1.24.20 – SSI – Jeremiah Johnston
Helping your employees identify customers who may benefit from new technology will help boost growth in your video sales through 2020.
It’s an exciting time to be in the electronic security industry, especially considering how video surveillance solutions are evolving. With rapid advancements in technology and key product innovations within the security space, the industry is finally able to meet the high-end demands of many of our video customers.
Among these demands are higher resolution lenses, new camera formats and incredibly accurate analytics. The customer’s “CSI” expectation that we used to fear is now within reach.
Still, there are many customers who aren’t aware of how a video surveillance system can not only protect their assets, but also help them increase business efficiencies and profitability. How is your organization working to educate customers about these new capabilities and technologies?
They are not there to simply sell a video surveillance system, even if the customer thinks that’s all they need. Your team should come prepared with a list of questions that will help a customer understand how these new technologies could solve problems they didn’t even know existed within their organization.
Work with your team to make sure they can answer the following questions after their first meeting with a new prospect:
- What’s the organization’s story and what role does the customer play in that story?
- Why are they interested in a video surveillance system?
- Are they trying to prevent an incident or provide an accurate record after the fact?
- What security incidents have occurred over the past few years?
- How do they plan to use the live and recorded footage?
- Who in the organization is driving this project?
- Who will be making the decision to move forward with a solution?
- What problems can you solve for this customer?
Understanding the customer’s business will help you make better, more informed recommendations that can both satisfy their current need and provide added value beyond that. What if you could show a retail customer how a camera with the right analytics could create a heat map of where customers spend the most time?
You could help them improve profitability by placing higher margin products in those areas. Would a manufacturing facility benefit from using video surveillance and facial recognition to maintain a list of terminated employees?
If those employees enter the premises, having automatic alerts could help them prevent an incident. Your prospect may have no idea that thermal cameras have become significantly more affordable in the past year. If your team doesn’t know the customer’s story and hasn’t asked the right questions, you may miss the opportunity to solve the customer’s problems.
Just like any behavior you are trying to encourage, you have to live it yourself. Commit to riding along with your team or taking joint phone calls. Pre-call planning is fundamental but rarely done.
Take the time to help them make a plan for their calls ahead of time. What questions are they going to ask? What information do they hope to gather? Have they done enough research on the prospect? Write down the questions — and possible follow-up questions — and practice the conversation ahead of time. Role-playing may not be something you or your team are comfortable with, but it works.
Coming prepared to the meeting with research and a list of specific questions will go a long way toward earning the prospect’s trust and business. A security expert who takes the time to make custom recommendations based on a customer’s specific problems is very rare. If you’re looking forward to a successful 2020 – whether by selling video surveillance or other security systems and technologies – it all starts with understanding your customer.
Jeremiah Johnston is Senior Sales Consultant for Stanley Security.