Well stated Tom.  I can't tell you how many ISP sites I've been to that
don't have phone numbers, or bury them so that they are hard to find.
Comcast is the worst with this.  Answering the phone is the next issue of
course...  :-) 

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Tom DeReggi
Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2007 11:04 AM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Service Offerings,By Speed or All You Can Eat? Was:
Advanced Bandwidth Management

>> Charter cable is doing 10 meg down/1 meg up in some markets for like 
>> $99 per month, how can you compete with that?

Don't sell bandwidth! I tell all my customers, bandwidth is cheap, and thats
just a small percentage of the costs in a Broadband bundle. What I'm really
selling them is a Standard of Quality and Response Time.  People and ethics
aren't cheap.

Secondly, play down the benefit of speed. What good is 10 mbps, if most
websites won't let you pass more than 1-2 mbps per session anyway? Like they
need 10mbps, when their average usage is less than 15 kbps. What customers
need is "HELP".  Sell them what they need. We don't hide behind a web page,
and that makes all the difference in the world.  Its funny, one of the first
things the customer does is they go to our web page, and they ask why we
don't have all the bells and wistles and easy signup type stuff online. And
I answer truthfully, "Do you want to talk to a computer or a person?" If you
want to talk to a computer, go call Comcast, but get used to it, because
that is going to be your only option for real help.  "We sell 100% from
referrals, and person to person communication, the same we support our
clients".  If thats not valuable to you, we are not the provider for you.

The first portion of our sales process is to distinguish ourselves from
other ISPs. Most customers jsut don't believe we are different at first. 
They treat us as we are a Goliath monopoly provider that they are accustomed
to. Sure 90% of the subs, only care about price, and for those, the 10 mbps
is not even a factor in the decission, they are going to buy the cheapest
service. Those are the customers that you don' want, and you just wish them
well, and refer them to the wire provider with the worst service.  Its the
other 10% that you care about. That dream about the day, that they are free
to use the Internet unencumbered hassle free. And you sell them hassle free.

When I sell broadband its like selling them a service maintenance contract. 
1 flat fee, monthly, to guarantee that they have peice of mind.  The truth
is, almost all WISP business models can survive with a 10% or less market
share in a region.  Its about understanding your identity, and finding the
clients that want what you sell.

That model may not scale, but having the largest number of subs is not my
goal. My goal is profitabilty, and feeling good about my business day to
day, and for that the model works.

The funny thing is, most of the customers that we loose are customers, that
we haven't communicated with during the previous year. Everything just
worked, so they lose touch of who we are and why they bought from us in the
fiorst place. What is the value of support, if someone never needed it. The
customers that have had a problem, RARELY leave, because they just don;t
want to risk losing the quality of support, that they received from us. 
They realize their time is way more valuable than a couple dollars savings.

The number one dispute to commiting to our service is... "We just have a
basic need with limimted use, we are just looking for something cheap.". 
Educate them on why they should pay more, and what criteria they should be
using to make decisions.

Being a successful WISP is about "Saving the Day".  Do that enough and word
will spread.  The biggest benefit of Wireless is it "Enables" WISPs to take
action on their own to have the opportunity to "save the day".

Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband

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