Last year, Alan Masarek made news as he left Google to become Vonage’s new CEO.
Commissions can vary greatly between vendors, and are generally paid monthly, but keep this in mind: in order for both you and the vendor to make money, it is paramount that you are paid based on the revenues you actually produce. The more money you make, the more money that the vendor should make. Period.
Typically, independent sales agents are paid a residual income, which is based on the monthly revenues of the customers they bring in to the company. For example, let's say that you are being paid a 5% residual commission. If you bring-in 5 customers that spend $20 each month on long distance service ($100 total), you will earn $5 in commissions that month.
The beauty of the residual commission system however, is the fact that you will earn $5 a month for as long as those customers continue to use the service of the vendor you have signed them up with. So, you will keep getting that $5 a month FOREVER, or at least until that customer switches to another vendor.
Here is the key: if you have a vendor that supplies good rates with excellent support and service, your customers may stay on that service for YEARS to come, and you will keep getting commission checks month after month, year after year!
Believe it or not, I have customers that have stayed with the same vendor for well over six years, and I have continued receiving commission checks for those one-time sales month after month. I am still receiving commissions month after month for sales I did in 1995!
I could literally retire today, and my monthly residual commissions would still arrive month after month, even if I were no longer in the business. As long as your customers keep using phone service, you will still keep getting paid! How many other industries can you say that about?
Keep in mind, if you quit actively selling, your customer base (and commissions) will eventually start diminishing. This is simply due to natural attrition of customers. Some customers switch to different companies. Some die. Whatever the reason, all agents (and carriers) suffer from "churn", or customer turnover.
You can minimize churn, or turnover, by providing your customers with a high level of personalized customer service and competitive rates. If you treat your customers right, and your vendor treats them right, your customers may stay with you for years to come. It is much cheaper to keep a customer than to find a new one, so do your best to hold on to