The Big Idea with Ron Davis
Can You Write the Book on Your Clients?
If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be?
“Collect data. With enough data on any given subject, I can formulate a plan to market, install and service a multitude of products for all of my clients.” — Greg Coury, Global Security
REG COURY KNEW it was a setup the minute he looked up and saw me standing there, right in his Bonita Springs, Fla., office. He just didn’t know what kind of a setup it really was.
First, a little background. Fellow SSI columnist Ken Kirschenbaum
set me up a month before I met Coury, who is president of Global Security. We’re talking about one thing or another, and during the conversation he somehow talked me into giving away what turned out to be hundreds of copies of my book, “The Start of the Deal.” The next thing I knew I was reading a newsletter from Kirschenbaum to all of his subscribers that offered my book as a holiday present from him, at my expense — and I fell for it. Now jump ahead about 30 days, and there sat my wife, Beverly, and I addressingpackages and mailing out those books all over the country.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Alarm Dealer
By pure coincidence, I happened on Coury’s name and noticed
the address was just a few blocks from where I spend my winters.
I decided to deliver his book personally. For just a moment, I felt
like a celebrity, being instantly recognized by a complete stranger.
I was dressed in a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops; Coury was in
business attire (Florida style) and to my thinking, perhaps even
a little overdressed. He stood in the middle of his office, looked
at me, and we both broke out laughing.
I handed him a copy of the book, took in enough of his trophy
walls, inventory, signs, etc., to assure myself that he was the
real deal — a living, breathing alarm dealer only a few blocks
from where I live. We chatted for a few moments, and since I
didn’t want to overstay my welcome (remember, I barged in on
him) I took my leave. An hour later, he called and invited me to
meet him at my favorite breakfast haunt the following morning
to continue the conversation.
Coury has been in the security industry for more than 30
years, as an alarm dealer and integrator doing access control,
CCTV, etc., that so many of the approximately 12,000 independent
alarm dealers do for a living. I suspect Coury is a bit more
successful, financially, then most, however. We must have talked
about a dozen different subjects, and finally I got around to
asking him my signature question, “If you had just one really
great idea you could share with all those alarm dealers who are
going to read this column, what would it be?” Within a few seconds,
he shot back, “Collect data.”
Research Reaps Rewards for Those Who Dig In
You see what differentiates Coury from many dealers, and I believe
he is one of a very small minority, is that he does extensive
research on trends in the industry, products, services, marketing
and a whole host of other important topics. Remember, he
found out about me by reading Kirschenbaum’s newsletter.
We talked about his response and he elaborated by explaining,
“With enough data on any given subject, I can formulate a
plan to market, install and service a multitude of products for all
of my clients. And my clients know that I do this, and know that
they can talk to me about just about any aspect of the security
industry and I will have information available. Sometimes I even
have statistical information on how the products are used and
what customer satisfaction has been achieved.”
While we were sitting in that restaurant, I realized that I was
talking with not just a pretty good security guy, but also a multitasking business executive who certainly was worldly on a
whole plethora of products and services. Maybe it should not
have surprised me that the name of Coury’s company is Global
Security. When I first saw that name walking in the door of his
office the previous day, I thought this person might be not just
an optimist, but also a successful entrepreneur constantly expanding
his business. And that describes Coury.
There are so many things that entrepreneurs do right, there’s
not enough room in one Big Idea page to fill them but fortunately
I get to tackle different steps toward success every month. I’ll
leave you with a short story about two entrepreneurs. Seems
they met for breakfast one day and the first entrepreneur said
to the second entrepreneur, “I’ll give you a dollar if you give me
a dollar, and we both can claim we made a dollar today.” Certainly
not a loss, nor a gain. Now, change “dollar” to “idea” and
think about what can happen. I do this all the time — I get to ask alarm dealers, “If you had just one really great idea …” See what