The way to get ahead in this brave new world of telecom is to offer clients valueadded services, not the lowest rates. That is the message TMC Communications (Booths 314-316) will impart during its vendor-neutral presentation, How to Win the Rate Game Change the Rules. Of course, this is a mantra channel partners have heard for some time. But as margins keep thinning and consolidations keep affecting competitors bottom lines, it is more important than ever to abandon the I can save you money pitch and replace it with, Let me help you run your business more efficiently.
Matt Morris, agent sales director for TMC, will lead the 50-minute session and plans to incorporate panelist and audience input. We would very much like it to be interactive, he says. He hopes channel partners will share the challenges theyre facing as they sell against carriers offering lower rates than they themselves can, as well as whatever else springs to mind relative to the discussion. Morris adds the presentation will be very noncarrier-specific and educational.
For his part, Morris will stress his points with examples of TMC agents who are landing bigger customers by selling value-added services. (This means changing ones mindset from that of a salesperson to that of a consultant.)
The most successful approaches include offering large customers choices of multiple carriers, providing least-cost routing and provisioning routing of toll-free numbers, Morris says. For example, offering at least two carriers provides built-in redundancy that provides business continuity. If one carriers circuit goes out, traffic automatically switches to another carriers lines. More and more businesses are requiring this, Morris says.
Least-cost routing lets agencies such as TMC cherry pick the sweet spots on those carriers, as well, he adds. If one carrier is really good on inbound from a certain LATA, we use that one. If theyre really good on outbound to a different LATA, we use that one.
Helping companies choose toll-free numbers on their own or with your assistance is another big opportunity, Morris says. TMC, for instance, has the Be Your Own Resporg program that lets agents search databases for available, cool combinations of 800 numbers an organization might want to use (+1 800 GOT MILK, for example). Some end users even can oversee this process themselves.
Morris will cover other areas, too, such as how selling blended rates actually can work better for customers than flat rates. It is a complicated discussion with some stigma attached to it, and Morris will take care to lay out the details so partners understand that offering blended rates means TMC will pass on the unpadded rates it gets from carriers.
Finally, the presentation will cover how to safeguard accounts and other such sales-oriented matters.