How Doing Extensive Industry Research Can Benefit Your Company
Can you write the book on your clients? Global Security’s Greg Coury talks to Ron Davis about the importance of collecting data.
Greg Coury knew it was a setup the minute he looked up and saw me standing there, right in his Bonita Springs, Fla., office. He just didn’t know what kind of a setup it really was.
First, a little background. Fellow SSI columnist Ken Kirschenbaum set me up a month before I met Coury, who is president of Global Security. We’re talking about one thing or another, and during the conversation he somehow talked me into giving away what turned out to be hundreds of copies of my book, “The Start of the Deal.”
The next thing I knew I was reading a newsletter from Kirschenbaum to all of his subscribers that offered my book as a holiday present from him, at my expense … and I fell for it.
Now jump ahead about 30 days, and there sat my wife, Beverly, and I addressing packages and mailing out those books all over the country.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Alarm Dealer
By pure coincidence, I happened on Coury’s name and noticed the address was just a few blocks from where I spend my winters. I decided to deliver his book personally. For just a moment, I felt like a celebrity, being instantly recognized by a complete stranger.
I was dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops; Coury was in business attire (Florida style) and to my thinking, perhaps even a little overdressed. He stood in the middle of his office, looked at me, and we both broke out laughing. I handed him a copy of the book, took in enough of his trophy walls, inventory, signs, etc., to assure myself that he was the real deal — a living, breathing alarm dealer only a few blocks from where I live.
We chatted for a few moments, and since I didn’t want to overstay my welcome (remember, I barged in on him) I took my leave. An hour later, he called and invited me to meet him at my favorite breakfast haunt the following morning to continue the conversation.
Coury has been in the security industry for more than 30 years, as an alarm dealer and integrator doing access control, CCTV, etc., that so many of the approximately 12,000 independent alarm dealers do for a living.
I suspect Coury is a bit more successful, financially, then most, however. We must have talked about a dozen different subjects, and finally I got around to asking him my signature question, “If you had just one really great idea you could share with all those alarm dealers who are going to read this column, what would it be?” Within a few seconds, he shot back, “Collect data.”
Research Reaps Rewards for Those Who Dig In
You see what differentiates Coury from many dealers, and I believe he is one of a very small minority, is that he does extensive research on trends in the industry, products, services, marketing and a whole host of other important topics.
Remember, he found out about me by reading Kirschenbaum’s newsletter. We talked about his response and he elaborated by explaining, “With enough data on any given subject, I can formulate a plan to market, install and service a multitude of products for all of my clients. And my clients know that I do this, and know that they can talk to me about just about any aspect of the security industry and I will have information available. Sometimes I even have statistical information on how the products are used and what customer satisfaction has been achieved.”
While we were sitting in that restaurant, I realized that I was talking with not just a pretty good security guy, but also a multitasking business executive who certainly was worldly on a whole plethora of products and services.
Maybe it should not have surprised me that the name of Coury’s company is Global Security. When I first saw that name walking in the door of his office the previous day, I thought this person might be not just an optimist, but also a successful entrepreneur constantly expanding his business. And that describes Coury.
There are so many things that entrepreneurs do right, there’s not enough room in one Big Idea page to fill them but fortunately I get to tackle different steps toward success every month. I’ll leave you with a short story about two entrepreneurs.
Seems they met for breakfast one day and the first entrepreneur said to the second entrepreneur, “I’ll give you a dollar if you give me a dollar, and we both can claim we made a dollar today.” Certainly not a loss, nor a gain. Now, change “dollar” to “idea” and think about what can happen. I do this all the time — I get to ask alarm dealers, “If you had just one really great idea …” See what I mean?
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