CENTURION Mini Product Catalogue

Monday 27 June 2016

Security in the Workplace

Unless you hit it big by penning a series of novels about boy wizards or sparkly vampires, chances are you spend the greatest part of your day in an office of some sort. And, since the focus of our newsletter has predominantly been on domestic security, we reckoned it’s high time we explored some of the ways that you can keep safe in your place of employment.

The reality is that we spend a great deal of time (and money) turning our homes into the kind of high-tech fortresses that would make a Bond villain green with envy – and rightly so – but how prepared are we to deal with threats to our personal security in the building where we spend 80% of our day?

Sure, there’s the obligatory fire evacuation drill every couple of months, and you might even have a working clock-in machine, but there’s a lot more that you can do to help ensure that you and your coworkers don’t fall victim to crime at work (and we’re not talking about all those hours of unpaid overtime you put in, either).

Here’s a few useful (and potentially life-saving) tips to keep in mind when you leave for the office tomorrow:
  •  Ensure that there is a proper evacuation plan, and that it is communicated to all employees and contractors. This includes establishing emergency assembly points and designated exits
  • If you’re in the habit of arriving at work early or leaving late, have a trusted co-worker escort you to and from your car or, if you are in a position to do so, move your car closer to the building entrance
  • When entering the office park or building, check that you are not being followed
  •  Know your co-workers and report anyone who seems out of place or is acting suspiciously. Your vigilance might just save a life!
  •  If you’re the last one leaving the office, ensure that entry points are locked and secured and that the alarm has been armed
  • Regularly check that camera and surveillance equipment are in working order
  • Have a maintenance schedule drawn up for security equipment such as traffic barriers, gate motors, keypads and card readers
  • If a co-worker is acting in a suspicious or threatening manner, report this to your HR representative
  • Assign asset numbers to all movable assets and keep an up-to-date inventory

Thursday 23 June 2016

Part 1 of Installer Series: Making the Sale

While the rising crime rate means that proper access control is now a necessity rather than the luxury it was in decades past, security equipment is still not exactly something that leaps off the shelves like, say, the latest iPhone. For most, it’s still very much a grudge purchase; something that has to work extra hard to get consumers to reach for their cheque books (do people even still use those?).

As an installer of security and access control equipment, selling probably constitutes a significant part of your job and is at least as important as the actual installation of the equipment. So, the question remains, how does one awaken desire in that homeowner that’s on the fence about whether or not he really needs that alarm system? How does one make him really want that gate operator and go gaga for a new garage door motor?

In this, the first article in our Installer Series, we’ve compiled a list of sure-fire tips to help you sell, curated from our resident sales guru Scott Wilson.

The “closing the deal” misnomer

According to Scott, too many salespeople focus on the “closing” part of the transaction, but often neglect to do all the prep work needed to get there, sort of like wanting to cross the finish line without doing the race. This lack of preparation and groundwork can lead to the transaction falling through, as no initial trust and rapport is established with the potential client.

You sell yourself, not the product

“The minute you sell, you come across as a salesperson, and most people turn their back on a salesperson” Scott explains. He emphasises the importance (in fact, he refers to these points as “non-negotiables”) of arriving on time, notifying the client in advance if you’re going to be late, appearing presentable and providing accurate and up-to-date documentation to accompany your installation. It’s all about first impressions.

Satisfy their needs

“Take a step back, and ask yourself why you would not buy from somebody” Scott advises, citing not having their needs met – and not price - as the main reason that consumers won’t use a particular product or service.

Price is a negotiable factor and consumers tend to opt for the solution or service provider that adds the most value, even if the price is slightly higher.

Ask questions (the “why” factor)

Why does the client want a gate motor? Why does he want that particular gate motor? The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to provide a solution to give the customer what he or she needs (tying in with the point above).

Handle objections

“When people try and close deals, the biggest problem is that they haven’t handled objections” warns Scott.

If there are any objections, they need to be handled first, because if the customer doesn’t place the order there and then, it means that there is something that they are still not completely convinced about. This can be remedied by asking questions about the customer’s situation (see the point above), and ensuring that the customer is happy with and understands your responses to his or her objections.

Sell them the whole package

Scott goes on to say that while the gate motor or access control product might provide the user with the initial answer, the whole package comes back to the installer. “The package deal that the installer offers the homeowner or the company, is actually what these people are looking for. They’re not looking for someone just to install a gate motor and walk away. They’re looking for someone who can offer more than the next person, and that “more” tends to be the small things that don’t have a monetary value”.

Sell them on the benefits

Terms like “rising and falling edge” and “dry contact” mean precious little to the man (or woman) on the street. Even ubiquitous jargon like “battery backup” has the tendency to elicit looks of blank confusion or plain indifference. If the response to your pitch is “so what?” you may need to tweak your approach a little.

Remember, the average homeowner doesn’t give a hoot about the gate motor’s capacious remote control memory or its high duty cycle; he only cares about how owning one is going to benefit him. Focus on the fact that he’ll no longer have to get out of his car in the pouring rain to open the gate and, even better, he’ll significantly reduce the likelihood of getting hijacked in his driveway.

Sell them support

When it comes to technology, competent after-sales support (or the lack thereof) plays a significant role in the consumer’s decision to adopt (or avoid) a certain solution or brand. Make sure that your customer knows that you’ll be there for them long after the installation has been completed.

References (or referrals) are critical

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Would you be comfortable giving your hard-earned money to someone who you know nothing about? Unlikely.

Presenting the homeowner with your references before beginning the quoting process, helps you build trust and rapport with your potential customer and will help put his mind at ease about the transaction.

Stay tuned for more useful sales tips and tricks - only on the official Centurion Systems blog!