Protection 1, one of the largest full service business and home security companies in the U.S., began a new initiative this summer, with CEO Timothy Whall setting out to change the bad rap given the door-to-door sales model. The company launched the “1 to 1” initiative, bringing Protection 1 safety experts and in some cases Whall, to homes across the country. They provided suggestions on potential services to prospects, checked in with existing customers and even demonstrated the functionality of security systems to new users in their homes.
“I too had some of the same perceptions and misperceptions about summer sales or door knocker campaigns,” said Whall. “We knew there were a lot of upsides to this kind of sales approach, but were cautious on how we would execute this and how it might potentially damage the Protection 1 brand,” he said.
Whall said the Protection 1 program is different in that it has brick and mortar facilities in the areas it would canvas, and has full time techs in these areas as well. “We used our sales employees and techs who knew the business and were dedicated to the company and our philosophy of superior service to the customer. We wanted to continue to round out our business and build brand awareness and lessen attrition in the residential marketplace.”
Grooming new talent
There was another part to the program—the people part. Whall and Protection 1 recruit college students who want to come into the industry and learn it. “There’s definitely talent out there that we can groom and bring into the industry,” he said. “We are creating sales talent to come into the industry with this initiative.”
Whall said quality control is important in summer sales. “It’s not about how many units you sell, but the fact that we want these accounts to stay—and keep them at six percent attrition rate whereas other programs run at about 16 to 19 percent attrition. We are also extremely sensitive about the attorney general rulings about these types of sales.” The sales rep has to call an 800 number of a quality control rep to follow up after the sale to verify. A technician then comes out to install; the 800 quality control number is also made after the technician visit.
“I don’t think anybody is against cold-calling in the industry; but some of the sales models are wrong,” he said.
He added: “Some folks were surprised by the fact that the CEO was visiting them. I was surprised that there are so many dogs out there!”