Bob Harris is a published author, speaker, business presenter and well respected security industry consultant.
As good as we are at what we do, the question of are we capable of more is always there. As I travel around the country working with security and integration owners and employees, I observe many common challenges regardless of geography.
#1. Let’s start with procrastination! I am always hearing people beg for new technology to help stimulate sales and boost RMR. More often than not however, once a manufacturer invests big bucks in developing and offering these new products or services, it typically takes an act of Congress before security dealers will discuss it, let alone sell any of it. Think about all the amazing Honeywell technology you’re using today. How long did you procrastinate before taking it for a test drive? Today, so many in our industry have become just like our subscribers who wait to install an alarm system until after they become a victim of burglary. How much is procrastination costing you in terms of our core security services being taken away by others not even in our industry? Throughout history, business owners have lost far more from indecision than they ever did from a bad decision.
#2. Which brings me to number two: Continuing to undervalue your professionalism by competing on price as a significant differentiator. Are you the lowest priced provider in your market? Since their can only be one, are you it? A low price strategy creates an inherent fear in the minds of sales people to add value by “up selling” or even offering multiple services. I hear many people talk about this, but only a few are doing anything to create tactical solutions that overcome low price challenges. If price serves as your most attractive value proposition, the value customers place in you is worth that price. Until they find someone else who’s cheaper that is. Effectiveness and professionalism should never be left out as we reinvent our value proposition to compete in today’s market place?
#3. This segues into number three: Why are we investing absolutely nothing in effective training to educate our employees on critical skills such as sales, excelling at customer service, saving cancellations, marketing our business and in-house collections? The mistake of failing to invest in meaningful training in these specific areas has clearly created a sales culture of low price lethargy with an organizational undercurrent lacking in sense of urgency and enthusiasm. Two revealing signs I look at are the number of sales lost to price and whether employees are saving customer cancellations or unwittingly helping customers to cancel? Many more sales can be made and many more customers can be saved than are being saved.