Even though I consider myself, first and foremost, a writer, I do still have a full time job at an independently-owned telecom company. And, part of my job is assisting our independent sales agents as well as recruiting new ones.
Most of the time, whenever I talk to someone who is interested in becoming an agent for the first time, I do my best to discourage them. This is because, while there is earning potential, the fact it is a commission-only position with no benefits means it isn’t for everyone. However, despite this, there are three main reasons why it might be worth considering.
First, it’s a great way to earn a second income. One of the biggest reasons I discourage most prospective agents is they are usually looking for a primary job and, while we do have some independent agents that do make enough to pay their bills, it took them several months to reach that point. However, if a person already has a full-time job (or a spouse that does) and wants to earn some extra spending money, it’s a nice alternative because, unlike a traditional part-time job, they can set their own hours and work as much or as little as they want. And, as they gain customers, they can eventually make a full-time transition to the agent world if they choose to.
Another reason is you continue to earn a monthly check once you get that first sale. This does differ from company to company. However, most telecom companies pay a residual commission that allows their agents to receive a monthly check even when they haven’t had any new sales. While admittedly rare, I actually do work with agents that haven’t sold a new account in years but still collect a large enough commission check each month to pay their bills.
Last, you have flexibility about who you sell for. The company I work for, like most telecom companies, has agents that sell its services exclusively. However, it also has quite a few agents that sell for multiple telecom companies. This, of course, increases those agents’ earning potential because they can shop the service around and get their customers the best deals. This is something that would be considered a conflict of interest for most employers.
As I said before, the telecom agent world isn’t for everyone and I do discourage the majority of people who contact me inquiring about it. However, if you are patient and have a way of supporting yourself until you get some sales under your belt, there are circumstances that make this potential career choice right for you.