CSAA hosts first ever webinar

Inaugural event an international success
Friday, October 2, 2009

VIENNA, Va.—The Central Station Alarm Association hosted its first-ever webinar, to an appreciative, international audience on Oct. 8. The educational session, packed with compelling data on boosting profit, battling attrition and differentiating from competitors and punctuated with interactive and informative Quick Polls, was conducted by Attrition Busters president Bob Harris, and had 96 attendees, including interested security professionals from Argentina and Turkey.

CSAA VP marketing and programs Celia Besore said the session was an attempt to further help CSAA members and better the industry during tough economic times. “We’re doing this for several reasons. We want to continue to educate our members in between our meetings. Education doesn’t stop, and this is easy,” Besore said. “We were very happy, because we’ve never done this before, so we were unsure of what the response would be. We had a very good survey at the end. About 50 percent of the attendees took the exit survey—which is very good—and 93 percent said they would recommend the webinar to a colleague.”

CSAA president Bud Wolfhurst, who also attended the webinar, was very pleased with the result. “I would say it was wildly successful. I think the content was very good,” Wolfhurst said. “I think it was very useful and had a lot of take-home stuff, that you could put into practice right away. I think we’ll do this more often.”

Harris began his career as a field technician and advanced through the ranks to executive level management, and founded Attrition Busters in 2003, based upon his belief that companies could not compete on low price alone. A successful competitor, insists Harris, needs added value. “To me, the approval rating from the exit survey is huge,” Harris said. “My hope is that people had something good to take away and bring back to their business, as opposed to being just entertained by a 90-minute webinar.”

Quick Poll questions posed to attendees included: “Do you provide ongoing training for your sales and frontline customer service team?” (58 percent: yes; 42 percent: no); “What is the goal of a sales lead?” (37 percent: To make a sale; three percent: To offer a proposal; 60 percent: To set an appointment); “If you don’t provide ongoing training for your team, why not?” (five percent: Too costly; 32 percent: No time/too busy; 51 percent: We procrastinate; eight percent: Sales team is against it; three percent: Don’t need any training); and “How much do you think it costs to replace one dollar of lost RMR?” (two percent: $11; 9 percent: $24; 29 percent: $33 (which was the correct answer); 22 percent: $47; 38 percent: $56).

Kansas City, Mo.-based Jade Alarm president Joe Pfefer attended the webinar with an open mind and was gratified with what he gained. “I had no expectations going in, because I did not know what to expect,” Pfefer said. “I wanted to learn something, and if you can pick up just one tidbit of information, that’s great.”

Wolfhurst said the industry could expect more webinars in the future and that the full Oct. 8 webinar would be available on the CSAA website sometime before the end of the year.