I’m a little slow to pick up on certain things. Over the past couple years, I’ve written scores of articles about the opportunity for our audience to sell IP video solutions. However, it wasn’t until recently that I gained some insight that would have made my previous articles so much more valuable. You see, I’ve been incessantly beating the drum “with the rise of IP cameras, our integrator audience — who knows IP networking inside and out — is perfect to sell such solutions.” While that’s true, and my final breaths would be “tell them… to sell… IP cameras… ,” there’s another more significant aspect of this opportunity.
You’ll have more success selling IP camera solutions if you don’t just sell the cameras as loss prevention devices.
You see, if you plan on selling cameras for ordinary surveillance, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. First, you’ll be competing against every other “me too” integrator and traditional security dealer. Depending on the size of the customer, you might also be competing with a low-end solution from Costco/Sam’s Club. Second, if you’re selling an IP-based camera solution for ordinary surveillance, you’ll most likely face a price objection you won’t be able to overcome unless you’re savvy enough to use megapixel cameras in place of multiple analog cameras.
To have the most success selling IP-based security solutions, you need to harness the power and capabilities of the cameras and software on the market today. That means taking these cameras and having them do other things beyond waiting for a robbery.
For an upcoming point of sale-focused guide in our magazine, I asked manufacturers to share some ways IP cameras can be used beyond simple surveillance. See if just a handful of their comments don’t inspire you to create solutions for your customers:
“We’ve seen an explosive trend in retail over the last couple of years to use surveillance cameras for not only security, but also for marketing analysis, workforce optimization, and overall sales management. Typical analytic applications that leverage live and recorded video include anything from measuring how long customers ‘dwell’ around a certain retail display and queue lengths at checkout lines to people counting and staffing schedules. Leveraging this information, retailers can make real and predictive decisions regarding business operations.” – Debjit Das, VP of global marketing, Verint Video Intelligence Solutions
“A car dealership can use a license-plate recognition camera to capture the cars entering their lot to allow the service managers to know who is coming into the service center for personal greetings.” – Yoav Stern, president and CEO, DVTEL
“A store can leverage video surveillance tied in with license plate recognition to determine when this customer is on-site and the store can then send sale notifications to the user’s smart phone based on loyaly card data, right before they enter the store. Retailers can then use this information to determine what attracts a customer not only to that store but what sale items specifically interest them.” – Allyn Pon, director of product development, MicroPower Technologies
“Video systems are now also able to identify attributes of customers such as relative age and gender, suggesting a whole new future range of useful tools to identify customer patterns.” – Robert Kramer, product manager/security products, Panasonic
“Behind the scenes, retailers and restaurants are using IP cameras to make sure safety procedures are being implemented and followed. They can also synch video with RFID information to properly document the shipping and receiving of goods or to make sure that deliveries are not left unattended.” — David Wedel, strategic business development manager, Sony Electronics
Create solutions like the ones above and you’ll be in a great position to win business and become a hero to your customers. No traditional security dealer can compete with solutions like that, where you’re offering your customers a unique integrated solution that ties in with multiple areas of their business. And, by creating such offerings, you make the high price conversation significantly easier to overcome because you’ve created multiple areas apart from just loss prevention where ROI can be enjoyed.