Time to Run off the Riff-Raff

Aug. 10, 2007

Alarm sales is a competitive business; there's no doubt. I was at a conference back in June hosted by the NBFAA and listened to speakers like Bob Harris of the Attrition Busters, speak on how alarm dealers can retain their competitive edge by becoming companies that are better all around.

But some firms just don't get it. I wrote a story about a year ago about a certain alarm company that was giving our industry a bad rap. Since that story ran in our industry, I've received the occasional email from someone who's been hit by a bad salesperson and who wants to tell SecurityInfoWatch.com thanks for addressing the ethics issue in our industry. Case in point -- here's a letter from earlier this week, and it shows you exactly what not to do if you're selling security systems...


Dear SecurityInfoWatch,
I live in Reno, Nevada. I had an incident occur last night where the doorbell rang at about 5:30 p.m. I usually don't answer the door if I am alone in the evening, but since it was still early and the neighbors were out, I answered the door.
    There was a young man with an [alarm company name] shirt and baseball cap on holding a clipboard. He had a picture badge on and said his company was working with the Reno Police Department and they were going door to door to talk to people about the new laws that have come about regarding alarm systems. He went on to explain that the police won't respond to an alarm unless they know for sure that there is an intruder present.
    Then he said that he noticed we had an alarm sticker on our door and asked if our alarm was active. I told him yes it was and that I would call my alarm company to ask them about the new laws. He said that wasn't necessary and that he could give me all the details. I asked him if he had a business card or flyer and he said that he did not.
    He asked to speak to my husband, but I told him that he wasn't home, but would be back shortly. He then asked what my husband did and without going into detail, I told him that he was a supervisor at the local hospital. Then he made a comment which made me uncomfortable. He said, "Wow, your husband must make the big bucks then."
    Then he proceeded to say that there was a rash of break ins in our neighborhood. I told him we had a tight-nit neighborhood and that we all looked out for each other. I also told him that we had a sheriff that lived in the neighborhood. He asked where, but I didn't tell him specifically.|
   I found this all rather strange especially the comment about our financial status and that he didn't have any business cards. So I called my neighbors to warn them of this guy as well as I called the police to let them know just in case there was some scam artist or potential burgular scoping out the neighborhood.
    I wasn't sure if he was trying to sell me his alarm system or he was just scoping out my house.

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