Frequently, when talking to a client for the first time, they express the opinion that the phone company is their only option for business phone or internet services. Basically, they believe that their only choice is the phone company and that any other telecom company approaching them is only going to add to the cost of their services. In fact, this belief is the number one stumbling block for telecom agents. It’s also the reason that cable companies do so well competing against the phone company.
Know Your Carrier Options
The distinction between business and residential could be the cause for much of the confusion. There are not as many options for residential customers; there’s the phone company, the cable company and maybe some wireless solutions. Business people live in homes and use residential telecom services and their experiences at home can shape their opinions about telecom in general.
Business telecom services are more expensive so there is more money to be made. Business services, although more critical, are typically utilized during business hours, so they’re easier to support. Business customers are more consolidated, so they’re easier to reach. A carrier can install plant in the telephone room in one office building and reach tens of customers. Businesses still utilize phone services (residential customers, more and more, forgo landlines) and make long distance calls. All this leads to more competition and choices for business customers.
Common sense makes people believe that competitors that resell the phone company’s services, sell them at a premium. The opposite is true. Almost in every circumstance, the incumbent’s phone company’s services are priced higher than their competition. That’s because the FCC required incumbent phone companies to provide local access circuits to their competition at wholesale rates. The phone companies cooperated because they wanted to sell long distance services. Incumbent phone companies had to prove that there was open competition for local service before they were allowed to sell state-to-state and international long distance.
Competition for local phone services has been a boon for business customers. Telecom prices continue to drop. Not too long ago the average monthly cost for business phone and internet exceeded $1000. Now, those same services routinely cost less than $500 a month.
The best way to explore all your business telecom options is to work with a telecom consultant or telecom agency. Telecom consultants work with many providers and can locate the best pricing and solutions available, with very little involvement from their clients (save time and money).