Single Point of Contact
Regardless of whether your Independent Telecom Agent recommends a single carrier solution or a multi-carrier solution for your company, you still have a single point of contact to deal with the person who knows your account best. During the pricing and evaluation process for new carriers, it is typical to request at least 3 bids and have at least two appointments with at least three carriers each. The number of appointments you schedule could easily surpass a dozen or more before an educated decision is made on your company's communications. When you use a qualified Independent Telecom Agent, you can spend a single appointment determining the best course of action for your company, and just one more evaluating the best options available in your market. Having a single point of contact is a huge time saver!
The exact same standard pricing is used in the Agent Channel and the direct sales channels. In spite of all of the additional knowledge, you can tap into with Independent Agents, you can be sure you are not charged any extra for it. For large projects, special pricing is available to both Agent and direct channels at the same rates. It's an incredible model that helps the customer and agent win, and insures that all potential clients are treated equally.
Person Who Understands Your Company, How You Make Decisions, and Why
Your Independent Telecom Agent acts as an assistant buyer for your company once he/she understands your business needs and preferences. He/she gets to know your organization, information about your short and long-term goals, and why and how you make decisions. Why would you want to repeat that process every couple of years?
You Get to Hear the Truth!
Perhaps this should be ranked #1! When you use the services of an experienced Independent Telecom Agent, you tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience of someone who has been in the field for many years-and most likely with multiple carriers. Your agent will typically have experience dealing with multiple carriers in your market, including ones without a direct sales force, and can tell you how they actually perform. They won't paint the rosy picture all of the carriers would prefer you to see when you think of them. Who has the most reliable network? Who has billing problems? Who is going bankrupt? Who can make the desired install date? When using an Independent agent, you don't have to listen to "The Company Story" for each carrier, as they tend to dress up their deficiencies and downplay weaknesses. You get to hear the truth.
Unbiased Opinion of Multiple Carriers and Their Product Lines
Based on where your business is heading, whether that will be expanding, streamlining, or downsizing, your Independent Telecom Agent can put you in the right situation. Just like buying an inexpensive phone system that can't grow with you can create the need for a forklift upgrade sooner than expected, getting stuck with a carrier that can't meet your future expectations can be crippling to any operation. Since most carriers have gone to term agreements in the T-1 age of communications, it's key to get set up with a carrier that can migrate with your evolving needs. Do they have an MPLS network to support VoIP? Do they do SIP trunking? Can they offer an IP-VPN solution for your remote sites? Your Independent Telecom Agent understands the carriers' products and limitations, and can put you in the right solution for your company.
Agents are Invested in You Long Term
This is an incredibly important concept to understand when choosing to use an Independent Telecom Agent! Because Independent Telecom Agents are commission only and residual based, earning a small percentage of the monthly telecom bills, it takes them, in many cases, up to 24 months to get paid what the direct representative will get paid 30 days after the sale. The entire motivation for someone even becoming an Independent Telecom Agent is to build a book of business of happy customers that no longer have to find a new representative every couple of years to deal with. This relationship only makes sense for the agent if you retain services with them for over 24 months, so they have EVERY motivation to assist you in addressing and solving any service issues that you may ever have. A good Independent Telecom Agent isn't just another business associate; they become part of your team.
They Understand Next Generation Technology
Independent Telecom Agents will typically be better versed in MPLS, IP-VPN, VOIP, hosted solutions, call center applications, and SIP technologies since they need to understand multiple carriers' offerings and have attended their training. No carrier can be the master of all technologies and master of all niches. It's a business impossibility. So it follows that it is nearly impossible for a direct representative to have the same breadth and width of exposure to the applications you are facing decisions on. Business is fiercely competitive, and implementation of some of the newer technologies correctly can literally save larger companies hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.