How to Handle Takeover Jobs

Westco Smart Homes evolves from a commercial electrical contractor to a residential lighting specialist, and finally to a full integration company that targets existing homes.

"In this economy, sales is the most difficult part of our job," says Jack Goldberg (pictured), owner of Westco Smart Homes.
Jason Knott · November 8, 2011
He says the company is often called by unhappy homeowners to reprogram systems installed by other dealers. As a company that has often subcontracted its lighting control services to other integrators, Westco is not shy about bringing in “sister” companies if the networking, security or large A/V portion of the job is beyond its scope.

The key to pleasing those takeover clients is simple, according to Goldberg: “Every customer is important. We return a call within minutes and not days, and do everything we can to make our clients happy.” He categorizes general contractors, electricians, audio/video contractors, and most importantly homeowners as his “clients.” From a service standpoint, Goldberg’s philosophy is: Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

“We’ve had clients call late in the day, after hours or on weekends with a service-related matter, and many times fixed their issue within a few hours,” he touts.

Doing takeover jobs highlights a pet peeve of Goldberg’s: bad integrators. “There are bad integrators out there that should not be business. They convince the homeowner or general contractor — who is not really familiar with the capabilities of systems — that they know what they’re doing, and that they are providing a great system. They then lowball the pricing, throw in an inferior system, pay little or no attention to the programming, and leave the homeowner with a hot mess. They give the industry a bad name. But unfortunately they got the job. It’s an uphill battle, but many times the homeowner sees through this, and we do get the jobs.”

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  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

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