It’s certainly no news flash that advances in technology can occur at a very fast pace. Technological advances in the security industry are no different and lately it seems that those advances are occurring at warp speed. Working in technical support, it’s obviously my job to stay informed, but even I can find it daunting to keep pace with the different products and services that are being offered almost on a daily basis.
So where does that leave the security dealer?
Besides the security-specific advances in technology, you must also deal with the ever-increasing advances in the area of lifestyle enhancement. In fact, the very focus of your business may be shifting from purely the security arena to more of what you can offer your customers in lifestyle enhancement. Let me be perfectly clear about this – there is no substitute for a monitored alarm system. However, virtually any dealer can offer this. How do you set yourself apart from the competition? The answer is lifestyle enhancement.
Adopters of new technology fall into five categories: innovators, early adopters, the early majority, the late majority and the laggards. The early majority and the late majority make up nearly 70% of the total. Think about that statistic – almost 7 out of 10 of your customers will adopt technology such as lifestyle enhancement in quick succession. Are you ready for those expectations? Early adopters perform several different functions, but their importance lies in putting new technologies through the paces and giving the rest of us a certain level of comfort as we adopt them ourselves. As a dealer, it would benefit you to think of yourself as the early adopter. Having demo panels in your office and the different services available accomplishes many things, but two of the most important are: 1) it gives your technicians a hands-on opportunity to install and learn the new technology before walking into the customer’s home and 2) potential new customers can see the technology in action and be more easily convinced to sign on the dotted line. Many of you have embraced these new possibilities and you’re well-positioned to grow your business.
However, I still field the occasional call from a technician asking if they should replace their 7845C radio even as we see the 2G sunset on the horizon. I also get calls from technicians that are still hesitant to adopt 5800 series wireless technology and do so only when they have no other alternative even as we prepare ourselves for the next generation of wireless. I even get calls from technicians that are asking what Honeywell Total Connect is and how it compares to Total Connect 2.0. The only way to get out from behind the curve is to stay ahead of it.
Be an Early Adopter
Early adopters are seen as respectable, valued opinion leaders and role models in the community and the security dealer should hold that coveted position. Many dealers are even beta testing products as they are rolled out and are prepared to hit the ground running when it comes to offering new technology to their customers. Many of you are familiar with the LYNX Touch 5100 or the Tuxedo Touch controller, but are you taking full advantage of all their features? Did you install a L5100 without adding a Wi-Fi, GSMVLP54G or Z-Wave module? Do you treat the Tuxedo Touch just like another AUI keypad or have you integrated a Z-Stat or IP camera? Again, these products will provide proven security, but they can do so much more when it comes to lifestyle enhancement – and your customer will expect these enhancements.
So, the monitored security system you installed for your customer does what it’s designed to do – they feel better protected and more secure. However, your customer’s neighbor may also have a monitored security system from another dealer. Thanks to Honeywell Total Connect Remote Services and Z-Wave technology, this neighbor can also disarm the system, unlock the front door, turn on the lights and turn up the heat as they pull into the neighborhood. Thanks to theE-Mon (clamp-on energy monitoring meter), they can also monitor energy usage in real time to help avoid higher utility bills. Sure, your customer can be notified when their child got home from school and disarmed the system, but thanks to IP cameras their neighbor can also tell if their child was alone or had unwanted company. Not only is all this possible, but it can be done from a laptop, smart phone or tablet from virtually anywhere on the planet. Best of all, it’s all integrated with the security system. All of a sudden, the free key fob you gave to your customer doesn’t look so special.
Keep in mind that lifestyle enhancements aren’t just possible these days, your customers are quickly beginning to expect them and your focus as a dealer may need to shift accordingly. With the pace of technology in general, it’s easy to fall behind the curve. Many of you may feel that you can’t afford to stay up to date, when in reality you can’t afford not to. This particular blog post can’t even begin to list or describe the technology that’s already available or coming in the very near future. However, we are committed to helping you keep pace with technological advancements and new products or services. I encourage you to take advantage of the many free training opportunities offered by Honeywell. Click here to find a list of these opportunities.