Select Security branches out to Utah

Super-regional to open Orem, Utah office
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

LANCASTER, Pa.—Select Security--a super-regional based here that has spent the past two summers trying to beat the big summer-model companies at their own game by running its own door-knocking program--is upping the ante.

Select is opening its own office in Orem, Utah, literally in the big companies’ backyard, to serve as a recruiting and call center and also to do some selling, Patrick Egan, Select Security president, told Security Systems News. Egan also recently opened a sales and recruiting office in California.

The new 2,000-square-foot office is slated to open Oct. 10, Egan said. “The office is our local branch in Utah, it is our recruiting office in Utah, it is our call center in Utah, but more importantly it’s the face of corporate Select Security in Utah as well,” Egan added.

Egan said the company also has just opened an office in Roseville, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento, which will allow his door-knocking sales reps to work all year instead of having to quit once winter approaches in Pennsylvania. “It’s going to be a year-round selling market for us, but also a recruiting and training ground,” Egan said.

He characterized the two changes as a “big step” for Select Security, because it’s the first time the 13-year-old company has ventured out of its home state. “We’re excited about both of those things,” he said.
They’re also the latest developments in Select Security’s effort to add door knocking to its successful conventional sales business. Egan said that conventional side of the business would generate more than $10 million in revenue this year.

“We are the traditional company that has really embraced this [door knocking], and it has worked for us,” Egan said. The new changes out West are designed to enhance the company’s door-knocking program back East, he said.

He started his own program after seeing the big out-of-state summer-model companies come to this city of about 56,000 people and plant lawn signs across from Select Security’s headquarters. Egan went to Utah and recruited college students there to sell door to door in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2010.

That first summer, Select Security had one team of door knockers who sold 200 systems. This summer, there were three teams—a total of about 25 sales reps—and now that Egan has extended the teams’ selling season through next April by opening the Sacramento office, he expect they’ll have sold more than 1,000 systems by the season’s end. “Our average credit score is 774 … and our average RMR is just under $45,” Egan said. And he said about 98 percent of the customers have signed 60-month contracts.

But Egan said for 2012, he wants to get a jump on recruiting and training—which the two new offices will allow him to do.

Select Security’s leased office space in Orem is located between Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University, whose main campus is in nearby Provo. “We’re intentionally between two large colleges [with a total of more than 60,000 students],” Egan said.

The area also is home to a number of large summer model companies, including Pinnacle Security in Orem and Vivint in Provo.

“There are over 20 companies in the [Utah] Valley,” Egan said. “We believe we’ve got a great labor pool to pull from.”

The office also will be Select Security’s call center, which collects and verifies customer data. This summer, he said Select Security had an 11-seat call center here in Lancaster, but he couldn’t find the right hires locally so had to pay for transportation and housing for key call center members from Utah.

The new larger Utah center, with 25 to 30 seats, will be staffed locally, Egan said. And because Utah time is two hours earlier than Pennsylvania time, call center staff won’t have to work so late to talk to Eastern customers in the evenings, Egan said.

The office will not only recruit sales staff, but will train them there too, he said. “We will be installing systems in Utah as well because we’re requiring all of our reps to do six pre-season sales before they go out next year,” Egan said.

He said Select Security’s goal “is to own the door-to-door sales program in our markets. I want to keep the big companies out, so if we’re doing it and we’re better at it because we’re the local provider and we’re better received, we think we’ve got just a little bit of a niche over a national company.”