You Get What You Pay For… PERIOD

Posted on Dec 29, 2011 in Security Industry | 51 comments

A couple days ago, I received a phone call from a potential client who wanted to know the cost to install a security system in his home.  I told him, I was not sure, and I could not give him a price on the phone, and that I would need to see his house before quoting him a price.  I also mentioned, that even with one visit, I might not be exact.  I further explained: Without knowing more about his family’s lifestyle and home layout, I wasn’t comfortable selling his family “security” at a fixed price over the phone.   He told me I needed to find a new business, and he could not understand why I could not roll a price off the top of my head like the two other security companies that had already given him their prices sight-unseen.

Ultimately, we don’t want those clients who choose the cheapest product over the phone to protect their family and assets.

We are looking for clients who are looking for a solution!  For us to put a price on something so important and dynamic as a security system, without seeing the location and understanding lifestyle will, in the end, get someone hurt, killed, or will result in a system that is worthless for the purpose of security.

With all that being said, I will also admit that we have a few clients that wanted a system, not for security, but for the insurance discount they receive for having a system.  In that case, the price really does matter and the cheapest, least secure monitored system, is just fine.  If insurance discounts is your goal, and not the safety of your family and assets, we can quote a “$99 installed” system on the phone.

So the next time a security company tells you they can install a system in your house for “free”, or for “$99 installed”, you need to ask a few questions.

Will a $99 Security System…

1.) Give me coverage throughout my entire house?

2.) Let me use the system with my smart phone?

3.) Send me an email if the sump pump starts to flood my basement?

4.) Have monitored smoke detectors?

5.) Have monitored carbon detectors?

6.) Let me monitor a camera viewing my driveway or front door?

7.) Have a keypad by the garage entry door and the master bedroom?

8.) Let me use my home network as a reporting tool with cell phone backup?

9.) Let me have 4 key fobs to control the system?

10.) ??????????????

The answer to the above questions, and many more, are all YES, but not for free or $99.00 installed.

I see two purposes for the $99 security system.

1.)  We sell a lot of $99 systems.  We have put together a package that meets the needs of small homes, apartments, and office buildings for people with little technology needs and simple building layouts.

2.)  I like to call the $99.00 system a “Foot In” system… or advertisement.  It is a sales tool to get their “foot in the door” and up-sell you.  Worse yet, they try to get you to install a system that does not provide the coverage you really need to be safe in your own home.  They sell you a basic system and still charge you the same amount for monitoring as they would an effective system.  I would rather tell you that I really don’t know the cost to secure your home, until I see your home and we talk a little bit about your family’s lifestyle, why you want the system, and how you would like to use the system.

I would rather tell you that I really don’t know the cost to secure your home, until I see your home and we talk a little bit about your family’s lifestyle, why you want the system, and how you would like to use the system.

Bottom line, You get what you pay for!  The cost of the system is really determined by you, the customer.  You need to make the decisions on the level of coverage you need for your family, pets, and assets.  You need to make the decisions on how you want the system to work.  You need to make the decisions on what options you want.

With our education, training, certifications, and experience, we will guide you through making these decisions.  Use us, the sales and installation company, as a sounding board.  Use us to answer questions for you.  Use us, to teach you about new technology, securing your home, and protecting your family.  We can give you ideas, but in the end, you have to make the decisions on the final products.  Rest assured, we’ll ask you the right questions to design the best fit system for your lifestyle, home, and protection level.

I frequently talk to potential clients who have a system and don’t use it.  I am amazed at how many people don’t know what they purchased, and what they are paying for on a monthly basis to another security company.  I realize we are the experts, but that does not mean we are mind readers.  We have no idea how you live or what goes on inside your home.  Everything you do will effect the way the system works.  A poorly planned system will end up being a service nightmare and will ultimately not get used or armed.  We want happy clients who use their system, rather than frustrated customers who are stuck in a monitoring contract.  Every so often, we look though logs and notice clients who aren’t using their system.  Frequently, we will call or email that client to make sure everything is OK.  Again, we judge our business’ success on safe, happy families.

One final thought:  I find it interesting that sales and service companies all buy their products from the same manufacturers or distributors.  For the most part, the field is level at the time of purchase.  Most companies will be the same price on a single item.  With that said, the cost of comprable security system should be the same from all companies.  The only thing that should be different is the cost of labor and installation procedures.  So, pick a company that you feel will service your product to the highest manufacturer’s standards.  Pick a company that will be there when you need them and will work with your schedule.

Ultimately, pick a company that you feel offers genuine client service and the best products to meet your family’s security needs and lifestyle.  This decision should not be made from a quote over the phone or based on an advertisement.


Thank you,

Keith Bowman  913-766-1911

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