Subscriber Discussion

Should I Become An ADT Dealer?

Hi everyone,

I'm seriously considering becoming an ADT dealer. Reason? People in town only put trust big companies, not individuals like me. I know, in large cities it is quite different.

Anyhow, has anyone ever had experience with ADT dealership?

I will let others comment on being an ADT dealer, but at least online, ADT is continuously attacked by its customers.

While the brand recognition may be strong, be ready to 'stick to the script' when it comes to system designs. There's very little flexibility in tweaking stock offerings to meet specific needs.

If being an independent integrator is akin to being a chef, being an ADT dealer is akin to being a fry cook at McDonalds.

As someone considered very successful at business development, let me express my concern for something you may not bee aware of. When a salesman looks to external factors as a significant reason for their missing their numbers, it is a death sentence.

Maybe your target market wasn't appropriate, maybe you need to work more prospects because your expectation of close ratio is unrealistic, or maybe you just hit a couple losses in a row and your discouraged.

If you become part of the ADT family, you will certainly have ya new set of hurdles you have to overcome. If you are going to bank on name recognition to make your sales, you are going to find that the same name recognition is going to lock you out of sales-ADT.

. Whichever path you choose, you can be successful. Just prospect and schedule meetings to the point you think you're going to have a panic attack because you have so much working

John, I'm continually attacked by my customers too. Others are always faster and better than me. I just heard complaints again Protectron over the weekend by a relative of my current customer, calling them useless at best. So, it sounds like any security company has its share of dissatified customers. It's part of the game! One has to overlook that if he/she wants to stay in this business. Makes me think of our telco here, everyone complaints against them, but most continue to do business with them nonetheless, including myself.

Well Brian, I like being a solo chef, but my nifty clients (especially the richest ones) find plenty of ways to abuse me when it comes to paying me. One of my clients who had dealt with ADT in the past (in which fired them after several very costly mistakes they made), had to pay them despite their errors. Even when I don't make mistakes, getting paid is a real challenge for me. It seems like they know I can't fight them ... in court or otherwise. I just lost a court case recently, and despite my full honesty with my client, his dishonesty prevailed in court, using the court to defraud me. Those ruthless rich people are very good con artists and get away with anything. I'm no match to them. It's a game I can't win!

Every company has disatisfied customers whether it's warranted or not. How you react to those instances is what seperates you from the rest. If you have too many complaints something is wrong and needs to be corrected before you lose your business. Just because you will always have complaints does not mean that they should be ignored. Each one should be a learning experience and eventually you will be able to correct the issues and be stronger from it.

"Overlooking customer complaints to stay in business" seems very, very backward.

ADT stays in business because they make entering into a multi-year service contract cheap and easy, and very expensive to end or break. It is not simply a case of a customers shaking their heads, but going ahead and writing the check. They do it through gritted teeth. Even at the end of a contract, if you want to change providers, you often are forced to buy new equipment.

Customers are contractually bound to write that check. The fact that ADT, and other security companies, bind them in this way is why they are hated - not disliked - HATED.

Hi Jason, I fully agree with you Jason, and I sure do my best to improve at every level! But then again, I figure those who choose to do business with an unknown individual like me is because they have a hidden agenda. They want to make me work and not pay me. Greedy people tend to do that. The want everything for little $. They know they couldn't get away that easily with a big company, such as ADT. I was a member of a christian congregation and I could not sell them anything. Reason given? You sell unknown products and you don't belong to a big company. I've learned my lessons!

That's brutal. Indeed, ADT has service contracting, and payment obligation, down to a science.

If being an independent integrator is akin to being a chef, being an ADT dealer is akin to being a fry cook at McDonalds.

Love it!

Brian, I fully understand the frustration with ADT, although it is a neccessary evil for them to offer such a low cost system.

Bell here has their clients sign 3-year contract for cell-phone signal to help pay the actual cell-phone unit that they provide for free or very little. It costs a fortune to break their contract. Everyone I know of hates them ... and everyone I know is still doing business with them, including myself. I've checked the competition (Rogers), but they don't appear to be any better. Will Verizon change the landscape if allowed in?? That remains to be seen. I doubt it.

Hi Matt, my only other option would be to apply for a job as an employee for a big regional independent company that sells and installs surveillance cameras in remote locations. Then, would that elevate my position at McDonald's? <g>

Nah, that would just make you a line cook for Denny's - same job, slightly classier workplace <rofl>

I'm not sure what location you are in but the Integrator I worked for was a mid-size local security company and we had plenty of customer that did work with us because we were not a huge company. We had recognizable brands as well as the more "unknown" brands and were thriving. I'm not sure what to tell you mate but being an ADT Dealer is going to come with its own set of headaches.

If it makes you feel any better change directions I had too. I just sold my business 143 accounts because of as the last three or so months I have lost every sale to ADT. I had the high end customers say 75% which are referred to me by a high end real estate company. I do a better job at monitoring the clients the one that have switched from ADT have told me so. For the reason that my central station calls within 20-30 seconds of an alarm. The big deal it's all about the premium are the same and potential clients don't care about who is better they use too.

I have lost the business due to the economy why buy mine when you can get free? Conceivably and as a Honeywell Dealer we basically sell the exact same products. My son works for another big national company and goes to the "actual break- in" I just think the alarm industry may scare off the common crook, cameras tell the real story. This is why I joined this forum to pursue installation of IP cameras where ADT and others compete but they don't get it. I went out with my new light meter and sold the first job (he was impressed thanks John) to a network engineer and going to his moms house this week!

I have sold two more camera jobs in addition to customers who have ADT, Sonitrol and Protection 1. I believe because our Houston Police department along with Sherriff respond to so many false alarms 95% im told... so the priority slips. I make more money have little to no competition. Just go in and demo a 2MP camera after client has seen a analog it's a no brainer. Oh if and when the camera goes out probably no screaming yelling and or cursing like the monitored accounts did I'll bet?

" I slept at a Holiday Inn need some cameras " I like the restaurant jokes that is very amusing!!

Yes, once you are in, no way out

Contractual Agreements lock you up so you cannot compete in any way for a long time.

ADT has some of the best attorneys in town, besides the oil companies

You agree to transfer all rights, accounts, future accts, leads, to them in exchange for their partnership

Very Strict on who, what, where you will perform work so as to not compete with others

6 page contracts. It's all about RMR

This is a good point - larger companies especially, tend to have really restrictive no-compete contracts... if OP ever decided to leave ADT, a line cook at Denny's might be the only option available to him for the next six months.

The city integrators I see are very successful, but wouldn't make it in this small town. No one else has. The only one that came close (following years and years of persistence) to succeed is dead. His website fakedly portrayed him and his employees as a big company, but the truth is they were not taken seriously by prospective clients. Past his death, the rest of the gang quit the business altogether, going into a different trade.

Are there other, small integrators you may consider merging with to leverage resources and pool talents?

You mention collecting from your clients as a major motivating factor correct? There are measures you can take to ensure you get paid, just like ADT. Some of those could include:

1. Solid contracts / proposals - see

2. Be agressive with your downpayments, only accept 50/50 if they won't budge. I start at 60 down on contract, 30 on equipment delivery and 10 on completion. If they don't like that I goto 60/40.

3. Hire a part time person to call on your past due accounts. I pay a local book keeper to do collections once a month and can't believe the results I get. Once customers realize it isn't you theyhave to answer to they pay right up.

There are plenty of other methods you can use. I hate to say it but I think they are getting over on you because you believe they can and they pick up on that. Be confident in your services and serious about what you expect from them and they may respect you more and pay faster.

Best of luck!

> ... so you cannot compete. <

I have not yet seen the contract, but my understanding is that ADT dealers are in direct competition with ADT itself.

Wonder if I could run existing business and ADT's concurrently??

Sure, with larger city integrators I meet at seminars. But, they propably wouldn't be interested, and because their company names are unknown here in town, not be able to attract prospective clients any better. Past publicizing in the yellow pages years ago, only a handful people called me and they were ALL out of town (remote location where the big guys don't care for).