|As the technology behind security and home automation platforms rapidly evolves, so do the methods for selling those systems. “The dealer community is now understanding that PCs, tablets, and smartphones are becoming part of the selling process and also the installation process,” says Steve Shapiro, ADT Security Services.|
As the technology behind security and home automation platforms rapidly evolves, so do the methods for selling those systems. “The dealer community is now understanding that PCs, tablets, and smartphones are becoming part of the selling process and also the installation process,” says Steve Shapiro, ADT Security Services.
Use Software Solutions
Most manufacturers provide software for tablet devices and smartphones to help dealers demonstrate to their customers what features are available and how to use them. The hands-on interaction with the products helps customers understand exactly what they are buying and how they can make it work for their particular needs.
“We’re trying to sell new technology and advanced services. It’s more appropriate selling products and services of the 21st century on technology like this,” says Gary Franklyn, vice president business development for Security Networks in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Employ a Combination Approach
Interlogix, a UTC Fire & Security company, Bradenton, Fla., believes in creating more robust sales tools to help integrators educate consumers on available options. Using tablets and smartphones, in addition to traditional material and hardware samples, they can demonstrate in real-time the benefits of remote monitoring and management and give the consumer a hands-on feel for what the products are and how they work. Having a choice of tools allows the integrator to adapt the sales presentation to best fit the integrator’s selling style and the consumer’s needs.
Benefit from Industry Support
Interlogix and other companies have joined the Electronic Security Association’s (ESA) SECURE+ Initiative. This initiative brings together manufacturers, service providers, integrators and other partners to raise public awareness of the interactive services, including home automation, energy management, lifestyle and life safety options, offered by member companies. “We’re at a place in the market where costs are coming down and more in line with what the mass markets can consume,” says Shannon Murphy, vice president of sales and marketing for Irving, Texas- based ESA, noting that it is the ideal time for integrators to get involved. The insight and support available from an organization like the ESA can quickly help you gain momentum in the space.
Technology for selling security and home automation extends well beyond tools for dealers. Tech-savvy business owners can harness social media and video to reach customers.
“If dealers are not embracing video or social media, they need to start,” says Bobby McAfee, marketing director for Gainesville, Fla.-based Crime Prevention Security Systems. “I think the power of video is just coming into its own.”
McAfee is excited about the possibilities new media marketing has to offer. He says that creating short, one-minute, video clips is an excellent way to introduce products and inspire customers to call to learn more. Facebook, Twitter, or other social media can be a great way to stay in touch with customers. Combining technologies provides even more marketing options. Using quick response (QR) codes in advertising materials, allows customers to use their smart phones to instantly obtain more information. A customer reading a print ad could scan a QR code on the page that would launch a video about the product, giving the customer a more interactive experience with it. And, that’s just one possible way to capitalize on the technology.
“I know they’re ugly little squares, but it’s too tempting as a marketer to not use it,” McAfee says.