Telecom consultants are customer advocates. Telecom consultants or agents work for their customers not for carriers or phone companies. Their task is to find their clients the best solutions and pricing. An agent only profits when a client retains a recommended solution. They’re paid a monthly residual commission, not a lump sum amount. If the client cancels the service, the agent’s commission payments will end as well.
Telecom consultants have experience with multiple providers. Telecom consultants and agents have personal experience with multiple providers. You might be wary of placing your business phone and internet services with an unfamiliar carrier, but an agent might have firsthand experience with the provider. Why pass on a good carrier and pricing because you just don’t know?
The Auto Renew Test: There’s one definitive test to determine which person, an agent or a carrier direct rep, is on your side. If you’ve been responsible for managing your company’s business internet services, ask yourself if a carrier rep ever made you aware of an auto renew clause.
Let’s say you sign a three-year contract with an internet service provider. You’re unaware of the existence of an auto renew that requires a cancellation notice to be submitted more than 60 days before renewal. Your contract is coming up and you ask your carrier account rep for new pricing but fail to address the auto renew. You start the process 90 days out, an amount of time that seems adequate. All your carrier rep has to do is drag out the process until the 60 day mark has passed and you’ve lost all your flexibility and leverage.
Telecom agents and consultants routinely alert their customers about the existence of auto renews. Some include an auto renew cancellation request in the contract packet at signing.
Telecom consultants get better pricing: The common misconception is that telecom consultants add to the cost of the services they sell. The opposite is true. Carriers have many different price points – some are readily available and some aren’t. The carrier’s pricing managers require documentation before they’ll release their most aggressive pricing. Who do you think has more access to carrier pricing, an agent – who can represent multiple companies or a direct rep – who works for one company?
If you’re working with a direct rep, that person is dependent on you for pricing examples to take back to his pricing department. As soon as you comply, you’ve shown your cards. All the carrier has to do is beat the other pricing by a small amount or use sales tactics to overcome pricing differences. Telecom consultants, on the other hand, have access to everyone’s pricing; the carriers understand that and act accordingly.
Telecom consultants can provide you with more visibility. If you’re paying over ten cents a minute for long distance, $800 a month for a PRI, $500 a month for a T1, $80 a month for a POTS line…your pricing is obsolete. How did that happen? If you’re like most business professionals, you’re doing more work than ever. Unless you’ve been assigned the task of reviewing your company’s pricing, you’re going to focus on the matters at hand. Meanwhile, your carrier account team will let sleeping dogs lie. Why would they make you aware of your outdated pricing? If you inquire, they’ll be responsive but otherwise they have no incentive to reduce your rates. Even if you ask for a rate review, your account manager will only tell you what they want you to hear. Telecom agents or consultants work for you and have access to all the carriers’ available pricing. It’s like you have a mole planted inside your carrier’s facility.
You get more but you don’t pay more. Telecom agents and consultants will shop your services, design solutions and networks, handle your billing and service issues, fight for bill credits, expedite repair visits and manage your moves, adds and changes. If you have a problem, call your telecom consultant, and get on with your day while the consultant takes care of it. Most agents don’t charge for this service. Telecom consultants can get you the best pricing and offer a level of service you won’t receive if you worked directly with a carrier.
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