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13 Ways to Build Security Customers for Life

How great would it be to be able to get inside the mind of some of your clients and prospects to know exactly what they are thinking and what you could do to win their business for as long as you want it? Experience and common sense notwithstanding, most of us are not that clairvoyant. But don't schedule that meeting with your mystic or fortune-teller just yet.

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How great would it be to be able to get inside the mind of some of your clients and prospects to know exactly what they are thinking and what you could do to win their business for as long as you want it? Experience and common sense notwithstanding, most of us are not that clairvoyant. But don’t schedule that meeting with your mystic or fortune-teller just yet. 

SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION‘s 2012 Commercial End-User Study may offer the answers you seek as it asked respondents precisely what makes an integrator a hero in their eyes. The complete findings of this 8th annual survey, this year produced in cooperation with ASIS Int’l, ISC/Reed Exhibitions, the Security Executive Council and Campus Safety magazine, can be found in the September isssue of SSI. Nearly 500 end users participated in this year’s survey, and a baker’s dozen of the most telling responses to the “hero” question are listed below. No crystal ball necessary.

  1. “Willingness to extend warranty dates to make sure I am satisfied with the installation and its performance; willingness to train and retrain us on use of the system for free; extensive knowledge of available products; and understanding all people-counting technologies.”
  2. “Customer-focused, technical expertise, knows product functionality, listens to what our needs are and doesn’t just want to sell a product that is useless for our needs, prompt service response, and an important member of the team.”
  3. “Ability to suggest creative, cost-effective solutions to security problems, not just take something off the shelf.”
  4. “Keeping things simple — not every facility needs protected like the Pentagon!”
  5. “Taking the time to understand my problem before issuing an unnecessarily high quote that only addresses the worst-case scenario.”
  6. “They should be knowledgeable, personable, good speaking and writing skills, open-minded and a great listener.”
  7. “The ability to present several solutions to deliver the desired outcome with the budget constraints most companies currently have. The integrator has to be able to present ideas for the current solution and how to build for the future.”
  8. “No. 1 with our preferred integrators is certain people they have on staff. If these people were to leave, we may look at changing vendors.”
  9. “Quality workmanship, reasonable cost, low customer impact and techs look out for customer.”
  10. “A company that is able to respond when needed and to correct/address issues the right way the first time, limiting return calls. One that identifies pre-installation problems or issues with existing system design and provides specific changes/remarks to correct issue.”
  11. “Staying in touch with his/her customer; don’t just dump off the product and run. If you don’t want a relationship we have no need for you. Don’t be frightened to give us new ideas your company or competitors have. Yes, money is important — I know you have to get money out of the deal too — but I want an idea merchant as much as a product merchant. I do not automatically assume you are trying to sell me what I don’t need. I want an intelligent guy I can collaborate with.”
  12. “I look for someone who is able to bring everyone from basic security officers to IT employees to the table and explain things so that everyone understands what they are talking about. Also not pushing one product or service; give us some options.
  13. “Doing what is needed truthfully. Delivering what is promised, when promised. One who will offer an opinion as to what is needed even if it does not agree with our perception, and then allowing us to make an intelligent, informed decision.”

Scott Goldfine

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About the Author
Scott Goldfine
Scott joined SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in October 1998 and has distinguished himself by producing award-winning, exemplary work. His editorial achievements have included blockbuster articles featuring major industry executives, such as Tyco Electronic Products Group Managing Director Gerry Head; Protection One President/CEO Richard Ginsburg; former Brink’s Home Security President/CEO Peter Michel; GE Interlogix President/CEO Ken Boyda; Bosch Security Systems President/CEO Peter Ribinski; and former SecurityLink President/CEO Jim Covert. Scott, who is an NTS Certified alarm technician, has become a respected and in-demand speaker at security industry events, including presentations at the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) Annual Meeting; California Alarm Association (CAA) Summer and Winter Conferences; PSA Security Network Conference; International Security Conference and Exhibition (ISC); and Security Industry Association (SIA) Forum. Scott often acts as an ambassador to mainstream media and is a participant in several industry associations. His previous experience as a cable-TV technician/installer and running his own audio company -- along with a lifelong fascination with electronics and computers -- prepared Scott well for his current position. Since graduating in 1986 with honors from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Radio-Television- Film, his professional endeavors have encompassed magazines, radio, TV, film, records, teletext, books, the Internet and more. In 2005, Scott captured the prestigious Western Publisher Maggie Award for Best Interview/Profile Trade for "9/11 Hero Tells Tale of Loses, Lessons," his October 2004 interview with former FDNY Commander Richard Picciotto, the last man to escape the Ground Zero destruction alive.
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