Reaching Your Goals
Successful security dealers are defined by best practices
- By Robert Ogle
- Jan 01, 2015
Experience may be the best teacher, but it’s often possible to learn
what works—and what doesn’t work—simply by looking at other
companies in the industry. There are common threads that successful
dealers share, and other threads that cause less successful dealers
to unravel or completely come apart.
Two companies that are part of Monitronics’ dealer network serve as excellent
examples of four best practices that will help fuel your success:
- Development and devotion to a strategic vision.
- An emphasis on top-notch customer service, no matter what the circumstance.
- Active involvement in the communities they serve, proving their longterm
- Support from a dealer network that works as an active partner in their
With 65 employees spread across four locations in Arizona, California and
Colorado, Envision Security has built a business totally around successful doorto-
door sales. By contrast, Texas-based Point Security—with 23 employees and
offices in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston—has taken a different approach to
its business with a multi-faceted strategy that emphasizes marketing and leverage
of its existing customer base instead of a door-to-door approach.
Although they have different business models, both companies share some
very important philosophies. For starters, each has relied largely on a specific
Be True to Your Path
Darryl Johnson, president and founder of Envision Security, has roots in the
security industry that start at a customer’s front door. That was his first sales
role, and he has built his business around understanding effective methods
of door-to-door sales and communicating those practices to his employees.
Here’s the twist: None of the 50 sales people at Envision had a background
in alarm industry sales before starting at the company. Johnson’s vision emphasizes
the importance of consistency, professionalism and customer service.
That’s why he wanted each rep to start with a clean slate, and then pick up
good habits and successful sales practices from day one through a well-tuned
There are two positives that come from that approach, he said. First, sales
reps tend to be very loyal to the company for giving them a chance, and turnover
is low. Second, it encourages consistency and efficiency, since every salesperson
is trained with the same principles and techniques.
The vision of Point Security CEO Todd Fitch doesn’t involve door-to-door
sales, although the company used that strategy from its inception in 2007 until
late 2009. It was enough to keep Point Security in the industry, he said, but
it eventually became clear that they were never going to be able to compete
with established companies based on that model.
“We tried door-knocking for a while, but admittedly we just weren’t very
good at it,” he said. “We couldn’t train people the right way. I have a lot of
respect for companies who can, but that wasn’t us.”
With that in mind, he said, it became clear that there had to be a different
“We looked at ourselves and decided that we were going to do it our way,”
Fitch said. “We decided to think outside the box. We did some things hoping
they would work or thinking they would work, and we caught a couple
of breaks. It worked the way we wrote it up, and we started experiencing the
growth and success that we’ve seen in the past few years.”
It was a bold move that started in late 2009 by relocating to Austin, Texas.
“We had no ties to Texas, and we’d never even been down here,” he said. “But
we knew Austin was a ‘techie’ town, and we knew that the technology coming
out with apps and home automation was going to have appeal.”
For competitive reasons, Fitch holds his business strategy close to the vest.
But, he freely admits that Point Security’s philosophy is “traditional marketing
with a non-traditional twist. We focus a lot on our current customer database.”
He also agrees with Johnson that it’s important to value potential over experience
when it comes to hiring employees.
The Customer is King
Johnson and Fitch each emphasize the tremendous value of customer service.
At Envision, Johnson said, it’s simple: Whatever the customer wants, the
customer gets. There’s virtually no argument, no matter what the complaint
or request might be.
“We try to take a no-hassle approach,” he said. “When a customer has a belief
in their mind that they’ve been promised something, or that something’s
not right, you’re not going to convince them that they’re wrong.” It makes for
happier customers, less attrition, and more positive referrals. In fact, he said,
85 percent of the company’s accounts last at least five years.
A positive customer experience starts with the first contact, he said. Vehicles
for sales reps are wrapped with the company’s brand and advertising. Reps are
dressed consistently and immediately project a professional presence.
“When a rep comes up to the door and looks professional, it just adds
more value for the customer,” Johnson said. “They’re going to be more comfortable
doing business with you, from the first door-knock all the way to
the end result. We want to provide a great customer experience right from
There’s no disagreement from Fitch. Point Security counts heavily on customer
loyalty; in fact, he said, roughly 35 percent of the company’s new accounts
come from referrals.
“No matter what, the customer’s right,” he said. “If your customer needs
service, you’ll move mountains to take care of them.”
A company can avoid a potentially critical error by not underestimating
the impact of customer relations, either through referrals or word of mouth –
particularly when word of mouth isn’t positive.
“Word of mouth has always been the strongest advertising, and it always will be,” Fitch said. “A company has to understand
their power of their existing
customer base, whether it’s positive or
negative. If you take care of your existing
customers, they’ll take care of you.
If you don’t, then your company will
die a slow death.”
A Sense of Belonging
Another source of commonality for
the two companies is community
service. It’s a great way to not only
enhance community awareness of
security, but also as a differentiator. A
fly-by-night company with no regard
for reputation isn’t likely to want a
high profile or get involved in the
At Point Security, Fitch said, “our
reputation in the community is one of
the things I’m proudest of.” As part of
every sale, customers are asked if they
have a special charity that they would
like Point to make a donation to.
“Customers love the fact that
we make a donation in their name,”
Fitch said. “If they don’t have a specific
charity, we recommend a charity
that provides good homes for children
in Texas who have come from
Johnson said that Envision uses
community involvement as an extension
of the professionalism it consistently
seeks to project. For example,
the Phoenix location has a high local
profile, and traditionally holds two
fundraising events each year: for breast
cancer and for a local food bank.
“It’s not just about getting a bunch
of accounts,” Johnson said. “We’re
creating a presence in every community
where we do business to show
that we’re in it for the long term.”
Support from a
An active relationship with a reputable
dealer network is also a best practice
that Point Security and Envision
both believe in. Both Johnson and
Fitch say their participation in Monitronics’
dealer network contributes to
“We’ve always had a great relationship
with Monitronics,” Johnson
said. “We’ve built a lot of our company
on Monitronics principles,
from how we pay our guys, to attrition
standards and best practices.
We’re excited about what’s going on
with the company and its potential
Fitch says that his company’s experience
with Monitronics also has
been beneficial. “In this business,
relationships are everything,” he said.
“Loyalty is king. I’m a relationshipdriven
person, and I like the relationship
we have with Moni.”
He added that there is no shortage
of companies who would love to
have Point Security as part of their
network, but the decision to go with
Monitronics was carefully thoughtout.
“We sat down with everyone
there and made the decision to optin,”
he said. “If I have an issue, I
know there’s a team that cares. They
want you to succeed not only because
it benefits them, but because
they care about you as a business
and as a person.”
This article originally appeared in the issue of .