It’s often said that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. They are also immensely important in the world of physical security. Today, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are a vital part of the market, helping fuel ongoing growth and representing a significant customer base for many value-added resellers (VARs).
However, SMBs require a unique approach, because they are very different from enterprise, government, and other customers. VARs selling to the SMB market need to take special care with these customers to ensure that their needs are met.
These clients often require small-scale video surveillance and access control systems in order to secure their businesses. Here, we count down the top four tips for selling access control technologies to SMBs:
1. Learn their pain points
First and foremost, it’s important to understand an SMB customer’s pain points. Typically, most SMBs are looking to improve security while also achieving cost savings in some way. Some SMBs may also be motivated by the need for greater convenience—for example, a small retailer who is looking to do away with its bulky collection of keys.
When working with smaller businesses, remember that the security of their locations directly impacts the owners’ livelihood. Take the time to listen to their concerns, understand their pain points, and find technology that will truly work for them. If you do, you’ll stand to gain a loyal, lifelong customer.
2. Be mindful of the budget
Unlike some of your enterprise-level customers, most SMBs are primarily cost-driven. They typically want to see a full cost breakdown, and many may not be able to handle large front-end costs. Be sure to keep their budget in mind at every decision point and work with them to keep costs as low as possible.
3. Keep it simple
Today’s access control technologies offer a wide range of value-adding capabilities. But your SMB customers can probably do without many of them—especially when cost is a driving factor. When necessary, keep it simple. Recommend technology that is easy to learn and use on a daily basis. As long as you use field-proven devices that effectively secure a customer’s facility, you will have met the customer’s needs.
For those SMBs that want to keep things really simple, consider a completely off-the-shelf system. They will avoid the cost and time commitment required for an integrated solution while also benefiting from a very user-friendly system.
4. Sell the benefits
An SMB customer wants to get the most out of any investment, so be sure to highlight the various benefits of a new access control system. Not only will the customer improve security and increase convenience for its employees, but it might also benefit in other ways, such as:
- Gaining insight into employee activity, which can lead to better customer service
- Achieving a higher level of employee safety
- Realizing cost savings from fewer thefts, accidents, and other events
You might also highlight the benefits from the consumer perspective. Talk about how access control technology stands to benefit your customer’s clientele, which may lead to higher sales. This might include improved customer service at a retail store, an enhanced feeling of security at a daycare or retirement home, or faster sign-in at membership-based companies like spas and gyms.
How much of your access control business comes from SMBs? What are some of your techniques for working with this particular vertical?