I get it. I know why people hate security salespeople:
In the days of landlines and sit-down dinners, everyone was interrupted at some point by a security system company trying to sell you a “free” system with a 3 year contract. They called me too!
Rampart doesn’t do that. We don’t and never have tried to sell via cold-calls. We won’t. There is no need for someone to call you, scare you about the changing world/neighborhood/crime statistics and try to get you to buy or lease a security system. I know some companies are still doing this. It is ridiculous. They would surely stop if they never sold any that way, so it must work— but it is not our way.
I was once at a neighborhood potluck supper and a lady asked me what I did for a living. I said I work at Rampart Security Systems. She turned and walked away. She had never dealt with our company— of that I am certain. She walked away because of what other companies were doing, not mine. They give us all a bad reputation (not cool like the Joan Jett song). Still, though— ouch!— that was humiliating.
Frankly, we don’t advertise much either. Our customers are happy and tell others to call us for security every day. I’m really grateful for that. It is soul-satisfying to know that we provide security people recommend to their loved ones and friends.
Companies that advertise on TV and radio do us a favor. They get people shopping for home security alarms and, if they do their research and they are in the Kansas City area, customers will find us. There is no lack of business, even though some people compete like that’s the case.
I’m not fond of the scary scenarios they show in the commercials— even if they are true, they aren’t really ethical IMHO. Wouldn’t it be enough to say— if you need security, here we are? Instead they create an urgent need by scaring people. Not my bag of tea. I don’t even like scary movies. Salespeople who scare in order to sell— I don’t like them either.
Nope— we don’t do that either. We sell our equipment outright, and there is NO REASON to make you sign a contract. We have a month to month agreement— you pay us to monitor the system, and we perform that job within reason. Those long contracts have nothing to do with protecting the customer. They are all about protecting the company. That said, when a customer insists on a contract we will sign a month to month version to close the deal.
You should always read the fine print— sometimes it is fascinating. Fascinating like you have to pay 2/3 of the remaining balance that you would have paid if you completed the contract— which could easily be over a thousand dollars!
Smarmy fake small-talk and BS
As you can tell, I am probably not a good small-talker. I can conjure a sentence about the weather or a sports team but after one or two sentences— I’m done. On “sales” calls (I prefer consultation or design meeting) I am all about the building. How many doors and windows? What kind? How can I minimize cost and make a system easy to use round the clock? (Many people don’t use their systems round the clock, but it is best to have that option if some worry or threat comes along.) Sure, I have met some nice cats and dogs and even had a customer serve me coffee and cherry pie once. I just don’t like the sales people (for security or anything) who pretend to be your new best friend until you sign the contract. We know our job is to educate you on how the system works, how it should be set up and why, and then get out of your way so you can make a decision.
Special offers that are only “today”? No thanks. I like to take enough time to make a wise decision. They say you sell best to people like yourself. I sell best to careful shoppers. People who are suspicious when something seems too good to be true— like a “free” $850 system. (Those are never free, you pay for them over the required 3 year contract term. I once asked a company that called me to drop off the system for me and they wouldn’t. Nothing is free if you have to sign up.)
If you give your email to most companies these days, you end up with spam. I know I do. If I give a salesperson for almost anything my email, I seem to get a regular newsletter or special offer every once in a while. With Rampart, we email your bid, your bill if you want it emailed, and documents you need. We do not email or mail you a bunch of stuff you don’t want. Maybe we’re missing out, but I think most people will call us if they want something instead of waiting for us to contact them.
Intrusion and inconvenience of home visits
In checking out the DIY security company sales-pitches, it is clear that they see an advantage to their mail order business model— no sales-people in your house. They present it as intrusive, and unnecessary. Sure, it is not rocket science, designing a security system, but people do tend to overdo certain elements or under-do others. Lots of people want to put a switch on every window— which is great if you can afford that— but limiting if you can’t. There are things we can adjust to minimize expense. Motion sensors are useful— but some people had a bad experience thirty years ago and are reluctant to try the newer technology. A pro can design a more effective, less expensive system than most DIYers just ordering from a screen.
That said— I do not go out to every house to design a system. After 20+ years, it just isn’t necessary. I rely on my knowledge of home plans and the thousands of homes I have visited. I also use Google Streetview. Between the two, I rarely give a bid that needs much adjustment when the installer goes out. If changes need to be made, he’ll discuss them with the homeowner and make sure the job is done right.
So, home visits are not always needed. They can be inconvenient or intrusive in the bidding process, when you are trying to compare apples to apples. Each company tells you something a little different to make themselves stand out— but it gets ridiculously confusing trying to compare them all. You have a bunch of total strangers walking through, and people are worried about security, and about the appearance of their homes (though we don’t care about your clutter).
The Willy Lowmans of the world aren’t so welcome in people’s homes anymore. I feel the same about salespeople for things I have shopped for: windows, gutters, painters, etc. We can do our jobs well without intruding these days.
There are surely more reasons why people hate security salespeople, but that’s all for now. I hope I haven’t overstayed my welcome.