For value-added resellers (VARs) like you, access control has the potential to create significant business success—yet it is one of the physical security technologies that receives a bit less attention than video surveillance. Here, we look past the flash of surveillance in order to examine a few strategies you can use to catch your customers’ attention with access control.
The global electronic access control market is growing at an annual rate of about 7 percent and is forecast to reach about $16.3 billion in revenues by 2017, according to recent research. There is plenty of opportunity to be had. Achieving success in your own market depends on many different factors, but there are a few techniques to keep in mind when selling access control technologies, regardless of where you are:
1. Focus on your customers’ goals—and how the technology will help them get there.
Today, there is a wide range of technologies available that provision credentials and authorize identities and privileges. The electronic access control market includes biometrics (such as fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, and iris recognition), active and passive radio frequency identification, and card-based access control systems, which includes smart cards and readers, proximity cards and readers, and other devices. With such a diverse set of options available to you and your customers, it’s vital to make sure the technology suits your customers’ individual goals.
With each new customer, take the time to fully understand their facility, its access control challenges, and their end goal. Consider their budget and recommend the systems that will work best for their individual application—remembering all the while that no two customers are exactly the same.
2. Right-size your solution.
Access control technology comes in literally any size and configuration: from one to five doors or users, ranging up to hundreds and even thousands. When pitching your solution, be sure to right-size the technology for each particular customer. That way, they’ll feel comfortable that they are paying for just as much coverage as they need.
3. Go high-tech—when it works.
In the world of physical security, access control can often be regarded as one of the less flashy technologies. However, many recent innovations, such as access control as a service and wireless readers, might be just what your customer is looking for.
When it makes sense for the application, introduce these types of newer innovations to your customer. They might be just flashy enough to make them interested and help them realize how the technology might benefit their facility.
4. Demonstrate the ROI.
For many customers, the bottom line is going to be their No. 1 concern. How will a new access control solution help save them money in the long run? If you can demonstrate a strong case for their ROI, you’re much more likely to close the sale.
Like any physical security solution, access control can help your customers save money in several ways. Examples of ROI provided by access control usually come in the form of reduced expenses; for example, fewer losses due to theft or vandalism, lower costs by implementing cards and doing away with physical keys, or less money spent on issuing credentials to new or temporary employees.
5. Always keep the future in mind.
Ideally, every customer would grow their business in the coming years, meaning that their access control solution would need to expand with them. Scalability is very important in the world of access control, so you want to be sure to use technology that can easily—and cost-effectively—grow as needed.
This is particularly important for those mid-sized and enterprise-class organizations that might include hundreds or even thousands of access points. Seek out highly flexible access control solutions that enable new users, doors, and devices to be added without much difficulty or expense. This will keep your customers happy, while making future installations simple for you.
What other sales strategies do you use when selling access control technologies? What are some of your top-selling access control products today?