How to Reap New Monitoring RMR

Convenient and even fun add-on services are spurring customers to expand their engagement with security providers. Discover the best practices for selling interactive and lifestyle-enhancing services that increase both recurring revenue and the likelihood of retention.

How to Approach Prospects

Begin painting that picture by making sure that your sales organization understands the value of new technologies and add-ons — add-ons mean more RMR. Let’s repeat: Add-ons = more recurring revenue. And don’t forget to stress that upselling technology means higher average sales and higher commissions for the reps.

Train your reps on the new add-on toys: cameras, thermostats, lamp modules, door locks and other types of sensors. Make sure they understand broadband communications and how these sensors work — it is impossible to sell technology-based services and products you don’t understand. If your rep can’t demo it, how will the customer know what “it” is and how to use it? And make sure your reps have a tablet with an Internet connection to access.

The door knock should become something more than, “Good afternoon, my name is Jay and I work for an alarm company, Acme, here in town. We’re in the neighborhood today with a great deal on a security system— a free install with a monthly monitoring fee of less than $1 a day. I just need a few minutes of your time to help make your family safer.”

Not bad, but we all know how many doors you need to knock in order to find a couple of prospects willing to invite you into the living room.

Here’s where the picture-painting comes in. Try this: “Hi, my name is Jay and I work for Acme, the largest local security company in town. I notice you have some toys in the front yard here —how would you like to look in on your kids while you are at work from your cellphone?”

Whoa — a totally different spin than protecting your family from the dude in the ski mask — suddenly you are creating a brand-new scenario. It’s a new picture that says convenience, safety and technology married together to help you check up on your kids during your busy day.

Or how about this, “How would you like to know if your mom or dad took their medication today? Believe it or not, we can send you a text if they haven’t. Or, you could actually look in on them from your cellphone to see if they are OK.”

Or this, “Ma’am, if you’re like my wife, she’s always looking for ways to save some money on utility bills — believe it or not you can control your home heating right from your cellphone when you’re not home. I’d like to take just a couple of minutes to show you how to save some money each month and protect your family at the same time.”

Or, “Got a question … have you ever had to leave work in order to let one of your kids into the house when they forgot their key? How would you like to open this front door electronically from your desk — and then lock it when they leave?”

In each case, your sales rep has painted a picture of convenience, cost savings or security — all keyed to lifestyle.

Convenience Can Bring More Cash

Lifestyle is the secret sauce for making security sales in 2013 and the years ahead. People want convenience in addition to security, but they want both on their terms. Both convenience and security have to fit into their daily routines without a hassle. Younger, first-time homebuyers, new parents and other X, Y and alphabet generations born with cellphones in their hands find that this lifestyle sell has a great appeal.

And they will pay for it. For example, New York’s SecureWatch24 is a newcomer to the residential business but is already seeing higher average sales prices than originally anticipated due to add-on equipment sales — and higher RMR as a result.

Understanding the costs of, ADT Pulse, Honeywell Total Connect and other similar services are a good place to start when you set manufacturer suggested retail pricing (MSRP) package monthly fees. The costs for these services to the dealer usually rise in relation to the service being offered: GSM fees, cameras, home heating and the like increase your costs — which in turn must be passed on to your subscribers. But the costs of these services are not a heavy burden and the service providers understand that the consumer pricing must be affordable even after the dealer mark-ups in order for these new technologies to gain traction. So they try hard to keep the costs to provide services to us down.

Leverage Lifestyles for Long-Term

There is another benefit to upselling convenience and lifestyle technology — retention rates. Frankly, this may be more theory than fact at this point. Selling lifestyle security technology is still comparatively new — only in the past year-and-a-half has it really begun to catch on as consumer advertising has increased. 

Smart thinking says the more consumers interact with your brand (turning on heat and AC every day, looking at their kids via cellphone, getting text messages) the more inclined they are to understand the brand’s value, and therefore be more likely to re-up their contract after three or five years. The usage arc is still too new to get a good read on this, but it makes sense and consumer research supports it. As a dealer, anything that improves my retention rate I like — and lifestyle security selling is the horse I plan to ride to get there.

In the meantime, what was once a $29.95 average monthly is $44.95+.  What was once a $299 average selling price is $699. The key is sales training and making sure your sales organization knows how to read the consumer while at the front door. Painting the picture is easy with practice — role-play at your weekly sales meetings. Tell your reps to find things to talk about other than just keeping the bad guys out — important, but not necessarily the right pitch on today’s front porch.

Tell your reps to paint the picture — and turn your sales organization into Rembrandts.

Jay Stuck is Executive Vice President, Sales and CMO for SecureWatch24 ( He can be contacted at

9 Tips to Upsell Monitored Services

  • Add-ons mean more RMR — and higher average sales price commissions
  • Lifestyle selling has replaced fear
  • Paint the picture
  • Use everyday scenarios to illustrate how technology can make the day better
  • Stress convenience
  • High-tech generations love high-tech solutions
  • Understand what the new services cost your organization
  • Carefully track retention rates of lifestyle subscribers
  • Practice and role-play — make your pitch better at the door

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