Some of the most standard reasons we hear are:
- “We have no budget.”
- “Our customers aren’t asking for it.”
- “We are doing fine. We don’t need it.”
When presenting the technology request and challenge to the security company owner, the supervisor is presenting a solution to the problem. Adding more problems to the owner’s already full plate is part of what creates or increases the immediate push-back.
Security company owners are often overwhelmed with other sets of business challenges that they are trying to solve. As a result, owners can be confused about the most important challenges that need fixing.
Owners look to their supervisors to be leaders. By approaching a problem with a solution, you can very quickly start to ease the immediate tension an owner feels when an employee approaches them with a new problem.
Both the supervisor’s and owner’s sets of challenges or problems are important. But, if the proper strategy isn’t used when presenting the owner with the challenge, there is little to no hope that the push-back will be defeated.
For example, as a supervisor, you already know that old school guard management and reporting tactics aren’t enough anymore. You’re tired of trying to decode written reports, chasing down guards for information, and guessing whether they are doing their rounds or not. At the same time, owners are hyper-focused on making payroll and maintaining contracts to keep the business running.
Now, yes, these things can be solved for with better reporting and security management tools. However, we know based on the type of push-back supervisors are getting that owners are thinking about these problems far more narrowly than a supervisor who is faced with them daily.
When requesting a new resource or piece of technology, owners care about two main things: how much something will cost, and how much profit it will make.
So how do you deal with the push-back and questions the owner is going to have when you submit your request for a new piece of technology?
We put together a quick guide on how to strategically deal with the common objections about purchasing a new tool. This will allow the owner to better understand the importance of the issues at hand and opens the door to starting the security technology vendor evaluation process.
Push Back 1: What’s wrong with how we do it now?
This is the standard, first push-back. “What’s wrong with how we do things now? It’s working. Why reinvent the wheel?”
As we mentioned earlier, your job, as a supervisor, is to help the owner see the bigger picture of why your request is important and why the challenges or problems you are trying to address needs addressing sooner rather than later.
Explaining to the owner how and why modern physical security tools are necessary is an important starting point to the conversation. Essentially, the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented, but it does need to be upgraded.
The Reality of Not Updating Your Tech
Without GPS location features and automated alerts, it’s almost impossible to hold officers accountable for their work. Out-dated reporting structures don’t provide live data to monitor, and security companies aren’t able to efficiently resolve real-time issues. In order to win more contracts and renew existing ones, it is critical to have timely and accurate data to show how great the services you’re offering actually are.
“Silvertrac has solved our issues of officers being where they say they are, and doing what they say they are doing. It has helped us to stop incorrect time in and out information and it has provided for more accurate billing to the client and payments to personnel.” - Michael Franklin, COO, Wolf Creek Security Agency
Push Back 2: We don’t have the budget.
Budget objections are common in security companies — primarily because most owners have learned to do a lot with a little. Very few security companies started with a large amount of capital to back them up.
Because careful spending is a necessity, it can be very hard to breakthrough this reasoning. However, there are a few questions that can be used to start making an impact on the owner’s line of thinking.
The question that we have seen to be the most successful in these types of conversations is:
Does our budget include the hours my guards and I spend on reporting and administrative work each week?
If you ask the owner if they have budgeted for current reporting hours and admin work and they haven’t, it is going to increase tensions and create another burden for them to think about. You aren’t going to get what you want, and the owner is likely going to be more frustrated with the problem and you.
As a supervisor, if you choose to start with these questions, be prepared with evidence. Do some initial research on software costs and display that pricing next to the current time/money being spent on these tasks. Be ready to give the owner the solution immediately.
The Reality of Not Automating Your Reporting
Relying on manual reporting, personal supervision, and guesswork to manage guards, supervisors spend hours tracking down information, meeting with guards, and sorting through paperwork in order to produce a single client report.
Invest in guard management software that helps improve overall efficiencies by decreasing time on repetitive tasks and increasing the time allotted to the more important tasks.
Example: One company used to spend 20 to 25 hours a week putting together reports — nearly a full-time salary. Is that something your company can afford? Now, in a couple of clicks of a computer mouse, they get a nice, professional report they are proud to show clients.
When communicating this, you can use numbers from your company as well. The goal is to show how much time goes into admin work, and quickly prove how it can be automated with a few clicks.
Push Back 3: Our customers don’t need it.
This is just a wrong assumption, plain and simple. Just don’t phrase it like that to your owner. Based on the current state of the physical security industry, clients are requiring modern security management software.
The bigger firms continue to grow their service offerings, most of which are technology-based. Not to mention, clients want full transparency into what is happening on their properties, and they know physical security technology exists that provides a full insight into exactly what occurred during a specific time.
And even if the client is not requiring modern security management software, using your technology in your sales pitch has proven time and time again to win contracts.
Real-time reporting is an excellent selling point to add to proposals.There are also a number of different reports that are very helpful for clients, which offers them complete transparency into your operations.
The Reality of Not Providing Your Clients Security Technology
Not providing technology as part of your services has a number of consequences that can cause contract termination or loss of contract at renewal.
During the Shift: If an officer has to manually create or handwrite a report, it is taking away from the time he is spending on actually securing the property. It increases the chance that he will miss something, take incomplete reports, or mishandle an incident because of a lack of communication.
With technology, an officer has an enforced guard tour that has been set by management. They are provided checkpoint notes, and supervisors are alerted if a task is not completed on time. Because they have a templated report and pre-set tour with notes, there is plenty of time and no room for excuses as to why the officer missed something or didn’t do his job properly.
Post-Shift: Without technology, reports are likely to be lost and buried, never to be seen again. The client’s budget is less likely to be spent on security if they can’t justify what benefit the security company brings to their property.
With technology, clients and supervisors have full access as to what happened on-site immediately and forever. Cloud storage maintains documents far better than a U-Haul closet filled with boxes of old reports. With easy access to the reports, clients can justify their security spend and determine how effective their security management company is. Whether a potential client verbalizes it or not, they need security guard management technology. Their budget and faith in your company rest on this.
Finally, if a client were to ever accuse an officer of wrong-doing, both the client and security supervisor will have access to exactly what happened through reports. It can help to keep the officer accountable or clear the officer’s name.
When dealing with accusations without proper reporting, it’s the client’s word against the security officer’s. Depending on how the security company deals with these accusations a few things could happen. You can:
- Lose a client
- Get sued by the lost client
- Get bad reviews
- Fire an employee who isn’t guilty
“[Silvertrac], our greatest tool we use, provides a solid communication bridge for our staff as well as our customers by keeping them informed on our daily progress in addressing their needs through data but more importantly using historical data to justify our reason for them choosing Severance.” - Tim Harry, CEO, Severance Security Services LLC
Push Back 4: We don’t have the time or resources to teach everyone.
Implementing a new tool or process into an organization is time-consuming and challenging. That’s a fact that the owner is going to know all-too-well. They had to implement a business’ full processes to a new team when they started the company and every time they hire.
As the supervisor, you should acknowledge the hardships that come along with implementing and training on a new piece of technology. It will help to maintain team cohesion. Everyone is aware of the difficulty of this process.
However, after agreeing with these concerns, present a training program. Similar to our earlier advice on budgeting, supervisors should come prepared to offer a solution to the problem.
The owner isn’t going to take time to figure out an effective training schedule if they can’t get past the amount of time and resources it is going to take in the first place. If a supervisor provides a foundation, the owner can use that as a starting point to make adjustments. It will also provide the owner confidence that the supervisor can roll this out, and it is not up to the owner to find time to do so.
The Reality of Not Providing Technology Training (or any training at all)
Every security management company should have a continued training program in place, whether they have implemented technology or not. In order for a security company to make sure their officers are operating to the best of their abilities, training and updates on legislation is a must.
Without initial on-boarding and continued training, officers are more likely to become lazy on-site, forget key responsibilities, and not operate under the most up-to-date policies or best practices.
Additionally, the owner’s security company becomes exposed to a decrease in service quality, a decrease in bids won, and potential lawsuits. In this instance, a supervisor should provide a full training program proposal, including technology training, to the owner.
If a training program is already in place, and the biggest problem is adding the technology training into the current program, the supervisor can use that as a foundation for an initial updated program proposal when they approach the owner.
And thankfully, Silvertrac offers in-depth training for security teams. We have rolled out tens of thousands of implementation plans for small to midsize security management companies.
We have on-boarding and training that helps with everything a security company needs to add the software into day-to-day business. Plus, our U.S.-based customer support is always available — even for the craziest requests.
“Silvertrac has been great with our customers. We're a pretty new company in the Orlando area, and Silvertrac allows us to stand out, and separate from the competition by utilizing the automatic daily report emails. If there's anything that we would have wanted they are always willing to have it developed. They never tell their customers no. If they don't have it I typically get a ‘We don't have that developed quite yet, but we're working on it.’ That's great customer service if you ask me! Working with CSM has been a fantastic experience! If he doesn't answer my call right away, I usually get an email with ‘I'll give you a call right back in wrapping up on a call’ or a call back within 5-10 minutes.’” - William Landon, VP of Operations, Eastern Security Inc.
Push Back 5: That’s great for big companies, but we’re small. We don’t need it.
Like the training concerns, company size is also a legitimate concern. Historically the biggest difference between a large and small security company was number of employees and the amount of revenue they pulled in.
According to the 2019 Robert H. Perry & Associates, Inc. US Contract Security Industry white paper, the five largest security companies in the world have at least $1 billion in revenue from physical guard services. They are the industry leaders and responsible for setting the norms and trends.
Today, pricing structure, services offered, and their technology continues to create larger separations between the big companies and the small ones.
The Reality of wanting to “stay small”
It is likely that a small security company owner will argue being small “works” (remember push back #1). However, in order to compete with these companies in this type of market growth, the use of technology can help a small security company to feel like a bigger player.
Adopting technology doesn’t mean that the company has to grow significantly, but it does mean that the company will have a fighting chance to win bids against larger players that are likely coming in with lower price points, a well-rounded technology offering, and more services.
A supervisor can stress how critical these industry changes are to the longevity of the owner’s smaller company. These five mega-companies, who made over $35 billion collectively in 2018, are getting bigger. They’re acquiring smaller firms, and making their service offerings better with security technology.
Without the addition of technology, a potential new client will have have a hard time awarding a smaller security company the bid. At least with technology and a well-trained team, a new client can justify spending a slightly higher price-point for a small to midsize security company.
“Been using Silvertrac in multiple offices for more than 5 years. We have almost 100 units operating daily and have had virtually no issues. When we've had questions or concerns they are addressed immediately. Our clients love the real time reporting and automatic reports in the morning. Definitely a customer retention tool.” - James McGovern, President, Secureone
In order to for small to midsize security companies to be competitive with the industry's largest players, they must align their offerings with the current industry best practices in order to really WOW their clients. Check out the Silvertrac Demo on Demand today and start upgrading your technology offerings.