Industry partnerships can add inherent value for companies, allowing them to cast a wider net for prospects and helping them to gain credibility and authority within the community. For alarm dealers, this means spending time developing relationships with local, consumer-facing businesses that can build up their brand and become a part of their referral base.
Businesses that deal with homeowners who are moving into a new house make the most valuable partners. They often provide an inside track to reaching new customers and building a positive reputation, but it requires some creativity when identifying these opportunities and developing the relationships. If these relationships are managed well, it can enable a company to be the first to know about homes on the market and new homeowners in the area, while also making them the recipient of direct referrals.
Relationship building is a big part of doing business, and it is especially important for home security companies that market themselves as friendly, trustworthy assets to the community.
Build a Network
At Monitronics, more than 25 percent of new customers come from home buyers. By getting in with these buyers on the ground-level through industry referrals, a security dealer can tap into this base, virtually ensuring they will be viewed from a place of authority and trust by the consumer. In addition, it can lower costs for all customer-facing parties.
The following types of organizations provide several potential touch points with home buying consumers:
Realtors —When buying a new house, customers will often use a realtor. When deciding on contractors and making household decisions, they will often consult their realtor for suggestions and referrals, capitalizing on their local expertise.
Home builders — Many builders pre-wire homes for alarms and smart home systems. Establishing a relationship with these builders can enable a security dealer to pre-install equipment or become a preferred vendor for that builder.
Homeowners associations — Speaking about services and providing community safety notices at monthly homeowners association meetings can help position a security company as a community resource, rather than strictly salespeople. Access and availability keeps providers top of mind when new occupants seek referrals.
Chambers of Commerce and business networking groups — Joining Chambers of Commerce enables a security dealer to access local activities, helping them gain status and recognition within the community. It is important to be known as a local resource and advocate. Participation will help companies get recognized by key business leaders, which is imperative when potential leads arise.
Insurance companies — Insurance companies are another consumer-facing local business that can add credibility to a security company and provide direct referrals.
Service companies — These include locksmiths, plumbers, roofers, inspectors and other contractors. These relationships can play an integral role in developing a local pipeline.
Many of these businesses and individuals may already have “go-to” teams in place. While focusing on breaking into these established networks, it is just as important to develop new networks with unaffiliated organizations, as well. This can be done by working with newer contractors, realtors and other service providers.
While web and flyer lead generation can be costly and yield unpredictable volume, pooling resources among companies can increase leads and lower costs for everyone involved. To get in the door, companies must provide value to both the consumer and the other third-party organization.
Starting out, bring gift baskets or offer to give free lunch seminars on local crime statistics and safety tips. This comes across less sales-oriented and provides value to end-users. From there, establish a partnership and define the value each party will bring to the table.
Here are some examples of cross-promotion and value propositions:
- Partner with a builder to offer free installation for new homeowners with extra camera equipment.
- Work with an insurance company to offer discounted installation for every customer. Emphasize that a monitored home security system can save a customer up to 20 percent on homeowners insurance.
- Locksmiths can offer smart locks to their customer base that are linked to alarm monitoring programs.
For all of these efforts, create materials with unique tracking codes to monitor and adjust the details throughout the relationship. While doing so, make sure to give back and show thanks. Build a referral pay scale based on how many referrals local partners provide on a monthly basis to compensate for the increased leads. Offer gift cards as move-in gifts for customers. This type of appreciation will encourage future business and increase referrals.
Stay visible to community partners by dropping by with coffee and remembering personal details. They’ll keep you in mind when a great prospect comes along, and it will go a long way towards developing a strong reputation.
Lindsay Lougée is Communications Specialist for Monitronics. Request more info about the company at www.securityinfowatch.com/10216127.