I'm Not Knocking This

5:35 PM -- BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) says it is still going strong selling residential services with a door-to-door sales force. I've been keeping track of this because it's quite a change from the way big companies typically approach customers (annoying mail, telemarketing, etc.). Here's a quick update from a company spokesman:

Per your request, here is an update on our door-to-door program:

1. At this time, we have approximately 70 agents deployed.

2. We are currently in eight metros -- including Birmingham, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Louisville, Miami, Orlando and West Palm. Plans are to expand to all nine states in 2005.

3. We are looking to reach pure residential customers.

4. BellSouth is seeing positive feedback from this channel and we are exceeding our objectives. Customers are glad to see BellSouth in the neighborhoods -- taking a more proactive interest in customers' communications and entertainment needs. As products and services become more complex, this channel provides a more consultative sales approach.

  • Each rep is knocking on about 50 doors per day
  • We found that approx 22% of consumers welcomed agents into their homes, and 35% of those consumers purchased additional services from BellSouth.
5. This new Consumer sales channel has everything to do with competition and the need to be more proactive in getting to our customers. In today's hypercompetitive market, we can no longer rely on customers calling us. We must reach out to them and go meet them on their turf.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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