Knowing your target end-user
is the key. Learn the demographics of your area, and finding the target
market is fairly easy. It is a well-known fact that economically challenged
and foreign-born people are users of pre-paid phone cards in vast disproportion
to the rest of the population. They may not have a phone, or they do, but
donít have long distance service, or donít want to long distance due to
The second largest target customer
group is transients. College students, truckers, military personnel, and
businessmen all call home and want to save money by using pre-paid calling
cards. The first group use cards for more international calls, and the
second, domestic. Keep this in mind when you sell cards - does your pre-paid
card have a high international rate chart but a good domestic one, or one
with a low "bong" for domestic calls, or a high "bong" for international
calls, giving the appearance of lower international rates?
Here is a list of places that
will benefit from selling calling cards:
|Check Cashing Stores
||MailBoxes Etc.(or similar type)
Keep in mind that if the proprietor
speaks a foreign language; you have a good opportunity to sell phone cards
to that outlet. In order to sell cards to retailers, you will need to offer
them a discount of at least 15-25%. YOUR margins, however, are good, as
the average retail weekly sell-through for a location in the first group
cited above is anywhere from $500-$5,000! From the second group, one can
expect an average sell-through in the $150-300 range. Imagine if you have
50 accounts, which after your hard work to acquire, takes you about a day
and a half to service.
If the average account sells $500
per week, then: 50 x $500 = $25,000, which, if you factor in your travel
costs and cost of product, should net you about 11-12%. Letís just say
thatís about $2500 per week for 12 hours weekly work. Not too bad! Some
calling card distributors move $1 million/week or more in prepaid cards.
If you start to factor in smaller discounts to proprietors, and larger
weekly sales, then your net figures go way up! As your business grows,
you can also approach medium sized distributors, which sell products (other
than calling cards) to retailers in your area. You can offer such distributors
higher discounts than you would offer a retailer, so that they can, in
turn, develop their retailers as calling card outlets.
When canvassing potential customers,
bear in mind that most have product awareness, knowledge of price, etc.
making it easier for you. Walk into a place with a poster and a few cards
(about $50) and ask to hang a poster on a front window or other visible
area. Tell the proprietor that you will not even ask him for money. Give
him the first $50 on consignment if need be (be sure to get a receipt)
if that is what it takes to get the business. Assure him that the company
you are representing is a good one, in business a long time (show proof),
but the most important, vital fact is this; you are selling YOURSELF! If
you radiate confidence, trustworthiness and sincerity, you cannot lose.
After making the sale, ensure
quality of service via weekly visits, and provide your phone number should
questions or problems arise.
Keep records of how many cards
were sold weekly and anticipate a 10% per week growth curve for the first
six weeks. Make sure your customers have product on the shelf and posters
on display in key traffic areas.
Great service and ample inventory
levels are vital to growing your business. Understand that your business
is like any other investment. A certain amount is necessary as capital,
and the more you expand, the more inventory you need to purchase, resulting
in larger amounts of capital that you cannot withdraw prematurely. If you
cannot afford to work your calling card business for about 3 months for
little or no turn on your initial investment, seriously consider whether
this is right for you. An investment in a calling card business now will
result in a very high rate of return in a short while, if you "stick with
Market studies show that less
than 40% of the American public even know what a pre-paid calling card
is. Think of the growth rate of this business over the next few years!
Imagine the possibilities when almost everyone wants to use a pre-paid
calling card! Imagine how much money you can make if you start NOW and
go out into the real world and sell pre-paid calling cards? The possibilities
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