Putting Relationship Back Into RMR

Timing is everything. In today’s difficult economy, the global integration and installation community is scrambling to make the most out of its existing investments. At the same time, it’s focusing on an important key to navigating an unpredictable economy — the ongoing generation of recurring monthly revenue (RMR).

The path to RMR, though, is not all about the product. Today’s products are exciting, but in this challenging market, it’s the personal relationship that’s winning and keeping customers. And the recipe for strengthening those relationships is trust, value, customer satisfaction and manufacturer reliability. The dealers of today must master that concept now to thrive heading into the future.

Expanding Role of the Dealer

In the past an end user may have only expected occasional contact with the dealer once a system was installed. Specifically, the end user expected to see the dealer once or maybe twice a year for routine maintenance, but continuous, day-to-day interaction with customers wasn’t always the norm.

That era, though, is officially over. That’s because dealers and installers who once may have been viewed more as equipment vendors are increasingly assuming true business partner and consultative roles. And business partners are not evaluated lightly, tough economy or not.

A dealer who offers managed access services to his customers, for example, is more involved in the daily operation of their businesses. This is especially true for end users who don’t have the personnel bandwidth to devote to security operations. In these instances, the dealer becomes a valued asset whose daily actions have a direct impact on his customers’ security.

Today, end users have the ability to easily manage their system via a Web browser anywhere — and within the next year, it’s expected they’ll also be able to view live video remotely.

A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed

 

The market is primed for the evolution brought about by these emerging technologies because end users today are more comfortable outsourcing functions of their business that they never have in the past.

 

This is especially true if these services reduce the common headaches associated with system management.

When their dealer tells them how they can eliminate dedicated servers, eliminate software maintenance and upgrades, and spend less money on hardware upgrades, end users start listening. And when their dealer explains that there’s no need for dedicated staff to manage the system, it gets the end users’ attention.

With all of that said, put yourself in your customers’ shoes: Would you invite someone to manage a critical aspect of your business without completely trusting them?

That answer should be a resounding, “No.”

This brings everything back to selling the relationship. One of the important factors in retaining customers is the presence of a personal relationship. Friendships and smooth working relationships are also critical for references for new customers. Let’s face it, when someone asks you for a recommendation for something, aren’t you more likely to think of a friend?

It’s true that today’s technology offers more capabilities than ever before. But make no mistake about it: The bandwidth that allows you to manage access control from remote locations, the IP servers that allow you to pool DVRs, and the platform that ties together your video with access control is only as good as the relationship you sell.

The dealers who understand and embrace that concept will avoid being left behind when a wave of prosperity returns to the industry.

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