Selling Bigger Video Systems


In today’s economy everything seems to be shrinking. Sales numbers are down, revenues are down and customers aren’t spending anywhere near as much as they did just a couple of years ago.

But for the integrator does that mean you are relegated to a life of four-camera convenience store systems? Are the days of the big pops gone?

Not exactly. It is true that our customer base is being far more frugal than they once were. The problem is that the need for video security hasn’t changed. Those who truly needed that level of protection haven’t changed, and those who didn’t really care about video still don’t.

That group that still needs video is various in size and application. There are still large systems being sold today, and will be tomorrow. The trick is to find the right customer/market, determine the actual need and, the most important aspect, demonstrate the value.

Position Yourself Differently

One of the things you can’t do is blend in with the competition. That is a sure way to get lost in the shuffle. You and your company need to stand out above the crowd. What can you do to set yourself apart from the rest? Once again, it comes down to value. You need to be there to solve your customer’s problems, not sell them things.

The customer has business issues, and you need to solve them. If you approach a prospective client trying to sell them product, the first thing you will hear back is, “How much does it cost?” Once that happens, you can almost be sure you’ve lost the sale. If you keep the discussion elevated above price and product until the very last minute, you can keep focused on the value you bring as a solution provider, regardless of which stuff they choose to install.

If you can convince the customer you have their best interests in mind and you can bring a level of value to the table no one else can, they just might be more willing to invest a little more of their hard-earned budget in you than they otherwise would.

Changing the Discussion to ROI

As integrators and technology salespeople, we tend to get caught up in the cool toy of the day. We approach a potential customer and attempt to impress them with specifications and performance benchmarks. “Look how well this camera can see in low light!” “See how much storage you can get with this compression method?”

These conversations may work on the daily user of the system, and maybe on the security manager who reads the technology magazines and blogs, and faithfully travels to the big tradeshows every year, but as you climb the corporate ladder the situation changes.

If you sit down in front of a finance director, CFO or even a CEO of a company and start talking megapixels and megabits, you will see some pretty glazed-over eyes. In front of a crowd of suits like this, the focus needs to shift. These people speak the language of return on investment (ROI).

Figuring out the ROI of any pending sale is crucial to getting that sale through to completion, especially in these difficult economic times. What it is not, however, is easy. It takes homework and research to determine what makes a company tick.

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