The shift to digital technology and IP-based solutions is readily apparent, especially at the big trade shows. Jim Talbot, CEO of Chicago-based Ionit Technologies, a provider of advanced DVR systems, provides his perspective on what security contractors could be doing better to take advantage of sales opportunities beyond legacy infrastructure.
What can security contractors do better to capitalize on selling IP-based systems to new clients?
I think the biggest mistake dealers are doing is not hiring true network technicians. Hiring guys that are good with computers or spend a lot of time on the Internet does not make them a network technician. If you’re technicians are not savvy, the customer can smell that a mile away.
Is there a common shortfall security contractors commit that ultimately thwarts network sales efforts?
I don’t believe they have increased the expertise of their technicians proportionally or they haven’t really done an honest assessment — have they brought on enough techs? Because that true technician is going to save you costs in the long run. You are going to cut down trips, you are going to cut down failures; the product is going to be explained properly from the beginning — which is ultimately going to help you get that sale.
How can suppliers assist dealers in developing a new class of customers?
They have to help their dealers get over the fear of cross-selling. Meaning, bring your manufacturers into the meeting. It is extremely difficult for a dealer to keep up on the rapid improvements or future improvements that a manufacturer has. It is up to the manufacturer to say, ‘I’m not going to steal your customers. We need each other. Take me in so I can explain your technology to C-level executives.’ ”
Looking at the industry overall, what one thing really aggravates you?
I am most frustrated about the level of technology understanding. It needs to be increased across the board. These are now IT products, they are going away from the physical security product. It’s all network-centric so you have to sell it as that from the beginning. Security Sales & Integration