To score high marks when bidding on a CCTV job, know the equipment that you sell, create a full-serv

A greasy-haired man, wearing gold chains around his neck and diamond rings on every finger approaches you. His suit is too small and his shoes are scuffed. It’s too late to run; he’s seen you.

He shakes your hand and tells you you’re the greatest. Then you sign on the dotted line. You leave and you never hear from him again. When you call with a problem, he’s not there.

Being a consumer, you are susceptible to this kind of poor treatment. No one wants to be ignored after the sale, especially when so many companies are focusing on customer service. Just as you expect more from a salesperson, your customers expect more from you.

That’s one reason Tom Daly, security sales consultant for Atlantic Video Systems in Billerica, Mass., says winning CCTV jobs is about emphasizing “service after the sale.”

“We want to separate ourselves from the trunk slammers,” says Daly. “We want our clients to know they’re as important to us after the sale as they are before the sale.”

Providing superior customer service is one way to beat competitors in a bidding war. You want to win every bid you submit, especially since you are not paid for putting together a proposal that can take hours to assemble.

If you want to score high marks with prospective clients, it’s imperative to know the equipment that you sell, create a full-service environment so clients know they’re being taken care of and educate the user. There are also several other items you can add to your “things to do” list that will help you win the bid.

1. Know the Equipment You’re Selling

Perhaps the most important aspect of selling CCTV is to know how to utilize the equipment you’re selling and understand how it functions.

2. Network With Building Contractors

Networking with building contractors can help you sell all kinds of equipment, including CCTV.

If a building owner wants a security system installed during construction, you want the building contractor to think of you first and recommend your company.

3. Review the Entire Bid Package

The first thing you want to do when you receive the bid package, which will more than likely include the specified job, is to review it. Review the whole package to familiarize yourself with the job and its requested completion date. This will give you an idea of whether you have the skills and the time to do the job.

4. Visit the Job Site for a Walk-ThroughAfter thoroughly reviewing the specifications, set up a walk-through and/or a meeting with the contractor to get further clarification on the scope of the job.

Contact the person overseeing the job to make arrangements to go to the site and get acclimated with it before I try to put anything on paper,” says Daly.

5. Provide Detailed Equipment Information

Paying attention to little details and following directions will score big points with the person overseeing the project. Following are a few items that can or must be included in a bid (also provide anything requested):

6. Over Estimate the Labor

If any money is going to be lost on a job, it will more than likely be in labor. The equipment costs can be itemized, and if the client requests more equipment when you’re halfway into the job, you can have the client cover the cost.

7. Install Several Types of Equipment?

It’s good to have experience installing several types of equipment, but it can be cost- effective to stick to working with just a few vendors.

8. Get All the Details on Add-Ons

A client may want a bid for cameras that are being installed immediately and several more that will be added at a later date. This may happen to circumvent some of the costs.

9. Offer Continued Service, Training

Once the job is spec’d, installed and tested, it’s not over. You are responsible for keeping that client’s system in tip-top shape.

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