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Between Us Pros: Style and Substance Breed Success

SSI Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine discusses the benefits of standing out from the pack.

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Like apparently half the folks at the recent and well attended ASIS show in Dallas (see our event coverage online now and look for more in our December issue), before the exhibits opened I found myself in a huge line that wove through the convention center’s lobby waiting to obtain that precious morning nectar — Starbucks coffee. What’s a java junkie to do when the options are so scant? Or were they?

A select few, myself included, spied an adjacent and low-key “gourmet” foods stand and ventured off in search of an alternative. Those among the crowd who gambled away their queued positions hit a coffee pot jackpot! The other vendor not only had “joe” aplenty, but it was also Starbucks brew to boot — with prompt and friendly service. As I sipped my caffeine fix and reclaimed 20 minutes of my life, I was struck by the importance of independent thought and action.

Nowhere is that more critical than in the security business. Every corner of America is served by multiple providers selling very similar products, systems and services. Want to stand out from the pack? Look different, act different ... be different. Demonstrate style and creativity. Want to ensure long-term success? Back up that style with the substance of premium and consistent customer service. If you’re looking for inspiration there’s plenty of examples in our industry.

Take Stanley Convergent Security Solutions (CSS) for instance. Having already established itself as a wellspring of marketing ingenuity and extravagance, the firm outdid itself with the social event of ASIS — an on-field BBQ at Cowboys Stadium that featured team owner Jerry Jones, former players and cheerleaders. Lavish? Sure, but the bang for the buck of giving customers an experience they will remember a lifetime will likely pay off in the long run.

Of course, most companies don’t have anywhere near that sort of budget (nor do they target the same national accounts) — but you don’t have to in order to differentiate yourself. It’s more about how shrewdly you deploy your resources rather than their extent. Other examples of outside-the-box thinking include ASG Security’s ads on outfield walls at minor league baseball stadiums, CPI Security Systems’ TV spots with bodyguards dressed in black to analogize protection and Keyth Technologies’ Marvel Comics-themed service vehicles.

It’s no coincidence that all of these companies have received recognition in the industry’s preeminent celebration of sales, marketing, overall business and installation excellence — the SAMMYs. Now in its 16th year, the SAMMY (Sales & Marketing) Awards encourage and reward installing security companies that implement best practices, materials and projects throughout their operations.

This unique program includes 12 categories — ranging from as basic as company logo to as comprehensive as overall marketing campaign — and participation is completely free. However, it is necessary to submit entries before the Dec. 31 deadline. The awards presentation and reception, which is also free to attend, takes place the eve of ISC West. For 2011, that’s April 5 at 4:30 p.m. in Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel and Casino.

“The SAMMYs provide a benchmark and continually hold the industry to higher standards encouraging and pushing security companies to improve in key areas,” says Stanley CSS President/COO Tony Byerly. “Furthermore, it is a great venue for security providers to get together and learn and share about industry best practices.”

Not only does the SAMMY Awards honor inventive and conscientious companies, but finalists and winners receive substantial coverage from SSI in print and online that further differentiates those businesses. Now that is what I call really standing out from the pack. For more info on the SAMMYs along with entry forms, go to Good luck!

Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent more than 12 years with SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125 or


Article Topics
Business Management · Systems Integration · ASIS · Between Us Pros · Customer Service · ISC West · Managing Your Business · SAMMY Awards · All Topics

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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View More by Scott Goldfine
ASIS, Between Us Pros, Customer Service, ISC West, Managing Your Business, SAMMY Awards, Stanley CSS

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