|By PR Newswire||
|March 21, 2014 08:45 AM EDT||
MARLBOROUGH, Mass., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In the mid-1980s—when the Reagan Administration had only recently deregulated the long distance phone industry—Sprint® (then US Sprint®) was having no luck enticing residential customers. Not only was there the inconvenience of 10-digit access codes, but most Americans didn't know they had a right to choose. We had grown up with AT&T® as our only phone service.
Besides, why should we switch? US Sprint had some good answers for that question: the first-ever fiber optic network provided a superior quality call, and there was a cost savings. "So what?" we asked, and when US Sprint spent tens of millions of dollars on TV advertising, we wouldn't even go to the trouble of getting out of our recliners to cross the room to our corded phones.
Sprint had begun to think of itself as a service provider for the Fortune 500, assuming residential customers were too dense to get them. Three things changed all that: what was then called one-plus dialing—the Sprint introduction of long distance dialing as simple as AT&T—and a couple of entrepreneurs from Kansas City, MO, who persuaded US Sprint to give them a chance to become resellers. Their company is now legendary in direct selling: Network 2000. In less than a year, Network 2000 was outselling Sprint's own outbound telemarketing team, signing up more than 100,000 customers a month.
Three elements contributed to the magic that introduced alternative long distance service for the residential market: Ease of use, a superior telephone experience, and a less expensive call.
Many direct sellers since Network 2000 have become hugely successful as resellers of telephone services, including Excel Communications—the methodology of which evolved out of Network 2000—which grew to have so many customers that it ultimately was acquired by a telephone company wanting access both to the customer base and the effective direct selling distributor sales force. And most recently, TelexFREE, a Marlborough, Massachusetts, direct reseller of long distance and other phone services has experience tremendous success in terms of both customer acquisition and usage: more than 10 million minutes in February 2014.
And since TelexFREE adopted the same sales strategy proven so successful by Network 2000 and Excel Communications, it may have been expected they would acquire some of the same executive talent that served to make those companies successful, including Stuart A. MacMillan, the first President of Excel Communications, Canada.
Speaking on behalf of TelexFREE, Mr. MacMillan says, "I see much the same opportunity for TelexFREE that I saw for Excel in its early days. Direct selling is a tremendously effective means of marketing, advertising, and customer acquisition. And TelexFREE has discovered and made great inroads into one of the most rapidly growing marketplaces in the U.S.—the Latin market. That said, I see my responsibility as establishing internal governance and an expansion of the products and services. Like so many entrepreneurial companies in the tech space, TelexFREE has been growing so fast, it hasn't had much time for management. I've been brought in to spend that time and to provide that experience, including an end-to-end review of methodologies and controls. I'm committed to providing our thousands of customers the best service available anywhere in the world. To accomplish that goal…well, suffice it to say, I've got a lot of work ahead of me! But TelexFREE has done the one thing most essential to the success of a phone company: they have acquired customers who are using lots of the service!"
TelexFREE is a private company headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., with offices in a number of regions around the world.
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