Geico, the nation's second-largest private passenger auto insurance company, has long been known for its advertising catchphrase, "15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance." This slogan, and an aggressive marketing campaign, recently propelled Geico past Allstate in the hyper-competitive automotive insurance market. Now Esurance, backed by parent company Allstate, has jumped into the "quick-quote" fray claiming that pricing for its insurance products and services takes a mere seven and a half minutes and that, in this brief time, prospective customers could save an unspecified amount over their current insurance.
While Esurance doesn't promise to save its customers 15 percent, the company does take a direct swipe at Geico with an appeal to time-sensitive prospects. Still, one problem for both Geico and Allstate is that while prospects may receive fast prices for insurance products, research shows that often customers look behind the proverbial curtain of the insurance-quoting machines and compare not only the pricing received from different providers, but also such things as breadth of coverage, consumer satisfaction surveys, and claim payment histories.
The same basic principle of looking at various options applies to telecom services. A quick quote from a Master Agency—be it 15 minutes or seven and a half minutes—often results in a less than optimal solution option for you or your customer. If you are serious about including telecom services as part of your portfolio, the first step is to qualify your customer's needs and pair them with the carrier that offers the best solution available to match their requirements. To ensure you provide your customers with the telecom solution that is the right one for them, here are five tips to keep in mind when selecting a carrier:
- Prioritization: Looking at a carrier's footprint is the starting point and the Master Agency should consider recommending the local and regional service providers before the national carriers since they're the ones who built the network.
- Product Offerings: The carrier should provide nationwide service options that include a range of products, including cloud, voice, data, Internet, and managed services. The provider must also be willing to assist you to determine the best product and service options for your customers.
- Brand Reputation: Be certain the Master Agency has a preferred relationship with the industry's top carriers. The largest carriers provide stability but usually bring a lower commission; lesser-known carriers typically deliver higher commissions.
- Pricing: Are they offering competitive, negotiated quotes that meet your client's specific requirements? Apply age-old wisdom here: If the rates and/or saving claims seem too good to be true, they usually are.
- Long-Term Profitability: Enticing commissions are one thing, but be sure the carrier will help you protect and farm your existing customer base, venture into new markets, and create new revenue streams.
Who you select for a Master Agent is important for quoting as well as for support. Our agent-partners tell us that our front-end quoting process is better than that of anyone else. This is in part because we don't offer "instant quotes." Instead, we offer dedicated and highly-knowledgeable representatives we consider the "concierges" of the telecom industry. They work with you to identify the solution that best meets your customer's business needs, not the one that best fits the carrier's bottom line.
We guarantee the integrity of the complete sales process by taking the time to develop each and every quote for our partners ourselves. In this way, our quote accuracy is second-to-none. Yet even with this attention to detail, we still offer speedy quote turnaround but with a single exception you may not find with the "quick-quote houses." We offer many carrier options and complete our quotes right the first time. By offering multiple choices among the industry's best carriers, and recommending only the best solution options, TBI provides a truly consultative sales experience for our partners and for their clients.
In the market for business-grade telecom and broader technology solutions and looking to compare competitive, negotiated carrier pricing? If so, give TBI a try. Visiting us at www.tbicom.com.
Sponsored by Telecom Brokerage, Inc.
PUBLISHED JULY 14, 2014