Apples to Apples

apples to applesWhen you go to the grocery store to buy a bag of a dozen apples – a dozen is a dozen.  It’s straightforward.  You can buy the $3.99 bag or the $2.99 bag.  But what if the $2.99 bag included fine print stating that the cost of picking the apples, bagging them, delivering them to the grocery store, the cost of the bag, and shelf space are not included, and you’ll be billed for those items after the bag has been purchased and the apples consumed?  How do you like them apples!?!

When prospective clients compare proposals or bids from competing security companies…they typically focus on the bill of materials or equipment list.  This is often referred to as doing an apples-to-apples comparison.  What’s often missed when comparing proposals is the negative space – what’s not included.

It’s harder to compare what is sometimes referred to as “inclusions and exclusions” – but that’s where the risk is.

If a proposal doesn’t state that certain things are included; you should assume that they are not and ask for the items to be clarified and quantified.  If the answer is that “it’s in there,” then the proposal should be revised to reflect that.

If a proposal excludes items such as conduit and rough-ins, or sales tax, you should ask whether the vendor intends to bill you for any of those items.  If they say yes, you should ask for them to be estimated and included.  If they say they don’t know, you should ask them to make another visit so that these types of open issues can be nailed down before you commit.

How else will you know the full cost of what you’re purchasing?


Gloria Lubben
Executive Vice President/Director of Sales and Marketing

Gloria joined with Pat Van Haren in 1993 to found SecurAlarm and help forge its vision. Gloria is passionate about working where what we do to enhance security on behalf of our client’s matters. As a graduate of Calvin College, she takes her alma mater’s slogan of service personally: “My heart I offer to you Lord, promptly and sincerely.” Gloria has been active in the industry since 1983; as a consultant and trusted advisor to clients, as a respected competitor of industry related peers, as a teacher and mentor of teammates, and as a Certified Protection Professional since 1993. Today, Gloria leads the company’s Sales Team where she is able to mentor associates and share her years of experience and depth of knowledge in sales and the security industry. Gloria and her family enjoy the great outdoors; fishing, hunting, camping, and exploring different parts of the country!

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