For quite some time I’ve been preaching that the security industry is in ‘pole position’ to be the source for delivering the smart home and connected living. I have been writing this column for almost two years, providing updates and input on the opportunities, and am optimistic some businesses have changed and grown with new understandings and ideas shared. Hopefully by now you’ve heard the message loud and clear and have been learning about computer networking, connected devices, and services to grow your business and RMR. Does your 2019 strategic plan include these new offerings? Are you positioning yourself to be the “go-to” resource when it comes to smart home and connected devices? Is your team trained and ready to get your customers connected? Do you have the messaging and marketing materials in place to promote your solutions? 

If you are ready to spread the word, let’s look at tried-and-true methods. It’s all about networking, and this time I don’t mean the Ethernet kind, though you do need technicians who know how to make this happen. Let’s look at the human kind of networking where people exchange information and develop professional and social contacts. 

Network in your community. Join and become active with the local chamber of commerce and home builders association. Search for interior designer and architect organizations and get involved. Suggest sharing your knowledge about the changing digital world; but remember, don’t sell, just inform them of trends and possibilities. After listening and learning, they will figure out you know what you’re talking about and that you offer those services. They will think of you when the interest or need arises. Also, seek out professional groups such as dentists, doctors, and lawyers and offer to speak at their events. They are always looking for interesting topics to learn about and draw people to their meetings. Consider joining a local business referral group, like Business Networking International (BNI), with over 8,500 chapters worldwide. Here, you will connect with like-minded professionals, share referrals, and enhance your networking skills. 

The best thing to do is to get back to the basics of customer rapport, service, and sales. Figure out ways to share what you know, be there when asked for input or assistance, and develop and nurture long-term relationships. Work hard to earn a reputation as the recognized expert on getting connected in the digital world, securing the network, and supporting the smart home. 

There is one other idea to share that zeros in on reaching your target audience and it’s inexpensive. It involves placing a recurring ad in small, regional magazines and newsletters such as a town magazine for residents, hospital newsletter, and a local vacation/second home magazine. This focused advertising suggestion has proven to be very effective for getting leads and successful in closing sales.

Remember, establish and document a plan, set goals and timelines to achieve them, and measure performance. Then adjust your sails and continue the race. Drop me an email, I would love to hear from you about how these techniques work for your team and what smart insights you would like to read about. Let’s keep moving forward and upward to continued success.