Keep Selling Even After You Close the Sale
Marketing communication with your alarm system customers should not only happen during the presale stage, but throughout your professional relationship. Continuous communication with your customers will help lengthen your affiliation and often result in additional sales opportunities after customers realize they need a service your company provides.
For example, consider the young family that selected your company to install a simple, yet effective, alarm system right after they bought their first house a few years ago. What if that family now has a child entering the home alone after school? Certainly, mom and dad will be more comfortable knowing they can receive an alert when this happens — or if it does not happen. Those parents might even be enticed to go a step further and leverage video technology to look in on their child from a secure Internet connection. Others may even be inclined to use GPS technology to track their youngster’s whereabouts at all times.
Obviously, as a security professional, you know there are products and services that enable each of these capabilities quite easily. But do your customers know this too? Don’t expect customers to look for ways to spend money with your company. You must present them ideas by continuously promoting the services you offer.
Easy Ways to Touch the Customer
Nearly all of the new services that come to market are originated at the central station level, and those companies have a responsibility to develop interest in their new offerings too. However, once an alarm dealer chooses to incorporate a new technology into its company’s offerings, it becomes that business’ job to sell the service to its customers, with support of the central station.
In addition to a comprehensive Web site, the most efficient, cost-effective way for an alarm contractor to maintain an ongoing sales conversation with its customers is to include printed materials about the firm’s complete line of products and services with hard-copy billing statements.
Another popular format to promote two distinct ideas is a letter sheet cut in thirds with printing on the front and back. In most cases, a glossy letter-sized sheet folded in thirds and added to a billing statement in a standard No. 10 envelope remains less than one ounce, meaning that postage will not increase for that quarter’s mailing.
These types of end-user material are usually offered by central stations for the purpose of helping you grow your business. By eliminating the cost of material development (content and printing) and with no extra postage required, why not take advantage of a free post-sale marketing campaign?
Utilizing Customized Content
It is important for alarm contractors to carefully select the materials used in a post-sale marketing campaign, which could mean segregating your commercial and residential accounts to receive distinctly different messages. The reason is that homeowners are not interested in solutions for large-scale agricultural facilities and, conversely, the director of corporate security is not interested in learning about personal emergency response service (PERS) for the elderly — at least not at work.
Other factors to consider are your geographic location, as well as the season of the year because the immediate concern of drifting snow banks that block air vents (resulting in a carbon monoxide buildup) is not very high in Miami or the rest of the United States during peak summer months.
The point is: To maximize the effectiveness of a post-sale marketing campaign, you must provide customers with relevant and timely information that will make an impact as soon as they read it. It is the collective alarm industry’s job to continuously educate customers about the services we provide. Although a Web site is a component of this ongoing education, printed materials remain the most effective.
Kevin Lehan is Manager of Public Relations for Des Plaines, Ill.-based Emergency24 Inc. He also serves as executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA).
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