5 Upgrades to Offer Existing Clients

OK, the economy is in the dumps, customers have no money, and security services and contracts are being cut. Nobody said conducting business as normal would be easy. However, that being said, the security market is one that typically holds up pretty well during bad times and this recession is no different.

The good news is there are diamonds in the rough, if you know where to look and peruse them. One of those key business areas is emphasizing security upgrades to your existing customer base.

You remember your existing customers, don’t you? They’re the ones who were so happy with your products and services that they decided to commit cash and confidence to your organization. Where did they go? Are they still breathing? They must be since you are still getting recurring monthly revenue (RMR) from them.

This is often the habit, especially for many small- and medium-sized security dealers. Having added another monitored account, the mentality is to move on for more RMR conquests. In doing so, you are passing up hidden gems.

You now have the opportunity to show these FOMB (fans of my business) how they can improve their security, make it more efficient and save money. At a time when new sales are in decline, do your homework and concentrate on service and product upgrades. Let’s look at five examples.


Smart Sales Via Intelligent Video


One of the things that had always amazed me was that after selling a video monitoring solution, a light would go off for the customer and they would realize extra manpower would be required to watch all those nice new monitors.

Today, we have the excellent video upgrade offering of video analytics. Manufacturers like Verint make hardware, such as the Nextiva S1900e encoder, that can convert standard analog cameras to IP digital networks and, best of all, video analytics can be applied. Placing the processing power of the video analytics in an “edge” device such as an encoder is the best way to go.

The end result is an existing system is made more efficient, and labor costs can be reduced since all monitors do not need to be watched all the time.


Speak to Me … Quickly


Another area that can be costly to customers is false alarm fines. They can also erode the alarm system owner’s and their employees’ confidence in a professionally installed and monitored system. Knowing that the vast majority of false alarms are due to system operator error, what might be a good upsell option here?

How about the addition of two-way audio from the monitoring station? Many older alarm controls did not come with hands-free, two-way audio communications. The newer ones do. Need I say more?

This feature alone allows for rapid communications with the customer after they have accidentally tripped an alarm. It is not that uncommon for commercial establishments to have an employee who, having not disarmed the system in a while, gets confused and accidentally sets off the alarm. Two-way audio can have you talking with the customer in a matter of seconds. Dealers can charge extra for this value-added service.

Oh yes, another advantage of a panel upgrade is the SIA CP-01 false alarm features the customer will get as well. This upgrade is another win-win.

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About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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