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40 under 40: Amanda Cullen, ABF Security

40 under 40: Amanda Cullen, ABF Security

YARMOUTH, Maine—Amanda Cullen, who is Director of Sales & Marketing at ABF Security, Inc., said that she has learned many things in her 10 years with the St. Louis-based company.

“One being, to have a healthy relationship with our company goals, team members and how make those achievable,” she explained. “There is an art to balancing those two facets of my job. The team that I work with all have different personalities and to manage them it takes many different strategies to get us to the end result, which is success.”   

She continued, “I also help organize training opportunities, review orders, making and running design appointments, sales marketing strategies and implementation, weekly sales huddles, run and review reports, boosting moral with celebrations/potlucks, and lastly manage our retention team.”

The following is an exclusive Q&A with Cullen:

SSN: How did you get into and what inspired you to get into the security industry?

CULLEN: To be honest, I was born into the industry. Once I graduated college, I worked in another industry for a few years, and then got a call from my family’s company (ABF Security, Inc) stating there was a position open and it was time to jump in. I have never looked back; I enjoy helping others through my work. I’ve helped and met so many amazing people, helping customers with home technology wiring and making them feel as safe and secure as possible, in this world, is humbling and I have fun while doing it.

SSN: What are the top trends in security today and how do see those changing in the future?

CULLEN: Top trending is what I call “lifestyle automation with a splash of security”. We sell lifestyle security systems now. It’s not just about security, it’s about how your security system can help make your life easier with automation options while giving you protection from intruders. Locks, lights, thermostat control, garage, cameras and how all these options can work together to make life easier. Security systems can now grow with you as your lifestyle changes.

Changes that I see coming, we need to start raising awareness to network control. Helping customers have enhanced internet throughout home. Wifi is great, but if we can hardwire a few TV’s or amplifiers, it will make all the wifi based equipment work healthier. We have the technology out already, I understand that, but raising awareness to a strong network in a home is vital to those using it and devices requiring it.  

SSN: What do you believe is the most exciting/promising new security technology and why?

CULLEN: Automation, z-wave options and smart home voice command products. Automating the lights to come on during an alarm event or turning outdoor lights on a schedule to prevent coming home in the dark. Notifications received when someone enters your home or business. I’m super stoked about more voice command products, these can offer additional comfort and trust and makes smart features more accessible to others in the home.  I’m a busy mom and wife, I need all the help I can get at my house and if my system can do that, amen!

SSN: Can you talk about some of the keys to succeeding right now during these unpredictable times we are all going through with COVID, both personally and in business?

CULLEN: Embracing the change! We added, virtual sales training to our agenda. We share ideas on how to keep customers involved and interested on a virtual sales call. We struggled on bonding and rapport in the beginning of doing virtual calls, but with training and effort we have been able to be successful.

We made lots of product changes due to shortages. We brought in a new security panel and platform to fill the gaps and committed to refreshing our offerings to products we could get. We did our absolute best to prevent our customers from feeling the pain with backorders.

In the beginning everyone was scared, but I wanted my team to know and feel safe in our ABF environment and that I’m here, in person, if they needed anything. We made a lot of changes to keep everyone comfortable in a time of uncertainty. We changed seating arrangements, remote work options, supplied mask, gloves, shoe covers, reminded those to stay home if not feeling well.

SSN: What are your views on the industry moving forward?

CULLEN: There will be more automation and integration. I hate stating the obvious, but crime is always on the rise and technology is allowing people to share the good, the bad and the ugly. With each share, we get smarter in how to prevent and what to keep doing. Cameras are getting smarter, from talking, 24/7 recording, full color and that is what we need to keep offering. Manufacturers are continuously learning to play well with other platforms. This allows integrators to continue to deliver smoothness options that make life easier.

SSN: What can be done to get more talented, diverse young people involved in security?

CULLEN: The security and low voltage industry welcomes those with multiple backgrounds, so I think just getting those to enter the low voltage world and showing them how they can “change lives”. Personally, I would love to see more woman in our industry. We support our local trade school, and it warms our hearts to see the younger generation eager to work in our industry. ABF is great at training those individuals that what to be in our industry from our field operations, central station, engineering, and sales and service team.


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