Choosing A Vendor
Even if you have a perfect business plan, you will have little success unless you find a vendor that can give you the products and services you need to succeed.
The most important things to look for in a vendor are: trustworthiness, reliability, quality service, quality customer care, a competitive and simple to use service and a decent commission structure.
When it comes to most telecom services, finding a good rate is fairly easy. You will find many vendors offering service at or around the same price. Be cautious of deals that are "too good" to be true though. A good example of this would be the many "unlimited" calling plans available on the Internet, that let you make as many calls as you want for one flat monthly fee. Most of these we have seen are scams, and you would do best to avoid them.
Choosing a quality vendor to work with can be difficult. We highly recommend the following affiliate and telecom agent companies. They can each provide you with more information on how to become an independent telecommunications sales agent.
Some of them will offer more personal help than others. Keep in mind, the more experienced you are, the less help you will eventually need. Some vendors are set-up for novices, while others cater to the full-time, established agent. Be sure to pick one that meets your particular needs.
By the way, it is not uncommon for vendors to pay higher commissions for increased amounts of volume. Some may even require you to meet a volume quota in order to receive a particular commission percentage. Those just starting out should probably avoid agreeing to large volume quotas, as their expectations may be unreasonable. Try to find a company with a "sliding" commission scale, if at all possible. These companies have little or no minimum quotas, and will pay you increased commissions once you have achieved a sizable customer base.
Under NO circumstances should you ever sign an "exclusivity clause" with a vendor, most especially novices. These agreements revoke your right to sell the products or services of competing vendors. These contracts are completely one-sided, and do not benefit the agent in any way. The only reason for their existence is to enslave you into selling for one particular company, which can mean missing other (probably better) business opportunities.
Unless you happen to feel that indentured servitude is the way you want to spend the rest of your life, don't even consider signing a contract that includes such a clause. Unless you are an actual employee of the company, such contracts may even be illegal, or at least unenforceable. In any case, no company that would ask an independent agent to sign such an agreement has your best interests in mind. Stay as far away as possible from such companies.
By the way, do not confuse a non-disclosure agreement (sometimes referred to as an NDA) or a non-circumvention clause with an exclusivity clause. These are a standard part of most vendor agreements. They keep agents from doing an "end-run" around the vendor, and going directly to their supplier. Some agents try to "cut out the middle man" and deal directly with a vendor's underlying supplier (usually a carrier) in order to get higher commissions, but this is almost always a mistake. Such agents are not looked upon in a favorable manner in the agent community, and many vendors may eventually stop doing business with them altogether. Bad news travels fast in this industry, so don't give yourself a bad reputation by trying to cheat your vendor.
If you have any questions about specific clauses in an agency contract, be sure to check with your attorney before signing it.