Outsourcing Middlemen......The true killers of Industry

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Outsourcing Middlemen......The true killers of Industry
Hi all,

I have been reading all the posts for quite sometime. There is one issue which is not discussed in detail here. The role of middlemen - the so called campaign providers. I feel 20% of Voice postings of late has been on business opportunities and postings of campaign providers. The response warren got for his post is an example of how everyone wants to have a share of the pie- but at whose cost?

1. Can the call centres confide in these campaign providers and pay them a percentage of their revenue for having negotiated and struck the deal one time?

2. Why do clients willing to outsource do not approach call centres directly for talks rather than agree to deal with these middlemen?

3. The revenue sharing is something I do not understand- consulting fees and client introduction fees are ok. It is usually one time fee. Then why have these revenue sharing models?

4. Ultimately it is the call centre agents who sweat out and make a campaign ucessful. But who makes the money - the middlemen. they sell training, campaigns, CRM software , predictive dialers, everything - and make their commission out of it. At the end of one year the middlemen would have earned far more than the call centre. Why not redress this problem?

Any suggestions from the members is welcome.

Happy posting...
Vedula

Vice President

Destination Excellence

Tips: Avoiding the Killer Middlemen
Vedula,
As always, your insights are well said, and I'm sure they are also well-earned. One of the more frustrating aspects of being in the call center business, indeed in any business, is trying to navigate thru the myriad of hustlers and fly-by-night organizations.

About 10% of my company's revenues comes from 'brokering' - and it's not even a service that we advertise, people instead call us. It is the result of many years of networking, knowing who is who, understanding what people need, and helping people to connect with the right vendor. Further, it's the result of having diligently helped people the first time, so that we are called again. Sometimes we manage an RFP process for a client; other times we broker business into a set of call centers - but never both at the same time.

A few tips and comments, for what they are worth:

1. Make sure that your broker is not getting money from both sides of the deal. Often, the person that is charging you a fee to place your business is also getting a commission from the outsource call center. This is unethical and is a good indication of the type of person you are dealing with. Get an NDA signed with a broker, and include language relieving you of payment burdens if the other side is paying, too.

2. As an outsource call center, make sure the broker AND the company he/she represents has a mailing address, contact info, a web site, etc. If any or all of these things are missing, you are likely not dealing with someone on the up and up. In addition, always get a D&B report or credit rating on the people who will be responsible for paying you. As a rule, I never recommend that the outsource call center bear 100% of the risk - if it is a sales campaign, charge a base hourly rate, plus some commission, to offset potential costs, and get at least 10% up front. If someone wants you to start a campaign without their up front investment, you need to walk away.

3. Companies wishing to outsource some/all of their business often do not have the time, or the contacts, to reach out to the outsource companies themselves. Knowledge of pricing, deliverables, SLAs, and dozens of other details are often not a core competency for a company that needs an outsourcer. These companies usually assign a mid- to high-level 'go getter' to track down appropriate external resources as a special project. The right broker/consultant will provide these companies with a number of options, not just their 'favorite center', which is likely the one they have an ongoing commission structure with.

4. A good broker will spend time getting to know your business, your business needs and your financial constraints before recommending an outsource center. Similarly, a good broker will also have a very good working knowledge of the capabilties of a number of call centers, of various sizes and costs, in order to facilitate a good fit for everyone.

5. As far as ongoing commissions are concerned, consider the broker an extension of your sales force. You pay no salary to them, no benefits are offered, and the commission is likely what you would have paid your own salesperson internally to begin with. Brokering fees are usually negotiable, run them thru your business model.

And as a final note, my personal experience has just as many call centers signing brokering agreements and wanting to re-negotiate after the deal is done, as killer middlemen making too much money. The paid to owed ratio for brokers, when dealing with call centers that don't know, is as low as 1:3.

Brent

Confidential

Confidential

Feedback on Killer Middlemen
Guys,

I agree with you, specially what Brent has said. I totally re-affirm his views.

A serious broker/agency will have a detailed diligence process and specific value-adds. A DNB check is good way to go as is getting some client referalls.

Brent, I really appreciate you putting your views in outspoken manner. I do hope members will take note of these.

Regards

Consultant

ETG

I agree with Richard
Hi All

Take for my experience for example,

We build up contacts, approach the CC with the Campaign, ask for 10% in revenues. Do u know when we ask for that, when the CC says, we are not intrested to pay any marketing cost or finder fee or any upfront amount.

Ok we agree, we have invested a lot to get campaigns and deliver them to you at your door step. We will share 10% and be associated till you (CC) finish the contract period. CC suggest us to take from revenues.

And in other case, I take the campaign sign the so called NDA with the CC, and the CC very cooly bypasses me after i revele him the end clients details.

Thats how are the CC's ethics. Well sound harsh but true. These CC's take their own time to decide some times even weeks, with no proper response.

If these cc will have to get a campaign for themselves, I do agree with Richar, it will take a lot of effort.

For CCs it has become very easy to Bypass, or not pay after commitment. Even this bitter fact has to be addressed.

All the responsibilities mentioned are appriciated.

Vinod

Director

Reynard Thomson Ltd.

Excellent topic!
Hi everyone.

It's great to hear both sides of the argument, and it's discussions (debates?) like these which we like to see on CCV. What we seem to have here is friction between those who do the work or organise the work, and those who find the work. Different revenue models will of course co-exist and some will be more applicable to certain situations than others.

The key thing to bear in mind over all others is to ensure that outsourcing arrangements are entered into with eyes open. It is also important to stress the importance of negotiation, insofar as we all accept that nothing is ever set in stone, and margins and fees can all be varied within bounds which are agreed to be 'reasonable' by both parties.

Ultimately, if the outsourcing deal doesn't suit, don't take it on. As with any business activity, there will be a small percentage of 'bad' middlemen, a small percentage of 'superb' middlemen and the majority will fall someway inbetween. CallCentreVoice is a great place to share our experiences with such things in an open and fair manner; obviously we can't be drawn to officially recommend any one party over another, but we can help by pointing our members in the right direction.

Business of any sort is serious, ahem, business :-). It is crucially important to realise that for a business relationship to be successful and productive, all parties need to feel that they are at least moderately happy with that relationship and its context. Use lawyers to draft mutually desirable, protective contracts in a firm but equable manner. Don't leave it to chance. However, always remember that even the middleman's family needs to eat.

John

Vice-President/CTO

ACR TeleConsultants

Not all middlemen are dirt
I just recently found this site and find this topic very interesting on several fronts. One, being a "broker" (though I dislike the title, we do broker deals) we provide a very valuable service to both clients as well as call centers. While I am sure there are unscrupulous brokers out there, lumping them all together is like people who lump all teleservice professionals together because the bad ones they have encountered. Let me explain our process and then address some issues that have been brought up.

We help our clients by profiling their campaigns in extreme detail. With this detail, we can match up a teleservice company from our database that best fills their requirements. We do this all at no cost to the client. Depending on the experience level of the client, this stage can take anywhere from a couple of hours to several days writing RFP/RFQ, justification documents, and other needs such as list acquisition, script writing, and other services they need. We explain tests, SPH, anything they do not understand. Once we have completed this profile, we then match up their requirements to our teleservice partners that best fit our client's needs. This is where we provide a service to the teleservice companies. We have an in-depth profile of our partners that is every bit as detailed as the one for our clients. With their input, we find out what the strengths of that teleservice company are, what types of campaigns they have been succesful with and what type of business they are most comfortable with. Yes, we charge a fee that starts at 10% of the revenue generated by that customer, but is on a sliding scale based upon total revenue for that customer. We sign NDA's and Referral Agreements that spell out all the terms and conditions. At that point, we contact the client and let them know we have found 3 or 4 centers (hopefully) that we feel match their needs and we ask our client for permission to provide their contact info to the TM company. We then follow up with the client and the TM companies to determine where they are in regards to placing the deal. Once placed, if our client so desires, we will monitor, interpet reports, anythin they want to make them feel comfortable with their campaign. At the conclusion of the campaign, we provide a report based upon feedback from the TM company as well as our client and campaign results. When the client pays the TM company, we get paid.

Now, to address some questions. Why do people approach brokers as opposed to the teleservice companies themselves? The majority of people we serve have no idea where to begin when they want to implement a teleservice campaign. Do a search on Google under "Telemarketing". You will get over 480,000 hits. If you are a business owner or marketing professional that has never dealt with teleservices, where do you begin? Telemarketing has a less than stellar reputation and because of that, non-Teleservice companies are wary and don't know where to turn. We provide them a service at no-cost to them.

Regarding revenue sharing. This ties directly into how we handle our clients. We do all the pre-sales qualification for our teleservice partners. Based upon their (TM companies) profile, we are able to qualify the clients and take that major step out of the sales cycle. Our goal is the same as the call center: run a successful campaign that will create a desire with the client to return and renew their campaign. As the revenues grow, our commission percentage drops based upon the sliding scale. So, in actuallity, the more the call center makes from a customer, the lower our commissions become. We act as additional feet on the streets for our teleservice partners.

Now, as for call centers not paying us. The 1:3 ratio is, IMHO, a bit high becuase the fact of the matter is this: If a call center refuses to pay us, the chances of us placing another deal with them is nil. We have legal recourse to get receive our payment, yet the best way to "repay" these centers is to not give them any more opportunities that come our way (BTW, we receive anywhere from 10-15 client requests a week or which, after our initial consultation, we continue the process with 3-4).

A final note, we do not sell dialers, software, training, etc. We strictly place qualified campaigns with what we feel are the best call centers for the opportunity.

I realize this reply is a bit long winded, but I truly feel that the service we provide is of immense value to both our client and our teleservice partners. I can appreciate how call center professionals who have been burned would tend to thing that brokers are the bane of the industry. We aren't and I appreciate this opportunity to speak my side of the debate and I look forward to reading more, learning more about the professionals here.

Regards,

Vince

Vince Matal
Vice-President/CTO
ACR TeleConsultants
Advise..Connect..Results

Middlemen makes life easy for both ends

To make a good conclusion on middlemen is, they bridge the gap between provider and a buyer.Cultural, operational and regional issues of provider is not known to the buyer and buyer cant approach these high self claimed providers without a proper home work on them.
Middlemen takes all the hastles, liable and a front end of providers services.Though some middlemen plays dirty role in business model offerings but its their role which brings revenues,if they share a piece from that pie, dont feel hard, share it and continue your show.

CEO

TriSymph Software Solutions

The Middleman is here to stay
I disagree that the middleman is not needed. Many call centres do not have the facilities of a full fledged marketing setup and we as middleman do all the negotiating and the chaos that goes with geting a good job in to the center. We as someone rightly pointed out, do not advertise our wares..people call us since we not only provide good campaigns but also broker good rates for the centers.
The revenue sharing agreements are a result of the Call Center's safe thinking process. It is safer to share revenues rather than pay up-front monies and have campaigns that bomb after the money has been paid. I think that this model is here to stay. Any comments anyone??

Vice President - IT

Call Junction (I) Pvt Ltd

The Middleman is here to stay...
Did somebody say - Killers of the industry? Excuse me Sir; it’s because of the so called ‘middlemen’ that half the industry is surviving today. We are not brokers, we are not middlemen, we are not fly by night operators with one computer and a phone. We are marketing partners. We go out to market a service that you offer. That you cannot market since that’s not your core competency. It’s our core competency. Simple.

There’s a lot of stuff written here on what ‘facilitators’ do for a project (campaigns/programs) to go live, so I won’t write more. But that’s not where our job ends. We have to demonstrate QUALITY. We have to assure QUALITY. Our job begins when your production ends; to check qualitative and quantitative data for QA. Our job begins when quality is good, so as to assure better numbers the next day. Our job begins when quality is bad, to identify weak areas and apply re-training/check and balances/process streamlining etc. And if that doesn’t help, we need to look for alternate vendors.

That’s where more than half the heartburn comes from. When centres can’t accept lack of quality or performance, and projects are taken away (or payouts are lesser since you didn’t perform, particular to pay per performance projects) we are blamed.

As far as ‘bad’ Johnnies in this trade, tell me one pond where few fish aren’t bad….



Operations

Care Principium Pvt Ltd

No doubt brokers are 'THE BRIDGE' but.....
I agree with the thoughts poured in by all the member's .... and yes let me add my thoughts that middleman or the marketing partners are important in the call center industry.

They play a very important role in ensuring that the prospective campaign is in the right fit...and then taking care of the training for that particular campaign and of course lets not forget the ongoing process QUALITY.

But sometimes from the cc point of view it becomes very difficult to scan the 'BAD' Johnnies of the trade.....cause the percentage of those is very high
But definetly to conclude let me say that middleman or should i say the 'GOOD' johnnies :-) make life easier for both the ends.

Director Of Marketing

TeleCampaigns

The life of a "broker"
Interesting topic indeed, with lots of good points. As a "middleman", I am bombarded with campaign opportunities from clients. I must pick through each one and try and determine whether or not telemarketing will work for this client. If I think it does, it can go one of two ways from there: will I invest my time and money upfront into turning this client into a telemarketing client, or will I charge the client a consulting fee first? On about a 8:10 ratio, I dump my time, my effort, my energy, my money into test-marketing and fine-tuning the campaign, scripts, rebuttals, fulfillment, etc. (hand in hand with the client) so I can report a true SPH to prospective CC's.

Remember, so far, I have been paid NOTHING, but I've put forth significant investments into turning this client's "widget" project into a killer, turnkey outbound "widget" b2b program that works (for example). For all this investment, the client promises me a (generally) 10% pay-per-performance commission upon successful implementation of the campaign into CC's. No WAY would I allow a CC to pay me for this - I'm paid by the client... nothing personal guys.

So now I'm out, say... $10,000.00 and the client is out nothing. I go to search for the proper CC to spearhead the campaign... to roll it out. CC #1 reviews the campaign, the test reporting, scripts, etc., and says, "By golly, we're going to do this! We'll start next Monday with 25 reps!". Monday comes along and predictively, their "dialers are down" and, "sorry, we're going to have to put this off for a week and start NEXT Monday". Next Thursday comes along and they start with ONE rep! Etc., etc. Sooner or later, after about 3 tries, I find CC #3 and they go gangbusters!

A month later, I've almost been made whole on the deal and I'm envisioning going into the black the following week, but nooooooo. The client frantically calls me up and wants to know why CC #3 isn't dialing. "What???!" I say. I call CC #3 and ask them what the problem is and is there something I can do to help, etc. CC #3 tells me I need to "come off a few bucks to make this thing more profitable... maybe free leads, etc., etc., blah blah blah". Guess what I've learned to tell CC's after about 10 years of this? I tell them to stick it and I go to CC #4, then #5, whatever it takes. Those who think what we "brokers" do is easy money, I've got news for you: it's not "easy money". It's hard earned money.

My job is so gratifying in some ways. Do you have any idea how good it feels to turn tiny little "Widgets Inc" into a publicly-traded company because of a direct result of my belief in that company? Do you have any idea how good it feels when I have a project that's generating hundreds of sales a day... knowing how many families were fed that day as a direct result of my belief in that little widget company and my committment to making the campaign work?

I will admit, most brokers are like most call centers... not worth a damn. That is why people seek brokers... because most call centers aren't worth a damn. That is also why the people who seek brokers are turned off after their first experience... because most brokers are not worth a damn. I think we ALL know these are true statements.

If you want a broker who charges the client (not the CC) and almost always works on straight performance, I'm one of those who is worth a damn...

http://www.telecampaigns.com -

Thanx and good luck to y'all..

Technology

Care-Max

Congratulations Rick
Hi Rick,

I was just going thru your posting on the Call Center Voice. You are right and it is a fact that we guys really do the job by bringing some business on the table.

The Call Centers should treat us as an integral part of their operations rather than as a convenient tool to achieve their goals...

However it is sad that not too many do...

And the ones who do are still in business and are making money...

Congratulations!


Manager

Interactive Infonet

I agree with Vedula
I would have to agree in part with Vedula. There are quite a few middle men who do a great job in hand holding rooms unfortunately they are outnumbered by those that simply want to cash in. I have no idea how true this is in the rest of the world but it is unfortunately very true in India.

For instance, a while back we were approached by some "middlemen" who offered to place a campaign in the room I work at. They also asked for some initial money to fax documents and some other paperwork to the client. Pretty soon though, it was apparent that the paperwork had not been faxed and we were asked to do it ourselves. Ultimately, the campaign was not placed, the money we gave to the "middlemen" was not refunded (which was a part of the agreement in case the campaign could not be placed) and the "middlemen" themselves soon disappeared.

This unfortunately used to be a standard affair in India until a while back and for all I know, still is.

I do not mean to hurt anybody but I have to say that Vedula is partially correct.

Manager

Interactive Infonet

an addition to my above post
...let me just add that in the recent past I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with some extremely competent and passionate "middlemen" who have indeed made my job a lot easier. :)


Market Development

K2 Solutions

Reply to Gautham Khandige re: scam artists
I wish I could say that North America has fewer scam artists operating than in India, but that would NOT be supported by the evidence.

If you were operating in North America, I would tell you to get a lawyer and hunt those "middlemen" down, and "skin 'em alive and nail their bleeding hides to the courthouse wall", as my grandfather used to say. As you are in India, where the courts basically do not work, or so I'm told, such efforts would be a waste of money. Use any connections you have, however tenuous, with one of those 'big-time' business families in your area to see if you can get similar results.

The only thing you can control at this point is how you react to the situation. I would never allow my company to do business with someone whose background I had not checked thoroughly. Kroll Worldwide, or any other highly-reputed background check firm operating in your country, can do this for you. It costs money, of course, but less money than getting 'ripped off'. If you check up on someone and discover dirty dealings in their past history, do India's business environment a favor-- phone everyone that your con artist ever ripped off, and invite them down for a heart-to-heart chat with the con artist, at a meeting arranged at your office. Bring snacks for the "barbecue". I would be willing to bet you could get plenty of business as a result.

If you possibly can, never do business on any basis other than "you do not get paid unless and until I get paid". If you have enough bargaining power, reputable 'middlemen' will rarely object to such an arrangement.

So, (1) check backgrounds, (2) pay only when paid. Those two measures alone should filter out 90% of the out-and-out con jobs you will run into.

Best of luck.

Manager

Interactive Infonet

to Wiggle Puss
hi,
Thanks for your suggestion.:)

These days we don't do any business with these "middlemen" unless they check out first. Unfortunately, in the early days of the business here, there were so many of these "middlemen" who would sound very knowledgeble and genuine and we had a tough time checking them out as a result.

Then again, you live and you learn I guess. Atleast we did. :)



Project Manager

Mokul International Limited

is there an answer to all these
Hi all,
I have been reading topic with great interest in the recent past. For call centers who cannot afford to market their services themselves, Middleman is a fact of life.

But, is there an answer to this. Can we built confidence in both the CC and the middleman.

I am starting a call center (inbound/outbound) in New Delhi. Nothing has been as difficult as finding a genuine "middleman".

May be after I burn my hands, I will fall in one of the categories of FOR and AGAINST the middleman.

But, who is getting benefitted?????

I am sure the industry isnt......

Manoj


Market Development

K2 Solutions

reply to Manoj Shrivastava
Mr. Shrivastava,

You asked:
"Can we built confidence in both the CC and the middleman."

In building confidence in the middleman, I would first suggest that you follow the lead of experience. You might consider asking Gautham Khandige, or others in this thread, if there are any middlemen they would suggest. This would only be a first step, of course. The basic point is that you contact the people who have successfully used particular middlemen in the past.

You should carefully consider the fact that if you want someone to provide you with high-quality information, instead of just leading you to the nearest con artist and pocketing a commission from the con artist (and you), you will have to carefully control and arrange the manner in which the person introducing you gets paid.

As I suggested before, (1) check backgrounds, (2) pay only when paid. Most con artists prefer easy marks, and if you look like a difficult target they will move on.

Building confidence in the CC is a lot tougher. You will have to face the fact that unless you want your middleman to lie for you (not advisable-- if he lies to others, he'll lie TO you too), it will come out that you have little experience.

In any campaign worth having, the vendor is going to check your background too. If you or your middleman lie, you can get found out. Hire people who do have experience. If that means you have to pay extra to hire them away from someone else-- so be it. These people are the reason anyone will pay you anything.

WP

Business development

Aster Teleservices

Lead by experience
HI all

I have recently come across this site and found this very useful and interesting. I understand from the discussion that almost all the participants are eminent and highly experienced persons. I decided to post my query here for your suggestions.
we have recently ventured into ITES industry by setting up a 48 seater call center in India. we are now on the look out for campaigns / campaign providers to help us in this issue. After going through every ones views now I feel the toughtest job is finding the right campaing provider.

Following wiggle’s apt suggestion to follow the lead of experience in building the confidence in the middlemen, I now request you to help me sending some leads relating to middlemen
you can mail me at phani@asterteleservices.com

Happy forum

Phani kumar
Business Development Manager
Aster

Director European Operations

V3-Global

Everyone is but a middleman.
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't everyone on this forum, including the CC Owner, "A Middleman/Woman". He/she is after all flogging "cheap labour" to the "Western Market".
I suppose it hurts when you are paid back with the same "buck".

Director

Conceptual Edge

middle man
Hi,
The most interesting topic that i read lately. MIDDLEMAN is a Problem as well a Solution. There are so many different perceptions, based on each individuals own experiences.
Would just like to ask one question. Has any industry ever achieved Perfection. The answer remains NO. So how can you expect all middleman to be perfect and the same with CCs. Just one Question to the people pointing fingers at Middlemen is, anytime you raise your fingers at a middleman you by default raise a Questionmark to your own credibility. If you're not smart enough to identify the right people then whose problem is it. Yours>
Anyways ill close it with a fact that there are very few wrong Middleman in the industry compared to the no of pathetic CCs and the people heading those CCs in India.

DIRECTOR OPERATIONS

ARITHMA TECHNOLOGIES

Middlemen and Fraud
Hi All,

Posts about middlemen and business misleads are part and parcel of the outsourcing game! I would like to bring the following news item about a telemarketing fraud, as reported, to the members attention:
http://207.228.233.106/w1.asp?a=2A06A5BC-567C-4092-B08F-86F6224308D6

Part of report reproduced here:

"The complaint alleges that, since at least 2001, MAISONNEUVE and KARACHINSKY have been involved in a fraudulent telemarketing operation whereby MAISONNEUVE, KARACHINSKY, and others working with them, pose as United States lottery officials telephoning American citizens across the United States. It is alleged that the telemarketers would falsely represent to the prospective victim that he or she had won a large lottery or sweepstake; however, the telemarketers would further inform the victim that, in order to collect the lottery or sweepstakes winnings, an advance payment would be required in order to cover taxes, insurance, or other administrative fees. It is alleged that the telemarketers would then direct the prospective victim to mail the supposed tax or fee to a mail drop address in Canada, or to wire the funds to offshore bank accounts or bank accounts in Canada. It is alleged that none of the victims ever received any lottery or sweepstakes payment. It is alleged that Americans all across the United States have been victimized by this scheme in a total amount exceeding $5 million."

Malick,
CEO, ARITHMA


Associate

Velot Group

Importance of the middle man
The middleman brings the business to the call center and helps companies save money. Without the middleman this process would be impossible. Please visit my company's site at www.velot.com or email me at mellamoian@aol.com to understand why the middleman is so crucial.

MD

Alliance Intech India Pvt. Ltd.

Outsourcing Middlemen............
Hi Vedula
I do appreciate your views of not wanting the Middlemen.
I would like to take each and every question of yours:
1. Can the call centres confide in these campaign providers and pay them a percentage of their revenue for having negotiated and struck the deal one time?
Ans: I would like to point out, since the market is too bad, survival of the fittest, these days to sustain in the business people often make use of such type of middlemen, where the access is fast, margins are low, as the middlemen takes the chunck of the business.

2. Why do clients willing to outsource do not approach call centres directly for talks rather than agree to deal with these middlemen?
Ans: The client does not have access to the clients, its majorly because of non-awareness of India, at macro level yes these companies are aware, but at micro level, they are skeptical to outsource their work to direct companies, therefore they repy on the middlemen.

3. The revenue sharing is something I do not understand- consulting fees and client introduction fees are ok. It is usually one time fee. Then why have these revenue sharing models?
Ans: The middlemen dictates the terms, normally the BPO work is for the tenure of 12 months, the middlemen secures his income.

4. Ultimately it is the call centre agents who sweat out and make a campaign ucessful. But who makes the money - the middlemen. they sell training, campaigns, CRM software , predictive dialers, everything - and make their commission out of it. At the end of one year the middlemen would have earned far more than the call centre. Why not redress this problem?
Ans: Although the campaigns are successful, at the macro level it means you have done your job, but you do not add value in any terms to the clients business (in its technical sence) its the middlemen who create hype, since you are always kept away from the clients, your access level to the Decision makers is very poor/or do not have any access. At this juncture, inspite of all your efforts, the middlemen are successful.

Middlemen are important, if they add value to your business, these are the people who give you business, they give you mandate of the projects. Try some good consultants who can help you out.

President

Starloop International

Middle Man ...:(Good/Bad):... Its Your LUCK !
Respected Members,

Hello, We operate an Off-Shore Call Center located here in Pakistan by the name of Starloop International. We have been in business for about a year, I have been reviewing the posts made to this discussion board quite keenly for few days and I would like to add few words of my humble opinion in this debate.

"Middle Man" OR "Broker" as you call them. They are like angels and often they are like devils. In every trade there are some good peoples and few bad apples. It’s your LUCK! Whether you get a Middle Man who goes for quality and awards campaign on merit, OR who runs for money and that's it!

I would like to share my experience here.... When we started our services i found a client after immense trial and tribulations and then we started doing a survey campaign for them we worked for them for about 2 months day in & day out and then the client ran away we suffered a loss of about 5000$, At that very point it became clear to me and my team that we needed a Middle Man badly... So that next time we engage in any campaign he can keep us safe in getting our payment on due time and get a more durable client for us. Its better if you utilize their services you do not need to work hard on the marketing side and you can easily get a pre-prepared pipeline of projects from them and you have more time to concentrate on your core product that is to provide Cost Effective Off-Shore Call Center Services!
Hence getting more satisfied customers at your doorstep and greater chances of getting repeat business.

Then i met this Great Guy! Decent keen towards quality but there was small issue.... Instead of sending campaigns my way he used to send me product details... He used to tell me I need to have that hardware installed in our facilities we need to improve that software update that and get that product from that particular vendor and if you buy things from him occasionally, you get a suitable campaign as a prize :) But mostly he used to stuff his pockets with large sum of money and we only got enough to cover our operational costs! Few of the middlemen are like this....

It’s basically a twisted road and a thin wire few people are able to drive on it easily and balance superbly on it but few are unable to do so. Since when you start your business you are eagerly looking for any campaign whether Inbound/Outbound which you can run and earn some decent profits and its during that you find some Great Guys Or Few Bad Apples!
But at the end of the day if you keep your head straight, keep your calm you end making profits for everyone.

In my humble opinion the debate here is not about whether Middle Man is Good/Bad infact it’s your personal experiences with them.... Like if someone found a really good guy he will say they are the BEST! If someone found a bad person he will say they are the DEVIL!

I think its better that you should approach a client on your own and do business with them that way you get an opportunity to study and understand the client requirements better and deploy a successful campaign for them. But if you are approaching a client via Middle Man its better that you do a conference with the company for whom you are actually running the campaign that way you can see whether that middle man is stuffing his pocket with money from both sides or is he a real deal.

Its good to do a deal on your own and even better if you are doing it via middle man, At the end it does not matters whether middle man is there or not its how you finalize things with the company or the middle man and play safe and get your required results.

And i would like to take this opportunity to thank the Call Center Voice Team that they provided us with such a wonderful place to discuss various topics and helped people like me to learn more about the various issues like what's good and what's bad.

Best Regards,
Masood
Starloop International
masood@starloop.com.pk
Cell: +92+333-4371862 (Call Anytime)
Fax: +1-510-380-2591

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really wanna reply to this
i was just browsing by and this topic caught my sight.. i genuinely wanna go thru all your posts and then make my post...m getting late for home now but i m sure i will make a post tomorrow..

great topic vedula....

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