Why Buy From an Agent?

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
Peter
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Why Buy From an Agent?

As I start preparing for the TCA Channel Chief Summit next week, I have been reviewing the topics for discussion. One that pops in my head is Why Buy From an Agent instead of a Direct Rep?

In review of my client roster, many came to me because I had a deeper understanding of the products I was selling than most AE's. In fact, early in my career, I was brought in to a number of deals because of my knowledge of not just the product offering but also all the pieces that were required by the client to make that work. 

Lately, it's a price game. VoIP Origination and Termination, Internet Bandwidth and transport (private line, MPLS, waves) - it comes down to availability and price. In other words, who can deliver it the cheapest. 

As some of you may know, I mainly sell to service providers. The game is different in mid-sized or enterprise businesses, where they buy the brand name because they don't want to risk it. (No one ever got fired for buying IBM or AT&T).

So it was about knowledge originally. Now it is about the relationship and the knowledge. But that relationship won't bridge the gap of a price delta of $200 per month or more. I'm still trying to grasp how to handle that. But then everyone in our industry is also. It seems that the Big Brands have done such a poor job of sustaining their brand through crappy customer service, huge employment cuts, and bad billing procedures that for many people, it is just a question of price and availability.  

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