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.”

Secure Your Free Pass to CEDIA EXPO 2019

Register before Sept. 2 to gain free access to the opening keynote, product training & education series as well as the show floor including Innovation Alley and much more. Don’t miss your chance. Sign up today.

  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. 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 has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at

Follow Jason on social media:

Jason also participates in these groups:
LinkedIn · Google+

View Jason Knott's complete profile.

  Article Topics

News · CE Profiles · All Topics
CE Pro Magazine

Read More Articles Like This… With A Free Subscription

CE Pro magazine is the resource you need to keep up-to-date on the latest products, techniques, designs and business practices. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!