It Isn't Easy Being an Agent

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

It Isn't Easy Being an Agent

Tonight at a networking event I met a former VZ employee - a channel manager for the last 5 years. He told me he was going to be an Agent to put his telecom knowledge to work to fund his life's endeavors. He kept going on about dabbling in the agent thing part-time. Picking up a project here or there. But "No Door Knocking or Cold Calling for me!" I finally hit my limit and said, "I'm going to be direct and it may hurt. Being an Agent isn't a part-time business - unless you want less than part-time results. It's a full-time gig plus some."  He didn't take the hint.

He goes on about being able to help established agencies be successful. No specific examples. By now, he had me irritated. (He was a loud talker too.) If you helped agencies become successful, why not ask one of them for a position?  If you helped agents be successful, why did VZ let you go? (Okay, that just may be because VZ has an awful channel program.)

Then he started dissing agents who take advantage of the compensation program by signing upgrades and similar activities that ILEC channel programs encourage for customer retention.

How can you work in the channel for 5 years and think it is a walk in the park to be an agent?  He is not the only channel manager that ever told me that the grass is greener as an agent, yet didn't want to give up the salary, benefits and stability of a corporate job for the uncertain world of being an agent. 

The take-away for me is that Channel employees might have an unrealistic view of being an Agent, which might translate to the perception that the commission checks are not earned in some cases. This misperception might be why the Channel Heads have to justify the commission line item on the CFO's balance sheet so often.


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