Gillmore revisits customers

Sunday, March 1, 2009

CLEVELAND, Ohio--“Remember your base” is a familiar mantra in politics, one which Alan Gillmore, of Gillmore Secuity, believes is sage advice to alarm company owners, as well, particularly in a down market.

“Every time you go to the customer’s place of business or home, the better off you are,” he said. “You might get a referral, you might be able to sell something additional and you can make sure that they understand their system … That’s how you cement your relationship with your customers,” he said.

Gillmore Security was started by Gillmore’s father in 1971. The bulk of its customers (about 85 percent) today are high-end residential. Gillmore also does a chunk of commercial business for medium and large businesses, something it got into because its residential clients who owned businesses wanted Gillmore to protect their businesses as well as their homes. As a rule, Gillmore sells service and annual inspections with his systems. In addition to that, his son Ryan is concentrating on going back to Gillmore’s longest-standing customers to upgrade older systems that won’t work with VoIP telephone systems. It’s a defensive measure on the one hand, he says, but it also instills goodwill and it’s an opportunity to connect with customers, perhaps sell them additional services, get a referral and leave literature at neighboring homes.

The opportunities for add-on sales include newer and more extensive fire systems, CO detectors, monitoring for water in basements, additional means of back-up communication for alarm systems (Internet, or cellular for example), and cameras. While Gillmore’s installed camera systems for his clients for years, he says there’s more interest than ever in video systems. Upping a monitoring contract from $25 or $30 per month to $50 or $60 per month is not that difficult with the right clients.

“You have to make up your mind to do it and to charge for those extras,” he advised.