October is the one-year mark since Tyco announced it was officially separating into three independently traded public companies, meaning that ADT — the largest provider of alarm monitoring and installation services for the residential and light commercial market in North America — became an independent entity.
A year later, ADT is working hard to grow its service offerings and has used its Pulse system to expand into multiple areas of residential offerings, including home automation, energy management and interactive services. As a natural extension of that effort, the company has officially launched a new authorized dealer recruitment program.
“The authorized dealer program is an essential and core part of ADTs business,” explains Joe Schlitz, the company’s vice president of dealer sales. “When we split from Tyco, the residential business really became the core focus for ADT, and the authorized dealer channel is pivotal to that residential market.”
So what kind of dealers is ADT looking for? According to Schlitz, the company isn’t just adding dealers for the sake of padding the numbers — the company is looking for a specific type of entrepreneurial company that is embracing this shift to home automation and residential interactive services. “When you look at where the market is going, home security is still the most critical thing, but as part of home security, the customers are asking for more home automation and interactive services,” Schlitz says. “We’re looking for quality dealers that are embracing the new technology and new ways to go to market. We are trying to attract the new mainstream entrepreneur who is utilizing the tools of the digital marketplace.”
To that end, Schlitz and ADT have created an interactive website to spearhead its recruitment efforts, at http://join.adtdealer.com. The site is a marketing and recruiting tool for prospective dealers, helping to make the case for the benefits of joining the ADT Authorized Dealer program, including the breadth of technology offerings, sales training and the added reach of the ADT brand.
Once a dealer joins the fold, they are introduced to myriad training opportunities. New dealer training, of course, includes the basics like how to fund and do contracts, but “we also have enhanced our training with advanced leadership training for sales managers, door-knocking training both in the classroom and in the field, a professional sales workshop in the class and the field, and there’s a partnership marketing program,” Schlitz says.
Additionally, ADT’s dealer development group offers hands-on courses taught by experienced professionals to help new dealers learn to generate leads and customers.
Another benefit is ADT’s new e-contract system that has been integrated into its website — part of what Schlitz calls a move into the 21st century of the authorized dealer program. “E-contracts are a very good benefit for the customer, and also the authorized dealer in terms of getting funded efficiently and having less paperwork rejections,” he says.
Additionally, ADT has partnered with the huge Zimmerman Advertising agency, which has helped ADT retool some of its marketing efforts and materials. All dealers within the ADT program can now use Zimmerman to create advertising and marketing material. “Through the Zimmerman portal — call it fast ads — the ADT dealer can actually go in and take a TV or radio commercial or a printed ad and utilize that collateral at no charge. They have to place the ad themselves, but they can create it instantly,” Schlitz says.
Now’s the Time
This push is not only a huge opportunity for residential alarm dealers, it is also a great opportunity for ADT. Since launching the recruitment website earlier this year, Schlitz says he has received more than 1,400 applications.