When the economy made a turn for the worst, Davenport, Iowa-based Per Mar Security had to revamp its selling strategy. Redirecting its focus on recurring monthly revenue (RMR) growth opportunities, the company started offering managed access control and hosted video services to its 33,000 accounts. As a result, the company now brings in about $1.4 million in RMR, compared to $1.2 million in 2009.
“We don’t want to lose any customers, so we scrap and fight to do what we can to save them,” Per Mar Security Vice President and General Manager of Electronic Security Brad Tolliver says. “We have a program called ‘Refuse to Lose,’ and it gives our workers the parameters to work by on a daily basis.”
Founded in 1953, the full service security provider operates 22 locations along with its own UL-Listed, FM-approved central station. Per Mar’s 2,500 employees, including uniform security officers, receive customer care training as well as instruction from a full-time, in-house training director who conducts specially developed courses based on position.
“We believe that we put our people first and our customers second,” Tolliver says. “If we take care of our people and instill the proper values in them, they’ll ultimately take care of our customers. The financial side will come after that.”
Along with instituting a portfolio of managed services, Per Mar focused on retooling its marketing initiatives and focus on branding. The company now markets heavily on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. A series of YouTube videos have also been developed to inform potential clients about Per Mar services. However, the switch to social media marketing was not that easy.
“It does take time to manage because we have to update it and stay in tune with it on a daily basis,” Tolliver says. “So there was a learning curve, but it’s definitely progressing every month. We’ve also kicked off Google search engine optimization [SEO] to track and monitor our progress through Internet attributes.”
Another way Per Mar works on improving its business is through industry associations and alliances. One such example is the company’s membership in the Security Network of America (SNA), a group of independent security firms that collaborate to compete against major national companies.
“It helps us continue to think into the future,” Tolliver says. “We share a lot of best practice information and financial data. It helps us benchmark our strengths, weaknesses and areas we need to work on.”
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