The growth and success of Security Pros LLC, Jeffersonville, Ind., comes down to the business’s overall approach of working with its customers and its strategic partnerships. “We don’t simply design and sell solutions. Our approach starts with training and understanding the ever-changing market we live and work in,” said President and Founder Chris Gilbert.
“Our customers look to us to provide the right solution the first time,” Gilbert said. Security Pros seeks a technology path that allows for quick adaptation as equipment and communication methods change.
However, when they visit a new customer’s site, they go in with an open mind. “Our design begins with a consultative approach to understanding their business and the challenges they face as a company or municipality. Once the issues and return on investment is clearly defined, we move forward with design solutions that are truly unique to that customer,” he explained.
That emphasis on “no preconceived notions” is important. “We do not choose the equipment prior to visiting with a customer. We have our favorites, sure, but our design is around the customer’s needs and not around a national agreement to sell a certain amount of product,” Gilbert continued.
“Our growth has continued to evolve, mainly from developing relationships,” Gilbert said. “We are not a marketing powerhouse with television and print ads,” he continued. In fact, they don’t spend a dime on advertising. While the company is located in Jeffersonville, Ind. (just across the river from Louisville), they do business from Seattle to Phoenix to Boston. Their focus is less on traditional security and more on the integration facet of the business.
Becoming a trusted source
A big part of the security game is trust—between a firm and its suppliers and the trust between an integrator and its customers. Most dealers and integrators have little control over the former. But the successful ones know that the entire game revolves around the trust between the security company and its customers. Security Pros builds on that foundation.
“These relationships are not only with our customers but with strategic partners that align with us in our efforts to supply our shared customers with the best solution possible to meet their needs,” Gilbert said. These partnerships provide an opportunity to expand well beyond their local market.
“As we develop this path with our customers, we become a trusted professional that can be counted on to look out for their best interests now and in the future,” Gilbert said. Every employee has to be on the same page. Gilbert’s team prides itself on the ability to say “no.”
“Too many companies are always saying, ‘sure we can do that’ to sell the next job. In fact, it is simply starting them down the path to losing that customer,” Gilbert said. “If you want to keep your customers for a long time, it starts with trust,” he added.
“I feel to be truly successful you have to understand the business climate, how each person in the chain of command will be affected by your proposed solution and then help all parties involved come to terms with how the application of your solution will affect them and their department.”
The ability to gain and keep the trust of the customer on all levels is their key to success. “Everyone in the building is affected by your solution. Take the time to clearly understand how to relate. Don’t just sell something to meet a quota. It will serve you well in the long run,” he stated.
“By instilling this approach to our entire organization we are able to gain repeat business from our existing customers and gain a substantial amount of referral business.”
Gilbert got started in the business in 1997 as an installation technician with a large national firm. From there, he gained experience in commercial sales, sales management and, eventually, in area management in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore-Norfolk, Va., area. After spending 12 years in the business and putting in the weekly travel (he commuted from Louisville to Baltimore), he decided to come home and work for himself.