GuardMe expands into Texas
OLD BRIDGE, N.J.—GuardMe Security, based here, is expanding into Texas and will be using its new “hybrid” door-to-door/teleselling model in the state.
“We’re moving into Texas in a big way,” GuardMe President Craig Metzger told Security Systems News. “We’re actually going into all the major cities: Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. The population is so dense in those areas and the markets are so big that it’s really going to significantly increase our footprint.”
The company is opening a satellite office in Houston, he said.
GuardMe, an 80-employee company with more than 45,000 accounts, describes itself as “a leading provider of home automation solutions.” The full-service company also provides security to commercial and industrial clients.
It is active in 25 states, and in addition to its home office here, it has the new Houston office and an office in Mooresville, N.C, Metzger said. It sells about 60 percent of its accounts and keeps the rest. Roughly 80 percent of its customers are residential.
The company was founded in 1997 but has expanded rapidly after adopting a teleselling approach a few years ago.
“That’s how we’re able to enter a market as large as Texas and move into these giant metros and be able to market into them in the first 30 days and really cover them—it’s because of the teleselling model,” Metzger told SSN. “The adoption of the teleselling model has made it much more feasible to expand at a rapid pace.”
He said that’s because “we don’t necessarily need to establish brick and mortar and recruit and hire employees. When we can keep our selling team within our corporate office it allows us to expand geographically much more rapidly,” Metzger said.
He has explained previously that the company doesn’t do outbound telemarketing. Instead, in teleselling, all calls are inbound. The company generates leads through the Internet, does marketing to create interest and then prospects call GuardMe sales reps, who sell to them over the telephone.
Last year, the company also experimented in its home state with door knocking in addition to teleselling. “We actually kind of did a hybrid door-to-door program, where our salespeople in New Jersey have the full support of our inside sales team,” he said. “The door person generates the interest and the verbal commitment, and the inside sales team executes the paperwork and takes the customer though the process,” Metzger said.
Now, he said, “We’ve proven the concept to ourselves, … [so] we’re going to do that same model in Houston.”
Metzger said teleselling has been very successful for GuardMe.
“We’re very happy with it. We definitely cannot see ourselves going back to a more traditional approach. Certainly the door-to-door model is also a very successful one, but we are walking very slowly there because it … can come with problems,” Metzger said. “… We’re interested in doing it, but we want to do it very well.”
That’s because GuardMe has a very positive online reputation that it doesn’t want to damage, he said. It also has an A+ rating with the New Jersey Better Business Bureau.
Metzger said the company has more expansion plans for 2014.
“We’re going to slowly and methodically grow our hybrid inside/door-to-door model and we’re going to continue to add additional states to our footprint,” he said. “… We’re anticipating bringing on probably three to five states this year.”