Selling Bigger Video Systems

As I mentioned earlier, the first thing to do with a new customer is determine their business problems. The first step in calculating ROI is to put a value to it. Questions like, “How much is the internal shrinkage costing you?” or “If you didn’t have to have a person standing and monitoring that valve, how much would it save you?” are quick ways to get started down the ROI path.

There are other factors that go far beyond the scope of this column, but the bottom line is to show the customer how fast they can recoup the cost of the system by solving the problem. If you can demonstrate a return in a matter of months or a couple of years, they will be more willing to open the purse strings.

Leverage Existing Infrastructure

It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that using your customer’s existing equipment or infrastructure would open the door to bigger systems and sales, but it all comes down to expert engineering.

If the money is allocated already, using existing cabling or other infrastructure could possibly shift funds to actual equipment purchases instead of pulling cable. Working with the IT admin staff to utilize existing networks can be a good way to save money as well, as long as the network is up to par.

If the customer has an existing analog system and is looking to upgrade, maybe a straight one-to-one upgrade is not the most sensible course of action. A better approach might be to keep the existing cameras or matrix switcher and install a hybrid system with back-end storage capability that provides room to add more IP cameras and actually expand the system.

Shifting the Cost

If none of the above works, there is still one more way to try and expand the available funds for a project. That is helping the customer obtain other sources of funding. For a private company, it may be possible to shift the budget to other departments (HR, IT, etc.) that may derive a benefit from it.

If you are working in the government sector, grants are the way to go. There are many sources of grant funding, especially outside of the security market. I have recently seen grants that provide funding for freeway capacity planning be awarded to video projects that use cameras and analytics to count the vehicles. Here again, it comes down to doing the research. It really pays off.

With many different ways to approach the problem of shrinking budgets, there is a common theme. In order to achieve any of the above, you need to show the value. I can’t stress that word enough.

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