Spring Forward

Five ways to improve relationships with new prospects

Everywhere we look and everywhere we go, the variable issue of security permeates our lives. Consider this year alone:

  • Thirteen school shootings in the first six weeks pushed campus gun violence to horrific new highs.
  • Credit and debit card breaches at Target reinforced the growing risk of commercial cyberattacks.
  • Terrorist threats loomed over Sochi, Russia, as the United States sent 230 Olympic-record athletes abroad to the 2014 Games.
  • Theories around Flight 370’s mysterious disappearance spurred new debates over airline safety practices.

We live in an uncertain world where, at times, people may wonder if any place is truly safe. Our homes offer insulation from some external dangers, but statistics show they’re not an impenetrable bubble: a burglary strikes in the United States every 15 seconds.

While an alarm system can’t protect your customers from everything, it is a proven measure of deterrence. Homes with alarm systems are three times less likely to get burglarized than homes without them. So, as a security provider part of a booming industry with a projected $14.1 billion in worldwide revenues by 2018, according to ABI Research, you have a powerful opportunity to help homeowners.

As spring moves into summer and crime typically rises with heat, this is a great time to examine new strategies that may help you reach more people in need of peace of mind.

Real-estate partnerships. Summer is a key moving season for many reasons—better weather, parents getting their kids settled before school starts, newlyweds moving into their first home together after their tropical honeymoon. By partnering with a real estate company, a builder or anyone who touches a moving homeowner this could be your inside track to new business.

Knowing when a house first hits the market could toss a few extra sales your way, so consider making connections with real estate agents in your area. Build a referral pay scale based on how many referrals each agent gives you on a monthly basis. Offer gift cards to customers as a move-in gift, and be sure to emphasize that a monitored home security system could save them as much as 20 percent on their homeowner’s insurance.

Relationship building is a big part of doing business, and it’s especially important for a home security company that markets itself as a friendly, trustworthy asset to the community. They’ll keep you in mind when a great prospect comes along.

Door knocking might be your most reliable method for new installs, but creative lead opportunities exist throughout your community:

  • Get involved in your local schools’ events;
  • work with lawn companies, window treatment companies, locksmiths—anyone who is speaking with homeowners;
  • ask permission to speak about your service at a monthly homeowners’ meeting;
  • join your local Chamber of Commerce to gain access to community activities; and
  • volunteer for charity events on behalf of your company.

Promotional items. Whether you’re knocking on doors or participating in home shows, face-toface interactions with prospective customers are vital. You have a chance, even for a few seconds, to visually demonstrate what makes your home security service reliable and useful to them.

Even if they don’t pick you right away, you want one thing: staying power. Keep your company in their minds. That’s why American businesses spend $20 billion a year on promotional products. The right promos (with your company logo prominently featured, of course) can deliver tremendous ROI, if they’re creative and useful.

Consider cost-effective items that someone can use over and over while focusing on something specific to your product or service. You’re in the business of protecting and improving homes through security and automation. Keychain? Fridge magnet? Anything house-centric.

Online profiles. A regular social media and blog presence can help funnel traffic to your company’s website. It’s important to get noticed elsewhere online from general local listings, like Yellow Pages, to consumer review sites, like Yelp and Angie’s List. By setting up profiles across the Web, you’re creating links back to your website and increasing search engine visibility.

Encourage positive reviews from your customers, too. This is another type of referral that gives your company credibility as people surf online for the right service provider at the right price.

It’s not just where you advertise, but how. Some people have built-in hesitancies about installing a monitored home security system. These types of myths can be debunked:

  • “My dog offers enough protection.” From burglary, maybe. What about fire, carbon monoxide or medical emergencies? A comprehensive home security package offers protection from natural intruders, too.
  • “I won’t use my system enough to justify the monthly cost.” Home automation is changing that perception. Using their mobile device, customers can manage their system from anywhere with a Web connection. It’s a cool and convenient gadget for the 21st century.
  • “Home automation is too expensive.” Some customers must be convinced that they need an alarm system in their neighborhood, and everyone wants to save money. Dealers can stress that a $50 to $60 monthly monitoring rate is a practical exchange for lower, greener energy bills, along with 24/7 monitored protection of their property. There’s no price too big, knowing that their loved ones are safe.

Dealer leads program. Whether you keep some customer accounts in-house or submit them for purchase, the right dealer program can help you find premium, local leads with all the right metrics and measurables for a quality account, starting with credit score.

Additionally, a program should be a perpetual resource for its dealers, keeping them in tune with industry news and trends while providing performance indicators of targeted economic regions. For example, Monitronics has a dedicated account manager for each of its 600 dealers, ensuring that marketing support doesn’t all have to be on the dealer.

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Security Today.

  • Ahead of Current Events Ahead of Current Events

    In this episode, Ralph C. Jensen chats with Dana Barnes, president of global government at Dataminr. We talk about the evolution of Dataminr and how data software benefits business and personnel alike. Dataminr delivers the earliest warnings on high impact events and critical information far in advance of other sources, enabling faster response, more effective risk mitigation for both public and private sector organizations. Barnes recites Dataminr history and how their platform works. With so much emphasis on cybersecurity, Barnes goes into detail about his cybersecurity background and the measures Dataminr takes to ensure safe and secure implementation.

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