Smith & Wesson ends security dealer program

Company exercises opt-out clause, Security Doctors tapped as replacement


The Smith & Wesson Security Services Authorized Dealer Program, which was offered through NationWide Digital Monitoring Co., was terminated at the end of April.

According to Howard Avin, vice president of sales and marketing for Security Doctors, there was a "difference of opinion" on how to market the program and Smith & Wesson decided to exercise an opt-out clause in their contract.

"They chose to exit out of the marketplace," he said.

Smith & Wesson Spokeswoman Liz Sharp said the company exited the program to protect its brand.

"We took the action to protect the value of our brand name following the failure of the agreement with NationWide to perform as we had expected that it would," she said.

Security Doctors Inc., the dealer program that will replace Smith & Wesson, is an independent company and it will use NationWide Digital Monitoring Co. as its' central station monitoring services provider, according to Avin.

Of the 70 dealers that were a part of the Smith & Wesson program, Avin said that he has sent out contracts to 25, nearly all of whom are in the process of signing on as Security Doctors dealers.

Avin said that Security Doctors will offer alarm dealers a "hybrid" program that will allow them to differentiate themselves from the competition and help them to establish a national identity.

"Today, if you don't have a way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack or the rest of the dealers out there, then it only comes down to one thing and that's price," Avin explained. "Sometimes you just don't want to be in the price game, you want the ability to say 'this is why you should go with us, this is why we're different.'"

What makes the program a hybrid, according to Avin, is that Security Doctors doesn't require dealers to sell accounts back to them.
"We give the dealer the flexibility of either funding the accounts or keeping the accounts and monitoring them with us through our central station to build up their own recurring revenue base," Avin said. "Or (dealers could choose) a combination of both, they could fund some, they could keep some."

Avin said that Security Doctors does not believe in overloading marketing territories, which allows dealers to not have to worry about fighting competitors.

"We would rather our dealers spend their time and money on going after accounts instead of battling other dealers in the same area," he said.

In addition, Avin says that Security Doctors will vet its dealers to make sure they are fully insured and licensed to work in the states in which they operate.

"Not every dealer who applies is going to be granted a dealership," Avin said. "They are going to have to show that they have the right insurances and the right licenses so we know they are a reputable dealer."

In some cases, Avin said that they will also ask dealers for a marketing plan to make sure they're on "the right track."

"We are looking for proactive dealers," he said. "Dealers who make the phone ring instead of waiting for the phone to ring."

For more information, visit http://securitydoctors.com or contact Avin directly at 347-907-5056 or via e-mail at havin@securitydoctors.com.