Security integrators face a competitive market when searching for new customers.
Between endless RFPs and the project culture that permeates the industry, integrators start rushing from one project to the next in order to maintain profitability. Your team rushes to finish the existing project so that they can start on the next one.
Unfortunately, the existing customer — and any additional revenue they might offer — is left on the table while the integrator is busy chasing after new projects.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s take a look at a few ways that security integrators can win more business while taking better care of their existing customers.
1. Educate your customers.
If you look around online, you’ll find a ton of information on customer education. It’s an important stepping stone on the road to a long-term business relationship and recurring, sustainable income.
In fact, customers who read a brand’s educational content are 131% more likely to purchase from that brand.
Security integrators can leverage education in ways that are both beneficial to the customer and profitable for their business due to the complex nature of their work.
Security systems are difficult to install and even harder to maintain over a longer period. Take the time to educate customers on how to use their system effectively and empower them to handle unexpected issues on their own.
By equipping your customers with the knowledge they need to operate independently, you establish yourself as a business partner that your customers can rely on long after your existing security project is complete.
Earning that trust and reputation is the first step to breaking the RFP cycle and winning more business from existing clients.
2. Understand the needs first.
Did you know that only 21% of video surveillance projects installed by security firms include video analytics? This is the case in an industry where the global video surveillance market is expected to reach $62.62b by 2023.
The question here isn’t whether or not you’re selling analytics integration with your video surveillance; it’s whether or not your customer needs what your company didn’t offer.
Before implementing a new technology solution, take the time to determine what the customer actually needs to get the job done. You may need to educate the client in order to get a better understanding of what they want to do so that you can help them plan for the future.
Help customers understand their needs on both ends of the project. Give your team the opportunity to talk about how early investments can preserve security systems on the back end or how warranties and replacement parts may factor into their budget.
This work may sound tedious, but it helps your team build effective, long-term relationships with customers.
On top of that, a thorough assessment of needs helps your team quote project costs more effectively and teaches the customer that the upfront cost for an installation isn’t the final price for their security investment.
3. Get the big picture.
Your customers didn’t get into business in order to purchase a security system. They may buy one out of necessity, but the system will never be a profit driver for them. Instead, it’s something they need to pay for in order to protect their customers and themselves.
In order to sell a tailored solution, security integrators need to look beyond the scope of work listed in the RFP and focus on what the customer is actually trying to do. Work with project stakeholders to clarify their long-term company business and how the security system you build can fit into that plan.
Don’t be afraid to do the right thing and put the customer’s needs first, even if your recommendations won’t earn a great deal of short-term revenue. Only 12% of people actually believe it when a business claims that they’ll “put the customer first”. When security integrators take the time to understand the bigger picture and actually deliver on that commitment, it leads to an incredible experience.
Help them figure out their vision and take careful notes, then gather agreement and consensus to build a system that helps customers most effectively align with their future needs.
4. Become a policy wonk.
No matter how large or small your customer’s business may be, it functions in a specific way that you can learn to understand if you ask the right questions. This leads to a better customer experience — something that 80% of customers say is just as important as the products and services that a company provides.
Security integrators who want to win more business from existing clients can thrive by taking the time to figure out how a customer organization does business. How do your customers serve their own customers? What has to happen on an operational level for them to generate revenue — and how does the security solution you offer play into that?
Becoming an expert on how a company operates may go beyond what you might hear from project stakeholders who just want to follow an RFP. You may need to push for this information or circle back for a follow-up meeting after you’ve built stronger relationships with key players within an organization.
This is an important step in the process because you’re also protecting the company from itself. As we discussed earlier, your customer isn’t an expert. Security integrators are.
By taking the time to fully understand what a client is trying to do and what has to happen in order for them to operate efficiently, you can prevent them from purchasing a security solution that they will never use — earning their trust and helping them spend more effectively.
Don’t just be a security expert. Be their security expert.
5. Talk about impact, not tech.
Have you ever received a technical explanation for something that you have no real interest in? Maybe you’re not interested in cars but the mechanic wants to give you every detail of what’s going on beneath your hood and how he plans to fix it. You have to force yourself to pay attention, and even then you may not fully understand what he’s saying.
Your nontechnical customers are exactly like that when someone gives them the technical specifications of the equipment included in their security package. They may not care as much about the details; they just need the system to work.
Rather than burdening your customers with ultra-specific details around product specs, scale up to a higher level and talk about impact. Explain how video analytics will help them without going too far into the weeds on how it works. Discuss how your design and layout will positively impact their business operations.
According to Edelman, trust in technology is at an all-time high. Security integrators are halfway between technology specialists and security experts. By talking about the benefits of the products and services you offer, rather than the features, you can earn that trust and set appropriate customer expectations early in the relationship.
Taking Better Care of Your Current Customers
Many of today’s modern industries are focused on developing deep relationships that go beyond a transactional experience. This can be difficult for security integrators to do when they’re too busy chasing after RFPs to focus on the customers right in front of them.
Before you start issuing bids, take a minute to check in with your existing customer with a few emails and phone follow-ups. See how things are working out and what solutions you might be able to offer for unforeseen problems.
Security integrators looking to win more business don’t always need more customers. They may just need to take time to build better business relationships with existing customers. Want more tips on using the customer experience to win business? Speak to us today. Call 1-888-SITEOWL or request a free demo here.