked with patrolling northern Kosovo — confirmed that an unidentified individual also threw a stun grenade at one of its armored vehicles.

In response to the latest flare-up, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called for a de-escalation, but also warned that Serbia's army was ready to intervene to protect the Serb minority in Kosovo. In addition, Vucic demanded that Kosovar police release all recently arrested Serbs, who he says ''are held on trumped up charges,'' and withdraw from the Serb-majority regions in the country's north. Following Vucic's statements, Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti accused his Serbian counterpart of threatening military aggression and promising that, in such a scenario, Kosovo will ''defend itself, forcefully and decisively''. European and U.S. diplomats, meanwhile, have demanded an immediate end to the unrest.

The latest incidents represent the most intense fighting between ethnic Serbs and Albanians that Kosovo has seen in nearly 20 years. However, the presence of around 4,000 NATO peacekeepers in the region will likely prevent the recent spate of scattered attacks from escalating into widespread ethnic violence.

Special Offer for On the Circuit Readers


[Ask the Network] Where is A.I. going?

Do you think the advancements in Artificial Intelligence, specifically Deep Fake videos, will make it harder for us to do our jobs?

• If eyes, face, voice and fingerprints can be reproduced, then access control into protected spaces in the future will be among the biggest challenges AI poses to physical security. - BA

• Just another tool or weapon to study. Can go both ways - JP

• This can take identity theft to a dangerously frightening level. - MJ

Ask questions, get advice, and find industry resources from an active and thriving community of professional, working operators:

🇺🇸 NABA Protector >

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Executive Security and CP Technology Forum London - 26 Jan 2023

In association with the BBA, CTGI presents the Eighth Annual Executive Security and CP Technology Forum in London. One of the few ‘must-attend’ events on the protector’s calendar.


No More Tracking Elon’s Private Jet - But Your Client is Still at Risk!

A Twitter account tracking the movements of Elon Musk’s private jet has been suspended for apparently breaching the platform’s rules.

Musk has stressed that Twitter will be a bastion of free speech under his ownership and has said that the account, @Elonjet, set up by Jack Sweeney, a student at the University of Central Florida, would not face sanction.

“Well it appears @ElonJet is suspended,” Sweeney said in a tweet from a personal account yesterday. A screenshot of the account indicated that it had been permanently suspended by the social media platform.

Last night Musk appeared to justify the move by saying a car carrying his son had been followed.

“Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation,” he tweeted. “This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info.

“Last night, car carrying lil X in LA was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood.

“Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family.”

Musk is not the only high-profile person to have been targeted by Sweeney. The student tracks planes belonging to a number of Russian businessmen and has an account that tracks a plane purportedly owned by Vladimir Putin.

However, the other accounts were working as normal last night and had not been suspended!


[New Book] Strategic Risk and Crisis Management by Dr David Rubens

We're delighted to announce the publication date of the new book by a friend of the Circuit, Dr David Rubens. ‘Strategic Risk and Crisis Management: A handbook for modelling and managing complex risks’ will be released on 3rd February 2023.

Be ready to respond and recover in times of maximum chaos and learn how to create frameworks to prepare for potential high-impact events with this effective handbook.

Circuit readers can preorder their copy now and receive a 20% discount with the code: ISRM20

‘The entertaining stories and practical lessons offer a supremely useful handbook for everyone who confronts risks and crises in today’s world – that’s all of us.’

General Stanley McChrystal, Author, Team of Teams

Security Megatrends: The 2023 Vision for the Security Industry

The Security Industry Association (SIA) have produced their 2023 Security Megatrends publication that identifies and forecasts key impact factors for the security industry in the coming year.

The Top 3 2023 Security Megatrends are:

  1. Cybersecurity and Physical Security

  2. Artificial Intelligence

  3. Workforce Development


Define the Aim, Offer Options, Set Boundaries - Be Prepared to WALK AWAY!

The Task

Two weeks ago, we had a surveillance tasking that we thought was worth posting about. The task was reasonably straightforward – stake out an address and see whether an individual was living there.

The interesting part was the client’s perception of surveillance, what could be achieved, and the numbers required to achieve the task, plus what he thought it needed.

Unless the client has knowledge of surveillance, the initial request is more often than not: ‘surveillance for an undefined duration and if you identify him/her follow them detailing where they have gone and who they meet’.

Clearly, identifying someone at an address is a considerably different task to following an individual where the requirement is to detail all movements – the two tasks are completely different.

Understanding the aim

Based on our experience, when we initially discuss surveillance tasking (covert variety) with a client, our primary aim is always to define the exact client-aim and what they want to achieve. Once defined, it’s far easier to recommend an option to achieve that aim.

Required Resources

When the requirement is assessed as ‘dynamic-surveillance’ (stakeout, pick-up, follow and detail locations/meetings etc.), the client is often shocked with the resources required to cover this and the costs involved, and their initial response is often, ‘Oh, I thought one person would be able to cover it’.

Offer Options

In these circumstances, we generally explain to the client the ‘art of the possible’ and all the variables involved in surveillance. Then we offer the client three options to cover the task – ‘gold-silver-bronze’ - basically each option utilising fewer resources.

Establish Boundaries

When being asked to utilise fewer resources, importantly, we include a sliding scale of ‘likely success’ with each option detailing where the issues are. Offering options still allows us to provide the client with ‘an option’ but ensures they fully understand the issues/likelihood of success etc. That said, there’s always a point where we will not conduct a task ‘just for the sake of it’ utilising unrealistic resources/operators – it’s not good for us (reputation-wise) or the client.

Always define the aim, have an honest discussion with the client, offer realistic options and be prepared to decline the task if being pushed to use an unrealistic option that you know won’t achieve the aim and reflect badly.


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