Many arguments or debates could be started on how the electronic security industry has changed during the past two or three decades. Consider the advances to hardware, software, communications channels and services, just to name a few.
Another vast area that has changed is the methods in which security and especially home burglar alarm systems are marketed and sold. For the veterans of the industry, we remember when home security barely had any type of marketing presence. Now we see television, newspaper, magazine, billboard, online and other mediums constantly pitching home security.
In addition, some of the fastest growing alarm companies have skipped right over traditional marketing methods and resolved that knocking on doors produces the best results. All in all things have changed significantly. Although this may be true, many security professionals believe certain fundamentals should never be lost.
It seems the rapid pace of Internet sales and door-knocking campaigns have caused some traditional alarm dealers to resort to a faster, less comprehensive sales pitch. Some have gone from the comprehensive in-home sales presentation to a fast-and-furious pitched attempt at a power close.
Tell a Holistic Story to the Client
The residential security channel has room for the wide variety of life-safety offerings and dealer business models that exist today. That said I am concerned a good many traditional dealers — even those with the desire to maintain clients with comprehensive systems and that consider securing all openings and areas of a home — are really starting to miss out.
This is because they have strayed away from telling the entire story to their perspective clients. It is essential for a presentation be complete, including the in-home demonstration as well as bringing the central station into the sale. To illustrate this point, dealers who utilized two-way audio verification demonstrations have experienced an increase in their closing ratios.
With all the great strides made in new technologies, dealers have such great opportunities nowadays to demonstrate services such as Web access, smartphone access and control, and remote video, among others.
Consumers long for valuable information, especially when it comes to areas where they are not highly educated. Although security has grown and consumers are more educated than in the past, they are not up on a lot of the new technology. This presents the greatest opportunity for the dealers who are willing to take the time to explain what is available, and possible.
This is a great value when presenting to new users and especially when presenting to existing or experienced users. The experienced user is looking for new reasons to make a security decision. This will put you ahead of the competition, especially when the competition is not offering a comprehensive presentation and demonstration.
In short, times are not exactly the best. I don’t believe anyone likes to leave “money on the table.” Quality leads and new sales are hard to come by. It is crucial that we do all we can in a professional manner when in front of a potential client. The tools and services are available; don’t forget to utilize them during every sales presentation. I am sure you will find it brings you more sales that yield greater margins.
Peter Giacalone is president of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.