Last year, Alan Masarek made news as he left Google to become Vonage’s new CEO.
As an independent telecommunications sales agent, you must make three key decisions. They are:
The most popular (and easiest) services to sell are long distance phone service, local phone service, calling cards, toll-free service, Internet access, international origination, and enhanced services.
Long distance is the easiest product to sell, and has been deregulated longer than any of the other services. There are literally hundreds of long distance vendors that you can choose to partner with, and little to no knowledge of how telecommunications works is necessary. Most independent agents start off selling long distance first, then add other services later. We would recommend that you start with the basics, and long distance is certainly a great place to start.
Selling local service is much more difficult. There are a very limited number of vendors to choose from, commissions are lower, and a much greater knowledge of telecommunications fundamentals is necessary. Selling toll-free service is nearly as simple as selling long distance. Once you understand the basics, it's a breeze.
Selling Internet access can be tricky in some situations, especially if it involves DSL or broadband services. Be sure that you have a good understanding of how the Internet, routing, networking and associated services work before trying to approach businesses to sell Internet access.
Calling cards are a very simple product, but complications can arise if you sell for the wrong company. The prepaid calling card industry is especially full of fly-by-night operators, so be sure that you are dealing with a reputable vendor.
International origination refers to international callback service, or calling card access. These services are used by those who live overseas, or who are travelling. These are very niche markets, and knowing how to market to these customers is more important than knowing how the technology itself actually works.
I am lumping together all other associated telecom services into the "enhanced services" category. This category includes conference calling services, voicemail, fax mail, fax-on-demand, VOIP, web hosting, follow-me numbers, 900 numbers, pay-per-call services, etc. Each of these require not only a specialized knowledge of the product you are selling, but of the potential buyers you are marketing to as well. These services only appeal to a select demographic user base, and you should not attempt to sell these services until you fully understand the concepts behind niche marketing.