Top 4 Biggest Problems Selling Access Control 2018

By Sean Patton, Published Mar 23, 2018, 10:30am EDT

We received 150+ responses from integrators when we asked them "What is the biggest problem you face when selling electronic access control? Why?". In order, these were the top problems cited:

  1. Too expensive
  2. Too little customer knowledge
  3. Too complex
  4. Limits 3rd party integration

Inside we examine each of these problems, detailing integrator feedback and analyzing what this signals for the future of the access control market.

Access ******* ** *********

****** **** ** *** integrators ********* **** *** biggest ********* *** ********* not ********* ****** ** pay *** *** ******:

  • "***** *** ****. ****** choke ** *** ****."
  • "********* ****-***-****** ** ***** the ******* *******."
  • "****, ***** ****. *** internet *** **** ********* think ********** *** ** a $*** **** **** on *** ****."
  • "****. ****** ******* ** expensive, *** ******* ** or ***, **** ****** are ***** *********** ***** keys. ****, **** ****** are ***** ******* ***** using ********** ******* **** think ***** ****** *********** is ****** ** *** system (* **** ** CSI ********). ** ****'* a ********* ** ******** as ****."
  • "*** **** ** ******* the *****."
  • "******. ****** ** **** the ******* ** ******* the ******* ******* ** hear ***** ** **** projects."
  • "*****. ********* **** ** think ****** ******* ** cheap."
  • "****. *'* ********* *** quoting **** ***, *** client **** **** **** no ******* ** *** cost ********."
  • "*** ******* ******* ** cost. **** ** ** installs *** **** **** 4 *****."
  • "*** ******* ******* **** selling ** *** ****. The ***** *** ****** a ****. *** **** of *********** *** ******** locks."
  • "** * *** ** identify * ******* * would *** ** ** getting *** ********* ** approve *** ****** *** access *******. "
  • "****** *** ***** *** to *********** ********* *******."
  • "*** ******* ***** ** usually *** ******* ****"
  • "********* ***** ********* ****** be **** *** ***********."
  • "******. ****** ** **** the ******* ** ******* the ******* ******* ** hear ***** ** **** projects."
  • "**** ** *** *******"
  • "*****. ********* **** ** think ****** ******* ** cheap."
  • "***** *****."
  • "* ***** ** ********* small **********, *** **** 1-2 *****, *** ***** cost *** ****** ******* can ** **** ***********. Easier ** **** ** someone *** ** ******* for **+ ***** *** is ********* *** ********** costs!"

******* ** ******* **** *** ******** significantly ** *** **** 5 *****. ******* ******** cameras **** ******** *** market ** *** ***** that ** ** ******* *********-***.

*** **** ****** ****** control ******* ******** ** still ******** ** ****-************ manufacturers ******** ***** *** ********. **** ** ***** products *** ***** **** in *** ** ** Mexico (********,**** *****/*******), **** **** ******* lines **** ******** ***** moved ** **** ********* Chinese ************* ******. ********, most *******-****** *** ******* are **** ** * handful ** ***** **** and ***** ******** (***/*******, **** [**** ** longer *********],**), ***** ****** ******* competition. ***** ************ ************* (****,*********,*****) **** ******** ***** own ******* ***** ********, but *** ***** ************* behind *********** ****** *************.

Customer's ******* ********* *** ********

** **** *****, *********** lamented *** **** **** customers ****** ** ********** the ****** ************ *** operational *****, ** **** simply *********** *** "*****" of *** ******'* **********:

  • "********** *** ***** *** why ** ** ********* to ****** ********* *** rooms."
  • "*********** *** ******* **** ************ ***** to ********* *** *******." 
  • "******** **** **** **** to ******* *** ***. Some ********* **** ****** control, *** ***** **** about *** ***** ** it."
  • "******* ******* *** ******** to **** ***** ***** around **** ** ****** control ****** ** *** how ** ******** *** it."
  • "*** ******** ******** ****** for * *** ******** and ******* *** **** trying ** ******** ***** how **** ** *** impact ** *** ********* and ************."
  • "******** *** ******** ***** it ***** ** ** the ************ *****. ** they ** *** ******** and ******* **** ** go **** ********."
  • "*********** *** ********* ******** codes *** ******* ******* on **** *****... *** user **** **** ** the ************ *** **** with *** ***** ********."
  • "******, **'* *** ******* of *** ****** ** handle ***** *****. ** lists, ** ****** ******, they ***'* *** *** the ***** ****** ** the **** *** ********...**** just **** ** ********** video."
  • "******* *** ****** ** settle ** *** **** administer *** ****** ***** it's *********. **'* ****** a *********** ** **, Security *** **********, *** sometimes *** **** ***** leadership."
  • "*** ******* ** *** idea ** ****** ********** on *** *** ** decide ** **** ***** and *** **** **** control ** *** ******."
  • "********** *** ******* ***** software ******** *** ****** costs. **** *** **** to *********** ****** *** IP. **'* **** ** make **** ********** *** benefits ** ** *** costs ********** **** ******** maintenance ********* ***."
  • "* ***'* ******** ***** its ******** ** "****" access *******. ** * client ***** ****** ******* they **** **** **** it ** *** **** a **** ** ********* the ******* ******** ** their ******. ******* ******** they **** ** ** a ***** ** **** if **** ***'* ********** the *********** ******* ** their ********."
  • "********* *** ***** **** difficult **** * *** install - ***** *** customer *****'* **********."
  • "***** ********* ***** ****** control... ***** ******* ** get ********** **** *** access ***** **** *** price *** **** * features **** *** *** be ** * ******."
  • "* **** * **** problem ******* *** ******* government ** ****** *** rules - **** ******, FIPS ***, **** ***, FISMA, *** ******** *-***. The ******** ** *** aware ** *** *** rules *** ***********"
  • "*** ******* ******* ** to ******* ** ******** that **** **** ** use ******* **** **** if **** **** ** have ******** ****** ******* system."
  • "******** ********* ****** **** the ********** *********** ******* systems *** *** ********* of *** **** ******** and *** ****** ******* system."

********* *** ***** ***** time *** *********, ***** can **** *** ********** costs (*********** *** ***** Labor) ******** *** ******* system *****. *** ******* advantage ** ********** ****** control ******* ****** **** is *** *********** *** can ******* ***** ***********/*********** have ****** ** ***** controlled *****, *** ****** automatic ******** ** **** status *** ***.

Hardware *** ********** **********

**** ********* ******* *** that **** ********* **** hardware **************,**** ** ********** ********** options, *** ******** ************* make ***** ****** ******* sales *********:

  • "*** **** ******* ** lot ** ************ ****, mostly ******** *** **** confussed ** ****** ***** type ** ************ **** need **** ( **, card & ****)."
  • "**** ***** ** #*. It's *** *** ******* variable ** ***** *** new ****** *** ******** diligence ** *** ********** stage. **** **** ***** are **** ********** ****** that ********** *** **** experienced ********** ******* **** ways ** **** ******."
  • "*** ******* ******* * face **** ******* ********** access ******* ** ********** the ******** ** ******* out ***/****** ********* ***********."
  • "**'* **** ** ***** in **** ************* *** users ********* **** **** to ***** *** **** a ****."
  • "*** **** ******* ** the ****** ** ** able ** ** ********** in *** ******"
  • "***** **** ** *********. Access ******* *** ** very ******* *** ** you *** **** ** on ********* ** *** also ** **** ****-*********. We **** ** * lot ** *** ********* where **** ****** *** often *** ********. *** construction ** *** ** and *** ****."
  • "**** ****** ***********. ******* Customer ************ ***** *** level ** ****** *** potential *** ****** *** be *********. ******* *** existing ****** **** *** performing ******** ** * reader-by-reader ***** ** ********* and ******* ** *********** costs *** *** ********. Conversely, **'* *** ********** to **** **** ****** of ******* ** *** fell ***** *** * wholesale **-****."
  • "******* *** ***** **********"
  • "************ *****"
  • "**** ******** **********. *** system ** ****** ** a ********* ******* ** the ******** *****'* **** to *** ***** *** Active ********* ***********."
  • "******* *** ***** **** of ********** ******* ********* for *** ****/*****. **** is *** ********* **** of *** ****** ******* project."
  • "**** ********."
  • "****** ******* *** **** becoming **** *********** **** all *** ********* **.***** technologies ** **** ** all ******** *** ********* options".
  • "******* **** ****** ******* can ** **** *********** because ***** **** ** different, ***** ** ** one **** **** *** with ******* ********, ********** retro-fit"
  • "* **** **** *** nerds ******* *** ****** up *** **** ** up **** ***** *.*. about ** *****."

Lack ** ***********

* ****** ***** ********* was * **** ** supported ************ ******* ** existing ***** ****** *** a ********* *** ****** control ******. ********* **** an *********** **** ******* will ************, ***** ***** on ************ *********. ******** IPVM ****** ******* ******* *********** ******* ***********.

**** ** **-***-*** ************ can **** ******** * sales ***** ** *** customer *** ******** ** look *** ********* **** don't *****, ****** **** come **** ** ***** they *******:

  • "*********** **** ***** ***** systems. *** ** ******** and *** ******** ****** project ***** **** **** is ******* ** **** still **** ** **** OS ******* ** ****."
  • "*********** **** **** ******* readers ***** *** **** systems. ** ******** ******* peripherals *** ********."
  • "***********"
  • "**'* **** ** **** more *** ** ******* functionality, ***, *** ***********, payroll *********** ***"
  • "** ** *** **** to **** **** ************* with *** ****** ******* of *** ******** *** the ****** ******* ** our ******** ** *** floor *** *******. ******** doesn't **** **** *** badges. *** ********* *** access ******* ** *** building ** *** ** open ********. ** *** have ** **** **** them **** ** *** solution ** *** *** good *** *** *** customer."
  • "********* ****** *** ****** product **** *****’* ********* with *** ******* ** install."
  • "**** ** *** ***'* are ******* ** ********* with *** ***. ***** the **** ** ***** out ** ** **** is * **** **** or ***, ****** *** selling ** **** ***, even **** *** *** does *** **** *** capabilities **** **** **** requested"

 

Comments (7)

You can’t sell something to someone who doesn’t need it.  You can sell something to someone who doesn’t know they need it.

There is one process to evangelize to a prospect who has no access control versus a prospect that is looking to change or expand. 

For a new opportunity the effort I think needs to be about selling the first door, the lowest hanging fruit with the easiest benefit to identify and a lot of questions with “what if” , “how do you” and “how would you?” The rest of the doors follow from there if you offer a solution.

What will access control do for them that simple hardware can’t or won’t?  Information?  More control? Reduce key liability?  Safety?

There was a system installed to provide “mustering” for a single room, in case an alarm went off due to the release of a hazardous gas.  In 15 seconds doors would lock to contain and mustering would let them know whose family to notify, unfortunately.

There were systems sold just for badging because of poor employee management and floating vendors appearing everywhere.  They had to install a couple of doors to get everyone to carry the badge.

I recall badging used at a facility where the persons first name was in a huge font.  The President wanted to greet employees by first name in hallways, but couldn’t remember them.  Problem solved. 

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From my decade of experience in the business in the U.S. I have encountered the following:

1. Price - installation price is more than double the equipment price. In many projects, the equpment is less than 20% of the cost. 

2. Competition - there are 2 major barriers that prevent competition: UL294 that is a functionality standard and not safety standard  (trade barrier, cost barrier) and the American Brand Loyalty. Most Conglomorate Brands are over a decade old in tachnology and charge premium for their name. It is noticeable that you did not mentioned Manufacturers outside of the USA. Some are much better quality, pricing, capability than the USA manufacturers.

3. Customer always have limited knowledge. Using the right product with the other added features will help the customer understand. Having a system that will allow growth, integration, and added value such as Time & Attendance, Visitor system, badging and more for reasonable price.

4  Integration - most Conglomerates Manufacturers has no interest in integrating any 3rd. party products. There are companies in the market with extensive integration with market leaders in CCTV, Alarm, Biometric and others.

5. Complexity - yes, in Access Control you need to know what you are doing. Many companies have complicated processes due to bad translation or old logic. (Like the alarm industry)  others are more user friendly and simpler. What I find out is that many installers are reluctant in taking the training offered trying to save a buck and then spending hours with customer support loosung hundreds and losing the customer confidence. 

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Cogent points, but you have to substantiate your specific recommendations far better (specifically why they are better) and disclose your partner or relationship when you post.

I edited your post, feel free to reply if you have specific recommendations that justify your partner links.  Otherwise it will be treated as spam.  Feel free to email me: brian@ipvm.com

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So, what ever you do not like, such as the fact that many other manufacturers are missing, you redact from posting. Censorship??? 

I am wondering if IPVM is really interested in real professional opinions or has a major political agenda?

You want to know my affiliation?

ASIS, SIA, ALOA member for many years. OSDP Standard Subcommittee member, went through trainings by many of the Access Control providers, USA made and non-USA made.

for some more substantial information:

Integration limitations with most American/Canadian companies is limited to either their own products (Honeywell, Bosch, Kantech) or very limited models list (Most are Axis)

In comparison, companies such as KEYKING has integration with most common brands including IPVM beloved HIK Vision and Dahua as well as Samsung, NUUO and broad ONVIF without the need for complicated SDK. Same with Paxton, Rosslare (HIK Vision only) and others.

UL294 is a standard that in its essence is made to ensure that in case of emergency (Fire) the egress doors will be open. Even though it is testing the equipment, it is actually depending on the installer!! even if UL294 Listed product is wired wrong or using the wrong electric locks, it will not work. UL294 should be tested On-Site and not on equipment. The cost of the standard is over $25K initial and $5K/year for each product, who is paying the bill?? it is just made to make entry barrier to the market (UL is not recognized by any other country in the world where CE do)

The other issue with UL requirement is that it discourage innovation and advancement. Every change need to be retested ($25K...) causing companies to be reluctant to invest in R&D. Did you wonder why power supplies look like "radioshak project board"?

 

 

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With respect to the above findings in the original articles, were there any recommendations on how to overcome these objections?  

Thanks.

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We did not specifically poll recommendations, but all of them emphasize the key product selection plays in proposing access.

Previously, dealers offered one product line and offered it to all customers, but now dealers commonly off three or more lines, and pitch whichever one meets customer needs best.

One line may be best for low-price applications (Something like Hikvision or Dahua Access), but if heavy integration is important the answer often changes to an enterprise/dealer line or a quick-installing standalone lock system.

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Thanks for your reply back.  Much appreciated.

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