By Ruaidhrí O’Brien, Sales & Marketing Manager, GVD | making IP easy
This is a short article to help security integrators to increase their IP security sales. At the outset, the assumption is that all security companies would like to get more business and one of the main ways to do this is by meeting with new prospects and existing customers. So, below I’ve outlined 5 steps to follow during a sales meeting.
1. Set the scene
On the understanding that the reason for the meeting is to talk about how your customer would benefit from using an IP video surveillance system, it’s important that you first position your company in terms of “Why do other customers work with us?” This allows you to demonstrate a short insight into a unique personal way that your business helps customers to decide to work with you. Typically, your opening statement should cover the following – Who we are? What we do? Why people use us? This last part is most important as it defines how your customer/prospect is going to engage with you. Prepare these phrases
“People buy from us because…”
“The main thing that distinguishes us from companies we compete with is…”
“Even though we might not be the least expensive option, people choose us because…”
It’s also worth including at this stage a brief summary of a recent or most successful project that you have completed and mentioning the customer’s name. By now, your customer should be sitting a bit more forward in their seat and ready to engage.
2. Figure out how your customer is going to use you – What are they trying to achieve?
Don’t assume that you know precisely what the solution is before you start the meeting. Find out what it is that your customer would like the security system to do? What issues have they had in the past? What are current issues for them? And in the future, are they expanding, taking on more staff, have multiple premises etc.? The answers to these questions allow you to frame your conversation.
At this stage, you will need to outline how the IP Video Surveillance network is structured. Having a good understanding of networking and being comfortable talking about network speeds, bandwidth, throughput, network topology/layout, switches, server recording capabilities, makes it easier for you to talk about your customer’s network. Furthermore, it will allow you to discuss how the IP video surveillance solution can run alongside their existing network or utilise their existing network infrastructure. (For a refresher or a solid foundation in IP networking, contact GVD to book one of our popular networking courses.)
3. Seeing is believing – Show megapixel video footage
There are a number of reasons why people will switch or decide to go with an IP video surveillance system. Two of the stand-out reasons are – Superior Picture Quality and Ease of Use. When customers see megapixel video footage that is dramatically better than what they are used to seeing from their existing system, it is very hard for them to go back to looking at analog SD video footage. It helps your customer if you frame IP in terms of the advances in technology, just like the move from video tape, to DVD, to blu-ray etc., the technology used in video security cameras is advancing rapidly. This coupled with the advances in processors and IT hardware, means that your customer can benefit from getting the clarity of footage they’ve always craved and using IT software & hardware that is easy to use, familiar and economically efficient.
Have 3 to 4 stock pieces of footage that you can demo to your customer – zoom in on face for facial recognition, zoom on reg plates of cars for clear identification, zoom in on written detail such as signage on a site or phone number on the side of a van. All the better if you can have footage that is relevant to your customers industry. The more tailored your ‘show and tell’ presentation, the more chances you will have of your customer agreeing to a next step to start working with you.
When it comes to showing off footage, using the Milestone XProtect® Smart Client Player – allows you to show off lots functionality in an easy user interface e.g. Zoom in on playback with no pixellation, Email a zoomed in still shot quickly, Smart search for footage speedily, sync all cameras in playback as well as showing interactive functions on Smart Phone apps – open/close gates by pressing overlay buttons on your Smart Phone. (If you need sample footage, contact your GVD Account Manager, who will be able to assist.)
4. Success Story – Present a success story to illustrate why your proposed solution makes sense
Having listened to your customers requirements from point 2 above and having gleaned additional insights during your demonstration it’s time to outline your proposal for what your customer’s IP security solution will involve. Do this by telling a story about a successful IP installation that you have carried out for a similar type business as your customer with the same type of issues that particularly benefited from having an IP solution. This story acts as your reference and reassures your customer to make the change. A good story always shows off what difference the solution made specifically for that customer – here’s an example from an IP security solution installed in Balbriggan Credit Union :-
“The quality of video they are now able to record and playback in the event of an incident is incomparable to the old system that they had. Within the first 2 weeks of the system being installed they were able to check on a cash handover after the event, count out on the video exactly how much cash had been issued and contact the customer and inform them of an error. They were even able to show the customer the correct amount on the calculator as they could see it on the zoomed image. Also after an incident occurred outside the premises they had guards in reviewing footage. The image was so clear that the guards were taking pictures of the zoomed image on their IPhones.”
5. Ask for a Next Step
Now that you’ve presented the solution that makes sense for your customer, you need to ask for the business and for the next step. What might the next step need to be? Well, before your customer/prospect will actually give you the order, the only thing they can give you is their time to look at the solution further. So, you can suggest next steps such as the following:
Usually as a next step, I can show you a full demonstration of an IP system working, how are you to do this next Wednesday at 2pm?
Can I suggest that we put a demo camera and system in place for a week or so, see how it works specifically for you and then we can take it from there?
Let me come back to you next week with a full proposal including a Network drawing. Can we book a time for next Tuesday at 4pm?
Usually at this stage, I would arrange for a full site survey and then after that give you a full proposal. Can we arrange for Friday at 2pm?
From what we’ve discussed, I think it makes sense for me to come back with our IP partners in GVD to give you a full demonstration at NIPX of how the Milestone XProtect System works and camera types that would best suit your requirements. Will we arrange this for next Wednesday at 11am?
All of the above next steps are real suggestions, which we use with our partners when we do joint visits and meetings. They are effective because they build momentum into the sales process and help to speed up decision making rather than having “great” meetings that never result in any actionable follow ups.
For more help with increasing your IP sales, arrange a visit from a GVD Account Manager and be sure to request the Free IP business development sales kit.
For more information visit: www.gvduk.co.uk