Class Act Creates Loyal Clients
By establishing a highly successful education program for its existing clientele, prospects and AHJs, a fire and security systems integrator has made a powerful case for value-added selling. It demonstrates how relationship and revenue building go hand-in-hand.
Source of Relationship Building
This education process has deepened Performance Systems’ relationships with both clients and fire marshals, enabling the integrator to provide and implement new technology as it becomes available.
An example is Internet communications for fire alarm systems. As this new technology has hit the market the past couple of years, many AHJs have been slow to implement change. Performance Systems was able to approach the Portland Fire Department about accepting Internet dialers in its jurisdiction. The company showed the department the documentation and explained the benefits of IP dialers. Subsequently, the dialers were approved based on UL 864 listing for the purpose.
Performance Systems then began approaching its existing customer base to point out the benefits and cost savings this new IP technology could provide. The highlighted advantages included cutting monthly phone line costs out. This is a big deal for a customer running an IP-based phone system while continuing to pay for one or two dedicated landlines to provide a reliable, constantly monitored connection to a central station.
Furthermore, discussions that began with an Internet dialer addition oftentimes developed into other opportunities for Performance Systems to provide other products and services.
There are many other examples how this type of education can have a positive effect on an integrator’s bottom line. Having the ability to call the AHJ that went through your class can give you a leg up in the approval process for alternative means and methods. A customer that had previously conducted its own testing and maintenance may have a different outlook after being educated about the added liability risk. Or you might discover your company’s name was brought up by the AHJ in discussions with the building owner trying to solve a system issue.
As Performance Systems has realized, taking the educational path can produce tangible results that include enabling the use of new technology to save clients money and, in some senses, is safer than the existing technology. It’s a win-win.
Larry Romaine, NICET CET III, is Vice President of Portland, Ore.-based Performance Systems Integration. He can be reached at (503) 641-2222 or [email protected].
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