Adapt and Thrive

Adapt and Thrive
Electronic Security Association — June 30, 2021

Opening Keynote by Ryan Estis Teaches Security and Life Safety Business Leader How to Thrive in an Increasingly Competitive Market.

Ryan Estis, world-renowned keynote speaker who has worked with top performing companies such as Adobe, Microsoft and the NBA, opened the 2021 Electronic Security Expo Virtual Experience by teaching attendees about the concepts and strategies to adapt and thrive in the electronic security industry.

Estis focused on driving the principle of adding value to your company’s offerings. He recalled traveling through an airport on Christmas Eve, waiting in line at Starbucks.

The experience made for an impactful business lesson gleamed from his interaction with the friendly barista. When it was Ryan’s turn to order, the barista did not just ask what he wanted and then fulfill the order.

She asked how Ryan was doing, how his family was doing, and engaged in a quality conversation that was authentic — even asking Ryan to go have a great Christmas holiday with his family and to return and tell her all about it.

Ryan left Starbucks, but had to quickly come back, as he wasn’t accustomed to this exchange.

“What is your secret to making such meaningful connections while serving coffee?” he asked, referring to her customer service. “I am not serving coffee; I am pouring happiness into people’s lives. I don’t want my customers to come back to Starbucks, I want my customers to come back and see me,” she said.

“Instead of focusing on how you can be successful, focus on how you can be helpful,” Ryan told ESX virtual attendees.

The idea is that focusing on value and genuinely helping your customers protect themselves and their property — of helping your employees grow — will result in your success.


Adapt and Thrive


It cannot be something you must do — it must be something want to do.

Focus on the customer experience, in the same way the Starbucks barista did. How can you personalize the experience? How can you add value?

“Be strategic when digitizing and automating the portion of your business that connects your business to your customers,” said Estis. Customers want both technology and human interaction.

Your company’s story will differentiate you from your competitors. Stories are remembered, statistics are not. The story that you tell can be made up of values, experiences, history, design and more.

To win in the experience economy, build relationships with customers. When relationships are built, your customers will become returning customers, continually increasing your profits. People nowadays value experiences, not just pricing. Premium products are sold constantly that cost much more than the markets recommend. Why can some products sell for such a high price? Because the value these experiences hold.

Estis taught that you should not only believe in your company’s core principles during good times but believe in core principles even when times are tough. “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do business,” Estis explained.


“What business are you in? What’s your value proposition? You’ve got to be remarkable consistently.”


Actions speak louder than words, as they say. Your company’s values and principles can either be something that is written down and forgotten, or something that your company lives out every day.

Too often, we imagine that a successful business is measured in the number of financial profits acquired, aka, money. But this opening keynote suggests that success should not just be measured in profits, but in the value that has been granted to customers.

Are you in business to simply earn money, or are you in business to change lives for the better? Of course money needs to be earned to keep your business afloat but seeking to improve people’s lives through the value you can add will get you there quicker and in a more meaningful way.

Ryan went on to tell the ESX audience, “top producers today are teachers.” This goes along with the value proposition mentioned earlier.

Teaching your customers and clients about your products and services can go a long way. What would you prefer; hiring someone to fix your car, or hiring someone to fix your car and fully explain that the repairs were required because the flywheel of your manual-transmission vehicle was cracked due to the slipping clutch? I would choose the latter.

The key to being successful in adding value is to offer value in a genuine way, no deception nor lies, only wanting to help out of the goodness of your heart. Good things come to those that are charitable.

This 2021 ESX Main Stage Session was sponsored by NAPCO Security Technologies and its Starlink brand.