The Beat

Hangin' with Harrington Dealer of the Future: Keeping Up With Kipp Marc Hess, owner of Kipp Visual & Security Systems, could write the book on how dealers can market themselves and grow their businesses. His is thriving. It's because he actively...

For three years running, Hess' big outreach has been hosting a Security Symposium for his clients. It is an opportunity for clients and target clients to receive training and get up close and personal with the newest product offerings. Guest speakers also participate in the event, which usually attracts about 80 attendees. It is all part of Marc Hess' commitment to providing quality service and growing his business. Expansion has, after all, always defined the evolution of the Kipp business since its inception over a century ago.

Ironically enough, Hess mirrors that history. "I look at my past to predict my future," he says. "If I've been strong in hospital applications like infant monitoring, why not replicate that? Why not do a direct mailing to Facility Directors or MIS Directors, who are getting more and more getting involved in the decision making because of IT convergence? If dealers are not recognizing that, they are missing the boat."

Hess adds, "You used to speak with a retired cop. Now you are talking with young people in MIS departments. They are sharp and know what broadband is. The convergence with IT?the writing is on the wall, and with what's happening digitally. The progressive dealer today is talking to an AV director, an MIS director. They are putting in cabling and whatever it takes. If you can provide everything they need, you can hold onto that client. Being two and 3-dimensional gives you a bit more of an edge."

He knows of which he speaks.