Using your Standard Form contracts is one of the best decisions I’ve made. As you maintain, they are not only protective but also serve to develop revenue streams if applied correctly. We’ve used your Residential All In One Security form for several years and kept it current. And we have met our share of resistance from clients when presenting for signature. However, we have always gained the signatures; every single one of our accounts are under contract. We are happy to leave the potential customers who do not understand the benefits of a contract to the bottom-dwellers. At the end of the day, the ability to maintain our company records benefit from an operational standpoint by keeping account information complete. The value, and multiple, of our small business I assume is directly affected. Garbage in – garbage out applies.
We have experienced client questions and concerns about all the standard items you regularly address in your newsletter. However, I thought I’d share our process related to a lesser mentioned item:
INSURANCE (line 22). This is the requirement (…shall…) of the subscriber to maintain an insurance policy naming the installing company as ADDITIONALLY INSURED (A.I.). I admit, this clause has not been uniformly enforced from the beginning as we were more concerned with – lower hanging fruit - getting the signatures on file consistently. About the end of Q2 we edited our Security Inspection form to include an area that : names the home-owner insurance carrier, policy number, and check-off as to whether we are named A.I. We visit all of our subscribers annually and offer their copy of the inspection form for presentation to the insurance company. No matter how small the credit they receive on their premium, all clients are interested in seeking it – it is at that time they are most concerned with a blank spot on their inspection form.
Our inspectors are instructed to first ask who they use for coverage in the context of their discount on the premium, and record it right in front of the client. Then, of course request the contact information to pass the completed form to their Broker. Once that verbal permission is granted, the rest of the process varies a bit depending upon the insurance agents willingness to divulge the policy number, and ultimately add our company as additionally insured. The process usually takes a few extra communication steps, possibly emails and phone calls involving myself but the result justifies the effort. I expect it to take a couple extra years to close on the remaining subscribers, a simple matter of establishing trust over time, but it will be done.
We work extra hard to provide top service to our small client base. So it is quite simple for us to appeal to our subscribers, based on the trust we have earned, to take the extra step that benefits both parties – to stay OUT OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
I can only imagine negotiating our multiple when it comes time to leverage our company equity…
Peter L. Mason
Security Systems Integrator
Mason Alarms and Electrical, LLC