Telecom agents that have passed up residential telecom sales opportunities because they didn’t have a carrier contract can now pursue them under a new partner program launched this fall by One Smart Mover.
Don’t be confused by the company name; One Smart Mover is an agency for telecom and non-telecom vendors targeting homeowners who are moving residences within the United States and, starting in 2010, Canada. The company helps homeowners set up their new residences – from reserving the moving truck to ordering utilities, pest control and security monitoring, to getting to know their new community’s schools, libraries, hospitals, health clubs and more. This operator-assisted service is free to the homeowner and paid for by the vendors. The service is tied into builders, title companies, real estate agencies and others that refer homeowners to its call centers.
The resulting volume of business has helped One Smart Mover to secure agreements with major telcos, cablecos and satellite TV providers, such as Verizon, Qwest, AT&T, T-Mobile, DirecTV, Comcast, to provide residential service as an agent. Now, the company is opening up that opportunity to telecom subagents.
One Smart Mover President Joe Fanara is a longtime telecom agent; he has been selling commercial telecom services as a subagent for Global Systems Telecom Inc. since the mid-‘90s. He said there are lucrative opportunities in the residential space that business-to-business agents are either overlooking or turning away.
Fanara said the opportunity isn’t in selling residences one at a time, but in creating partnerships with entities that aggregate residential users. Think affinity model. One example might be offering discounted telecom services as a member benefit program to an association, he said, but more low-hanging fruit might be an “employee benefit program” for an agent’s existing corporate customers. Other targets include universities (students or faculty), real estate agents, builders, etc., he said, noting while One Smart Mover targets some of these companies directly, it cannot cover the entire country and is looking for agents to help forge these relationships.
Looking at the opportunity slightly differently, Fanara said an agent that currently sells residential wireless now can sell a residential bundle with landline, Internet and TV (cable or satellite).
Fanara said subagents sell the communications services as One Smart Mover dealers just as they normally represent carriers today. For a lesser commission, they can refer the calls to the One Smart Mover call center via a customer 800 number set up for the agent or its client (association or business). The call center agents can provide callers with a carrier comparison. One Smart Mover uses the call centers of its sister company One Touch Direct, which supports wireless, telecommunications, cable, Internet, financial services, entertainment and other industries.
Unlike commercial services, residential services are commissioned on a one-time basis. Fanara said the triple play from AT&T, for example, pays $250. DirecTV is $100 and up and GE alarm service is about $300.
One Smart Mover provides marketing templates and will brand signup portals for its agents (or agent customers), depending on the volume.