Security Integrators Need to Look Before Leaping Into a Dealer Program

Go in-depth with several administrators to uncover what the selection process can involve when considering offerings from central stations, manufacturers and security firms.

Given the multitude of dealer programs available in the industry, installing security contractors won’t need to find a good one. But they may want to court a few first to find the partner that’s just right for them.

As in any good relationship, be yourself. Translation: your dealer program partner should complement you, your business model and goals. It should bring out the best in you. Don’t jump into a relationship until you know you’re ready to commit. Ask yourself what you’re looking for in a partnership and which “must haves” need to be fulfilled. Funding? Technical training? Sales support? Lead generation? Sales and marketing materials? The backing of a national name? Discounted product pricing?

Read on to become informed about the features and benefits offered by just some of the industry’s top authorized dealer programs. The online version of this story will also include a larger sampling of various dealer programs. Dive in to get acquainted; it could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Pick the Right Program Flavor

One of the first questions to ask yourself is: Are you looking to partner with a monitoring program or a manufacturer program? In its simplest form, the monitoring program model is typically one where they purchase your monitoring contracts and provide you with additional capital, plus sales and marketing support to help grow your business.

Manufacturer programs, on the other hand, provide sales and technical training to help you increase sales with their brand at discounted product pricing. The program offerings available throughout the industry are far and wide, as well as rich in additional features and benefits designed to help propel their partners’ success. Following are just a handful of dealer programs to illustrate the varied opportunities in the marketplace.

ADT Dealer Program

The industry’s largest security provider launched its Authorized Dealer program back in 1997. It now partners with more than 300 dealers and has 750+ points of distribution. Some of the key advantages dealers should consider about the ADT program, notes Jim Vogel, vice president of ADT Dealer Services, is the power and history of the brand.

“We have a unique program to support our dealers,” he says. “We’re experiencing tremendous growth and are committed to helping dealers leverage our brand and increase their competitiveness through innovation, training, and marketing support.”

Key ADT program highlights span: National brand awareness, lead generation, training and credit lines with major equipment suppliers. Advertising tools that coordinate with ADT’s national advertising campaign include sample direct mail pieces, Yellow Pages ads, home show display tips, radio scripts, newspaper ads and more. ADT also has introduced its Ving Rhames ad campaign, which puts a Hollywood personality behind the brand. “We’re really excited about the Ving campaign,” Vogel adds. “It’s energizing our teams. He’s powerful!” ADT Authorized Dealers can use Ving’s image in their local advertising through ADT Fast Ads, as well as in their own sales and marketing pieces.

With the introduction of so many dealer programs over recent years, Vogel gives this advice to dealers and integrators shopping the market. “Investigate very thoroughly not only the business model they’re looking to consider but the company itself, its financial stability and history.”

When a dealer joins ADT’s program, the relationship begins by working with an account manager and an orientation class. The account manager is the point of contact for the first 12-18 months, and then the dealer is put in touch with the regional directors responsible for its geography. Participating dealers also have the support of ADT’s Dealer Operations Group and help center, based in Aurora, Colo. “These coordinators are critical and get a lot of accolades,” Vogel notes. “They are a team of 66 and assist with everything from funding to quality assurance. They call on our dealers regularly to make sure all is going well and provide them with a tremendous support network.”

Vogel reports that growth of the program has been steady; last year ADT added 57 new organizations to its dealer program. “It provides professional motivation for a dealer,” he says. “We kick start that sales effort and enthusiasm, and make sure they’re properly trained and ready to go on day one.”

Certain criteria is used in selecting dealers into ADT’s partner program, including background checks and licensing requirement from both the state and local perspective. Financial criteria and the dealer’s business model, marketing plans, level of training of their sales force, and the overall quality of the individual are also considered, Vogel points out. “Our most successful dealers have these traits: technology and business acumen, and salesmanship,” he says. “We tailor our approach to that and look at the experience they do or don’t have, then make sure it’s a good match and fit. If so, we move on then to the orientation and then we sign the ADT Authorized Dealer agreement.”

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