Training 101

Dealers benefit from a training program that is comprehensive and ongoing

Education isn’t just for college students. Everyone in the workforce can benefit from continuing to learn throughout their career—especially those of us in the fast-paced, highly technical field of security.

For security dealers, it’s particularly important to keep skills fresh and to stay up-to-date on new technology. And new dealers benefit greatly from a dealer program that puts an emphasis on training and support.

“One mark of a good dealer program is how much time they spend on developing their existing dealers, not just on recruiting,” said Travis Miller, senior manager of dealer development at Dallasbased Monitronics International. “You want a dealer program that invests time helping their current dealers grow their business instead of focusing on just getting more new dealers in the door.”

New and veteran dealers can benefit from training that covers all components of a dealer’s business. It’s not just about sales, Miller says: “It’s really about running a full-fledged business. There are so many facets of it that you just can’t know it all right away.”

Training is the key element that will help dealers be successful in all parts of their business while also making them experts and adding credibility to their efforts. With the right guidance, dealers can learn how to do faster, higher-quality installs, more effective sales visits and referral requests, better customer service and more—all of which makes them a stronger, more polished security professional.

On the Right Foot

Dealers should seek out a dealer program that will continually support and train them. For example, the Monitronics Dealer Program has established a full series of training courses, events and webinars that is specifically designed to get new dealers up and running while also helping veteran dealers continue to learn and grow their business.

Every new dealer is required to take Monitronics’ Quick-Start Training online within 48 hours of joining the dealer program. This session covers basics like best practices, fundamental policies and important procedures. After that comes training that teaches dealers how to place accounts in service.

The next step is the Perfect Paperwork class, run by the company’s regional account coordinators, or RACs. This course covers an important but oftenoverlooked area of the business: filling out vital paperwork correctly to get funded for accounts.

A new dealer’s training culminates at the Monitronics Experience—or MoniX, a three-day workshop at Monitronics’ headquarters. Here, dealers learn everything they need to be successful: from installation and field service to funding, sales and marketing. They also meet each Monitronics employee who works directly with dealers, which helps them to form strong working relationships right from the start. The Monitronics Experience is held quarterly, and all new dealers are required to attend within their first six months in the program.

The Monitronics Experience also includes several team-building events, designed to help each new dealer connect with the Monitronics team and each other. The networking and intensive learning sessions leave most dealers feeling inspired and well-prepared for the work that comes next.

“It’s a fantastic seminar,” said Mary Biagini of Vesta Security, after attending Monitronics Experience. “I enjoyed every minute of it and learned more than I expected. I’m definitely armed to make our business successful. MoniX has put a fire in my belly to take it to the next level.”

During the seminar and events, it’s especially important that each dealer gets to know his or her RAC. Monitronics has a team of six RACs whose goal it is to ensure that their dealers succeed. They’re available to dealers for coaching and help, statistics and market research.

“Having a dedicated account coordinator is invaluable,” Miller said. “They’re really your everyday link to Monitronics and your best way to get a broader view of the industry and how your company’s doing.”

Continuing Education

A new dealer needs stable, consistent training to get started. But ongoing training also is important for both veterans and newly minted dealers. “For all dealers, the importance of ongoing training can’t be overstressed,” said Bruce Mungiguerra, vice president of sales and dealer development at Monitronics. “It’s the best way to keep your skills sharp and stay on top of new technology and developments.”

Dealers benefit from a monitoring partner that offers ongoing training and support, whether through seminars, webinars, on-site meetings or even regular phone calls. Dealers should feel that their dealer program is interested in their continued success—not just when they’re new. One way in which Monitronics keeps its dealers engaged is through weekly webinars on a broad range of topics. These are meant for everyone, but they really focus on intermediatelevel skills, Miller said.

“This is really an opportunity for both new and longer-tenured dealers to gain knowledge that’s going to differentiate them in the field,” he said. “It’s important that a dealer program has this type of training on topics like lead-generation tactics, sales techniques, marketing your business, even things like preparing paperwork. Because that’s what’s going to make for a successful business.”

In Your Corner

Many new dealers can experience a sense of isolation as they get started in the fast-paced, evolving security industry. But the benefit of partnering with a dealer program is that there is always someone to ask for help. “We have the largest national dealer-only program within the security industry,” Miller said. “So you can see why it’s important for us to have dedicated staff to answer their questions, provide training and just help guide a dealer when they need it.”

In addition to a team of regional account coordinators, Monitronics dealers benefit from the knowledge and experience of the company’s national sales trainer, John Byrne. He handles recruiting, hiring and training for dealers and continually reaches out to them through webinars, the phone, a blog, and even on-site training.

“For me, it’s important to help increase door-to-door sales by teaching dealers the right door approaches and how to overcome objections,” Byrne said. “I’m also enhancing and creating new training manuals that will help with field training. More than anything, though, I want to motivate dealers with a lead-by-example approach.”

This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Security Today.

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