Do you enjoy calling the local phone or cable companies? There is another way.
The following are six reasons to utilize a telecom agent when procuring business phone and internet services:
Training: Telecom training isn’t what it used to be. When I started at US West (now CenturyLink) I went through eleven weeks of initial training before I answered one customer call. The same thing happened when I worked for Pacific Bell. Eleven weeks might sound like a lot but that time was jammed packed with instruction and I continue to use the information I learned.
That sort of training is unheard of now. New reps starting at Verizon, CenturyLink and AT&T receive limited training and are instructed to rely on sales managers and sales engineers for support. Trouble is, those people are supporting teams of reps and are seldom available.
Agents are ex phone company reps. They started their careers with the phone companies and then transitioned to the agent channel. Typically they have years of experience and have received copious amounts of training. Not only do they possess a high level of telecom expertise, they understand the inner workings of the phone company. That knowledge can be instrumental when working through a service issue or problematic installation.
Who they work for: Carrier reps work for the carriers. Agents work for their clients. Carriers manage their reps behavior with comp plans. The result is, direct reps sell the services that offer them the highest payouts and will keep their managers off their backs. Carrier reps are only paid to make sales; after a sale is completed, they’re onto the next prospect.
Most agents are self-employed. They rely on their clients for referrals and repeat business. Without it, they’d soon be out of business. Agents can sell services from a number of different carriers; they don’t care which carrier their clients choose, so they are more likely to provide full disclosure. Agents don’t disappear after a sale. They frequently work with a client’s IT and phone vendors; they need their clients to be happy so those vendors will continue to refer business. They can’t misrepresent products or services because it would not only upset their customers but ruin profitable relationships with their referral agents.
The sales process: The choice is yours: contact a number of sales reps, schedule multiple meetings and then deal with all the follow up. That or deal with one individual, who’s acting as your customer advocate and let that person manage the carriers.
How many phone companies do you know anyway? When I ask most people that question, they name their local phone and cable companies and their wireless provider. Meanwhile, our firm has agency relationships with close to 100 carriers. Limiting your choices doesn’t result in the best pricing and terms. Even if you aren’t familiar with a carrier, your agent will be; agents help their clients make the best choices.
Pricing: Some people believe agents are middlemen and add to the cost of the services they sell, but agents are only compensated when a sales is made. Meanwhile, carrier reps draw a salary and receive benefits; they require facilities and management – it’s much more economical to operate an agent channel than a direct sales force.
Carrier reps are instructed to “build value”, not emphasize price.
Agents need to prove their value. They attempt to find the best solution at the lowest price possible. They pit carriers against each other to secure the best pricing and terms for their clients.
Service: Carrier reps are paid to make sales. Once the sale is made and the service is delivered, it’s a carrier rep’s job to move onto the next opportunity. Carrier reps that don’t behave that way don’t perform and are quickly shown the door.
Agents receive a monthly residual commission that disappears if one of their clients becomes unhappy with a purchased service and cancels or changes carriers. Agents need their clients to be happy with the services they sell for the life of the contract term and beyond. When the term date approaches, they want their clients to reach out to them to renew or find a new service provider.
Long-term relationships: Carrier reps aren’t paid for renewed business. You might have the best relationship with the carrier rep that sold you your services but unless that person leaves the company, you’ll probably never hear from them after your services are in and working.
Agents can help you procure new services, add or reduce service, renew or shop your services when your contracts have reached term. You can work with the same agent for years. That person will come to know you and your company.
If you would like to experience all the benefits of working with a telecom agent, please contact CarrierBid telecom consulting today or complete the web form on the right side of this page.