What makes the difference between a successful and unsuccessful patrol account? Listen in as Johnny and Chris interview Charles Gaines and Scott Campf to learn a few keys to launching a successful mobile patrol.
Setting up a route
- Target prospects near existing accounts.
- Make sure you are calculating all costs.
When a customer calls and requests a bid, your first steps should be:
- Make sure it’s in a profitable, sustainable location.
- You can’t spread yourself too thin.
- If something can go wrong, it will.
- Make that its in a location that you can sincerely offer quality service.
- It’s not worth taking on an account that you can’t WOW your customer.
- TIP: Take your sales rep out on a patrol so they can really understand what it takes to offer quality based patrols vs. quantity based patrols.
- Use a route planner to help plan your stops.
- Setting Proper Expectations
- How big is the property?
- What type of account is it?
- What are they asking for? (Lock up service, courtesy patrol, addressing specific issues?)
- What is the reason for termination of the existing provider? (Price or Service?)
- Learning what caused the previous patrol operator the account can help you avoid similar mistakes.
- If the account is more involved, do a property walk.
- Conducting the Property Walk
- The appearance of the property is going to tell you a lot. (The broken window theory)
- Learn as much as you can about the manager & the management style.
- Check crime maps.
- Speak with residents and tenants (look for online reviews)
- Look for potential risks (pools, playgrounds, attractions of loitering or unwanted presence).
- Try to find whether or not the failure of the previous vendor is due to the manager, or the operator.
- For HOA’s: Look online for recent board meeting minutes (this can tell you a lot about the problems facing the community).
- Pricing for Success
- First, be honest about the time and effort it is going to take to deliver the desired outcome.
- Know the realistic time spent on site.
- Know the cost of transportation.
Interview: Charles Gaines of First Security Systems in Dallas, Texas
- Our biggest priority is to learn what our client is trying to accomplish by bringing in a patrol service.
- We do our best to stay within our niche. It's important for our success and our customer's success that we stay within our strengths. So we go through a very thorough discovery process to make sure a new account is a good fit.
- We also do our best to make sure that the accounts we add fit our overall operation. We have to make sure that a new account doesn't disrupt our current routes.
- We use a thorough process at the end of the every month to make sure our patrols are staying profitable. So this is a process that is constantly changing for us.
- We price our services on 3 basic criteria, quality of the officer, volume of services, and time of the day.
Interview: Scott Campf of First Alarm Security Systems in Aptos, California
- You first have to start with what the customer is actually looking for. You also have to be aware of the fact that most mobile patrol accounts tend to be budget conscious.
- It's important to do a site assessment so that you and your operation know exactly what to expect. Going and visiting the site will give you more insight about the potential service and allow you to price the account to be successful long term. You want to avoid as many mistakes as possible, and site assessment will go a long way toward that.
- You have to be willing to turn down an account if you are realistically unable to deliver the desired results. You run the risk of being blamed for something happening if you take a job that doesn't allocate enough budget to address the issue.
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