Updated: Mar 8
Last week’s blog was about selling electronic security systems during the COVID-19 crisis. In part two of this series, I’ll focus on how your company can navigate through the process, make consumers feel more comfortable with in-home installation, and expand on residential selling. I’d also like to address the leadership we must display during this crisis. Let’s start there.
Let’s face the fact that we are all feeling uneasy and for good cause. As a former police officer, I would normally observe a precursor to a dangerous act. During this crisis, we know the danger is present, but the precursor is elusive—making it harder to react and for some to feel helpless. Or are we? As leaders, our singular most important role is to lead and mentor others to do the same. I call that ‘Attitude’. That means that we need to be present in the moment and think of how we can support our teams. It begins with communication, whether that’s in-person or on a remote webinar:
People must see your face and hear your voice;
Communicate with your employees on how you’ll operate in this new (and hopefully, temporary) environment. Ask them for help. People rise to the occasion when challenged;
Become a student of leadership. I personally think Winston Churchill was one of the best leaders in modem history. Embrace some of his wisdom here: “10 Winston Churchill Leadership Lessons”;
Get in front of your team as often as possible in a format that meets the guidelines of your local and state government. Be creative, use free video platforms Google Hangouts or Zoom to stay connected to teams. Ask everyone to observe the six-foot rule if you meet in-person. Consult the CDC’s “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond…” for additional advice.
Get in front of your customers as well. Part of this is comprehending that consumers will have issues with your employees at their homes or offices:
Your customers need to know that your company is up and operating and that their systems are being monitored 24/7;
Check in with your central station on their contingency action plan;
ESA, TMA, and SIA have done a brilliant job keeping us informed. I’m a member of all three, and you should be too.For real-time updates on how the industry is coping, check out their respective websites for the latest Coronavirus updates.
Clearly it’s your call, with governmental guidance, if you can continue to install and service alarm systems in homes and offices during the pandemic. If you do, I might offer these few examples as suggestions that could be modified for your business to help consumers feel safe:
UChealth offers advice for repair and service technicians. They recommend calling ahead to discuss the details of the job in advance and to establish protocols specific to each customer so that everyone remains safe. The technician should also not feel pressured to do work if they arrive to someone coughing or sneezing. Not shaking hands and avoidance of touching surfaces in the home is also advised—even using the customer’s sink and soap once the job is completed to minimize risk. For more, see “Staying safe from the coronavirus when you work in other people’s homes.”
Dominion Energy is also letting their customers know that technicians will be asking a series of questions before they enter the home or business. Additionally, “They will wear rubber gloves…and in some instances special protective gear. If coronavirus is suspected in a home and we are required to enter, disposable coveralls will also be used. You can assist by maintaining a six-foot separation from our employees to minimize risk.”
As an alternative to in-home-selling, check out systemsurveyor.com. I’m a huge believer in adapting technology used in one segment and applying it to another. What was originally developed as a technology platform to help design, collaborate, and manage the lifecycle of commercial systems can also be used in the residential arena. All you need is a floor plan of a home, some ingenuity, and a desire to look at new ways to manage your company through a crisis.
One last thought, and through the illustrious words of Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.
MacGuard Security Advisors is here to help your company navigate during crisis. Contact Kirk at www.macguard.com for a FREE consultation at www.macguard.com, or by filling out the connect with us form on the home page of this blog.