Telecom Agents Pick Up Steam

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a cold and snowy winter, especially in the Northeast, which means much of the country is headed for another long season of ever-higher gas and electric bills. While that might initially seem irrelevant, a company called Alternative Utility Services is asking telecom agents to consider the notion of expanding into the utilities sector.

The concept works because telecom agents already bring a client base to the opportunity, described by AUS President Fritz Kreiss as the chance to build equity while retaining most ongoing residuals. Kreiss argues that energy clients already use telephones, so agents might as well make more money off those established customers. “It’s a lot easier to sell something to an existing customer than it is to have to find brand-new ones,” he says, noting this is especially true as agents make less money off the same sales that netted them higher incomes 10 years ago.

Unlike telecom, energy is a market of fluctuating commodity prices and peak-and-valley demand seasons. Whereas agents can count on telecom clients generally maintaining certain monthly use, the same can’t be said for energy consumption.

That is one reason why Kreiss recommends telecom agents also selling gas and electricity focus on large companies that are sure to use at least the same amount of power for lights, computers and heating or cooling year-round. Of course, the amount will ebb and flow, but much less than with residential customers, which AUS does not target, unless an agent has a contract with an entity such as an apartment complex.

“An insurance agency with 20 phone lines is a good customer, but probably only spends $100 on his gas and electric bill monthly,” Kreiss says. “So [that customer is] not a real perfect target.”

To reach the telecom industry, AUS is expanding its agent and referral partner program nationwide, and providing training, analysis and proposal help, as well as sales support, for selling gas and electricity. Kreiss also is forming a separate, consolidated company called Energy Success International made up of individual salespeople who build equity and maintain residual income. “You can be in business for yourself, but not by yourself,” Kreiss says.

The marketing materials almost read a bit over-the-top - long on promises of wealth and somewhat short on details - but Kreiss assures the fledgling program is not multilevel marketing.

“It is a membership program to jointly develop turnkey marketing programs,” he explains. “It’s one step closer to a franchise, but it’s not a franchise because you’re still using your own company name.”

Kreiss is recruiting agents and other industry-savvy folks willing to invest the $5,000 membership set-up fee and able to wait 90 days or longer to see any return on investment. There also will be a monthly fee that Kreiss estimates will run between $500 and $1,000. Kreiss says the ultimate plan is for Energy Success International to go public.


Alternative Utility Services

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