Inspect What You Expect in Five Simple Steps

Preston Coffer by Preston Coffer | 08.05.2013

In the security industry, it is more important than ever before to plan your work and work your plan.   This applies to your management and owner/operator responsibilities as well.  I will not attempt to create your specific plan here. However, if you are in management, here are five goals that every good plan will incorporate.  

#1 Create a culture of performance!
Check to ensure your compensation model and rewards program encourages the specific behaviors you are looking for.   For example, if you want to encourage your sales team to produce more leads than the company is able to provide, it may be a good idea to incent such behavior. In other words, how much more are you able to pay out in commissions when you are not required to pay the lead generation cost? At my company, Protection Networks, we felt any lead that culminated in an installation outside of the company provided lead program was worth an additional $100 in direct commission. Obviously, we save a minimum of $100 in marketing costs and we felt the sales consultant deserved a bonus as a reward for performing the desired behavior.

#2 Set goals that will lead to increased productivity.
Everyone knows a closed order is good.  But how you communicate the other successes to your team will dramatically impact productivity.   Each member on your team needs to know how to effectively measure success in terms other than a closed sale.   One system I have used over the years is requiring my sales executives to call in at the end of each day and answer three simple questions.      
Question 1:  Did I make a sale today?  Obviously if the answer is yes, the sales executive knows the day was a productive one.
Question 2:  Did I make two presentations today?  A solid closer in our business will close 50% of the homeowners and small business owners he gets in front of.   If a sales executive makes two presentations each day, the odds will work in favor of the rep closing an average of one order per day.     
Question 3:  Did I see the people?  I required each sales executive to knock on 100 doors per day and get in front of 20 “faces” belly to belly by day’s end.   This simple prospecting rule will assist the sales executive with achieving their goal of two presentations per day.   I remind everyone on the team that prospecting comes before presentations and presentations lead to sales!  

#3 Increase Revenue.
Encourage every member on your team to look for ways to increase revenue on every sale!   Cameras, Honeywell Total Connect Remote Services, cellular radio and peripheral security devices will dramatically increase your ROI on every order that comes in.   Check to ensure you are properly compensating your team to sell these items and reward them with higher commissions and bonuses for achieving their goals.  

#4 Improve profitability. 
Check to ensure your compensation model encourages your sales executives to act responsibly when it comes to underwriting requirements and new customer standards.   If your funding program requires you to replace non-performing agreements share some, if not all, of that burden with your sales executives in terms of commission payments and claw backs.   Nobody wins if we are not signing real customers who will really pay their bills.   

#5  Prove best in customer service.  I learned from master sales trainer Tom Hopkins long ago that quality service equals success.   In fact, Hopkins teaches you to spell service as $ervice as a way to remind yourself just how important this fact is.  Anyone can sell a product, but few have the integrity and determination to back the sale with quality customer $ervice.   Stand out from the crowd and prove to your customer base that you are in it to win it and that means providing quality, long term, customer care.

At Protection Networks, we created a unique program called  Platinum Service Plan (PSP).   The PSP was effective for two reasons.  First, we were able to charge $10 additional RMR for the service.   Second, we were already providing this level of service for many of our customers, but we had failed to charge for it.   Basically, PSP was a guarantee from the President, me, that we would refund your entire investment including any monthly fees paid if you ever encountered a customer service issue we could not resolve to your satisfaction.  

Does this sound risky?  Think about it for a minute and I think you will agree it makes sense.   If your customer is not happy with your equipment or service they are going to cancel anyway, aren’t they?   This means most alarm professionals would willingly invest an amount equal to or less than the “total agreement value” to keep a customer from walking to another provider.   Plus, the installing company is earning $10 per month in added RMR or $600.00 added RMR every five years just for documenting a service most of us already provide at no added charge.      

These guidelines should help you get started laying the groundwork for success. Check results often and adjust accordingly.   Review your plan with your managers and team members on a regular basis and above all else…..inspect what you expect and you will earn plenty of respect!