Selling Cable
Brief History of Cable TV
Selling Cable:
The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
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Brief History of Cable TV
Selling Cable:
The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
By Clint Symons
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
NOTICE
Mention of specific companies, organizations, or authorities in this book does
not imply endorsement by the publisher, nor does mention of specific
companies, organizations, or authorities imply that they endorse this book.
Internet addresses in this book were accurate at the time it went to press.
© 2008 by Clint Symons
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
photocopying, recording, or any other information storage and retrieval system,
without the written permission of the author and publisher.
Symons, Clint
ISBN -
144048466X
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- paperback
Brief History of Cable TV
This book is dedicated to the hard working people who pride
themselves each day on providing video, voice and data solutions to
homes across the world.
Special thanks to Shawn Broach, Michael Ortiz and Lionel Lomas for
providing their experiences in cable sales.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Brief History of Cable TV .................................................................. 10
Introduction to Direct Sales .............................................................. 14
An Old Practice with a New Purpose ..................................................... 14
Building Product Knowledge............................................................ 18
Video (Cable Video) .................................................................................... 19
Basic Programming ................................................................................ 19
Premium Channels ................................................................................ 20
HDTV Channels ..................................................................................... 21
VOD (Video on Demand) ....................................................................... 21
Digital Video Equipment ......................................................................... 22
Digital TV Receiver ........................................................................... 23
Digital Video Recorder (DVR) ........................................................... 24
Interactive Program Guide ..................................................................... 25
Data (Broadband Internet) .......................................................................... 28
Upstream & Downstream Speeds .......................................................... 28
Cable Modem ......................................................................................... 30
Voice (Digital Phone/VoIP) ......................................................................... 34
Local & Long Distance Calling ............................................................... 35
Security Alarm Systems ......................................................................... 36
Porting Telephone Numbers .................................................................. 36
Pricing & Promotional Offers ...................................................................... 38
Product Bundles or Triple Play Offers .................................................... 38
Dish Win Back Incentives ...................................................................... 39
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Brief History of Cable TV
Rate Card Pricing ................................................................................... 40
Installation & Activation Fees ................................................................. 42
Gaining Competitor Knowledge .................................................................. 44
Who Is The Competition? ...................................................................... 44
Collecting Competitive Collateral ........................................................... 47
Online Research .................................................................................... 48
Dissecting Competitive Offers ................................................................ 48
Chapter review............................................................................................ 50
Field Process Knowledge ................................................................. 56
Credit Scoring ............................................................................................. 56
Identification Check ................................................................................ 57
Past Due Balance .................................................................................. 58
Charges Associated with Credit Score .................................................. 59
Amnesty Programs ................................................................................ 59
Processing a Sales Order ........................................................................... 60
Sales Order Forms ................................................................................. 60
Calling In Sales Orders .......................................................................... 61
Accepting Payment ................................................................................ 61
Schedule Installation ................................................................................... 62
Review Order .............................................................................................. 62
Follow Up .................................................................................................... 63
Managing Turf (Nodes)...................................................................... 64
Identify Sales Territory ................................................................................ 65
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
SFU (Single Family Units) ...................................................................... 65
MDU (Multi-Dwelling Units) .................................................................... 66
Reviewing Street Sheets ........................................................................ 66
Contact Ratio ......................................................................................... 66
Technical Comprehension ................................................................ 70
Cable Infrastructure .................................................................................... 70
Installer Ride Day ....................................................................................... 72
Blind Audit Process ................................................................................ 73
Sales Organization ............................................................................ 76
Building a Hot List ....................................................................................... 77
Sales Collateral........................................................................................... 79
Channel Lineup ...................................................................................... 79
Brochures............................................................................................... 80
Door Hangers vs. Sticky Notes .............................................................. 84
Personalized Handouts .......................................................................... 85
Presentation & Preparation ......................................................................... 87
Material Preparation ............................................................................... 88
Logistics ................................................................................................. 88
Scheduled Appointments ....................................................................... 89
Learning the Sales Cycle .................................................................. 92
Introduction/Greeting .................................................................................. 92
Engaging with Touch Points .................................................................. 93
Shock Value ........................................................................................... 95
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Brief History of Cable TV
Discovery Process ...................................................................................... 96
Discovery Questions .............................................................................. 97
Educating Prospects ................................................................................. 101
Educational Materials ........................................................................... 103
Closing the Sale........................................................................................ 104
Summarizing the Sale .......................................................................... 105
Ask for the Sale .................................................................................... 106
Review Order ....................................................................................... 107
Requesting Referrals ........................................................................... 108
Creating a Positive Attitude ............................................................ 110
Positive Habit Forming ......................................................................... 111
Handling Rejection ............................................................................... 112
Setting Sales Goals .................................................................................. 113
Chapter Review ........................................................................................ 117
Sales Knowledge ...................................................................................... 122
Roll Playing ............................................................................................... 126
Glossary of Terms ........................................................................... 128
Index ................................................................................................. 134
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
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Brief History of Cable TV
Brief History of Cable TV
Cable television was formed in Pennsylvania during 1948.
Prior to being called "cable television", the method was
known as Community Antenna Television or CATV.
CATV was started by John and Margaret Walson in the
spring of 1948. The Walson’s formed the CATV to
enhance poor reception of over-the-air television signals in
mountainous and remote areas. Antennas were erected
on mountain tops or other high points, and homes were
connected to the towers to receive the broadcast signals.
By the early 50's there were 70 cable systems nationwide
serving more than 14,000 paid subscribers. Later that
decade cable companies began to change focus to
providing new programming choices. Within ten years
there were almost 800 cable systems serving 850,000
subscribers.
In 1972 Charles Dolan and Gerald Levin of Sterling
Manhattan Cable launched HBO (Home Box Office), which
was the first pay-tv network. This type of programming led
to the use of a national satellite distribution system.
Satellites changed the business and broadcast reach
dramatically so by the end of the 80's nearly 53 million
households were cable subscribers.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
By the end of the 90's almost 7 of every 10 households
subscribed to cable television.
As cable grew in
popularity, so did the companies providing the service.
Larger cable companies, referred to as MSO's (Multiple
System Operators), had established franchises in multiple
locations.
The new millennium offered unique opportunities with
technology advancements. Cable companies increased
efforts to enhance their network infrastructure by investing
$65 billion to build higher capacity hybrid networks of fiber
optic and coaxial cable. These ―broadband‖ networks
could provide multichannel video, two-way voice, highspeed Internet access, and high definition and advanced
digital video services all from a single wire to the home.
Today cable operators with two-way plant have expanded
growth in ―broadband‖ data. Cable has become the
technology of choice, rivaling DSL (digital subscriber line)
service, offered by phone companies.
With digital television advancements cable offers
deployment of High-Definition Television (HDTV), Videoon-Demand (VOD), digital cable, and other advanced
services. Competitive digital phone service gained
momentum as cable introduced Voice over Internet
Protocol (VoIP) telephone services.
The industry continues to thrive with cable companies
focusing on providing customers video, voice and data
solutions.
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Brief History of Cable TV
Top 25 Cable Providers by Subscriber Totals
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
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MSO
Subscribers
Comcast Communications
Time Warner Cable
Cox Communications(e)
Charter Communications
Cablevision Systems
Bright House Networks LLC(e)
Mediacom LLC
Suddenlink Communications(s)
CableOne
Insight Communications
RCN Corp.
WideOpenWest Networks(e)
Bresnan Communications(e)
Service Electric(e)
Atlantic Broadband
Armstrong Group of Co.
Knology Holdings
Midcontinent Communications
Blue Ridge Communications(e)
Broadstripe(e)
General Communication
Buckeye CableSystem(e)
MetroCast Cablevision(e)
WaveDivision Holdings
MidOcean Partners (e)
24,553,000
13,297,000
5,403,740
5,162,000
3,132,000
2,338,103
1.321,000
1,300,000
701,834
692,800
363,000
361,241
299,803
288,624
285,471
236,187
230,086
201,947
179,772
157,244
148,011
146,726
143,608
141,912
138,810
Source: National Cable & Telecommunications Association as of July 2008
(e)= Estimate
(s)= Source: Operator
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Introduction to Direct Sales
Introduction to Direct Sales
The practice of direct sales has been around for thousands
of years. People-to-people selling is a process that offers
compensation for goods or services. Direct sales people
have been referred to as face-to-face sellers, door-to-door
or D2D sales people. They’ve been effective positions for
sales people and the companies they represent by
introducing their product and services to the consumer.
Traditionally products such as books, cleaning supplies,
house wares and even cosmetics have been pitched to
those in the convenience of their own home.
Today direct sales still exists, providing consumers with a
variety of different products and services. Companies like
Stanley Steamer® and Schwan’s Home Service® are just
a few who have benefitted over the years from the direct
sales approach. The concept of impulse buying has
sparked interest again for cable providers who have
jumpstarted their direct sales efforts over the last couple
years
An Old Practice with a New Purpose
Even though cable providers produce more sales through
conventional marketing efforts such as radio, television
and direct mailings, there has been a new surge in direct
selling. What cable providers have found is well trained
and motivated direct sales people can combat competition
by converting satellite customers to cable customers. By
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
placing bounties on Dish Network™ and Direct TV®
customers, the cable industry has seen an incredible
amount of new customer growth over the last couple
years. They’ve even transitioned these efforts into their
traditional marketing tactics with ―Dump the Dish‖ oriented
campaigns.
In the past market share has been divided by cable
providers and satellite providers for consumer choices for
video. Today in many markets customers have another
option to choose from in fiber. With companies like
AT&T® offering U-verse, and Verizon FiOS making up
approximately 4% of video customers, it’s crucial for cable
providers to expand their sales efforts. Because of this
there has been an increase in demand for direct sales
positions within the cable industry nationwide.
The prime responsibility for a direct sales representative in
the cable industry is sell video, voice and data products.
This is accomplished by canvassing a specified area and
knocking on doors of households to engage residents and
sell them cable services. Each day thousands of sales
people travel door to door in communities representing
cable providers. Many of the top ten cable companies
use direct sales people to sell their services including
Comcast®, Time Warner Cable™, Cox®, Charter Cable®,
Mediacom® and Insight.
Benefits of direct selling include freedom to manage time
and work representing a professional company that
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Introduction to Direct Sales
provides value added services through cutting-edge
technology. Earning potential in these positions can also
be favorable. Successful representatives can make more
than $150,000 each year.
Of course there are challenges faced by these sales
people each day including weather, competition, long
hours and sales rejection.
To be successful in direct sales an individual must
possess many attributes including:
Positive Attitude
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Possess an outgoing personality
Overcome objection and handle rejection
Be friendly, courteous and helpful
Organizational Skills
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Track and manage leads effectively
Efficient with time management
Strong planning and preparation
Work Ethic
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The drive to succeed
Relentless pursuit to improve
Continuous learning and development
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Building Product Knowledge
Building Product Knowledge
Understanding What You’re Selling
Understanding product knowledge is crucial for any direct
sales representative. Each direct sales rep must first
understand what they are trying to sell and have product
knowledge of the items offered. A direct sales rep must
know what things do (the features) and how things work,
and why is it of value (the benefits).
It is important that a direct sales rep express to
prospective customers why they would subscribe to the
cable services. What benefits will it provide to the
subscriber? How will it improve their lives? Will the service
save them time and money, and if so how much?
Understanding product knowledge builds confidence within
each sales person so they may provide answers on the fly
to consumer questions. By building product knowledge a
direct sales representative gains selling confidence.
The best way to build product knowledge is by
understanding the what, where, when, how and why of the
cable products and services offered.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Video (Cable Video)
 Basic Programming
 Premiums & HDTV
 VOD (Video on Demand)
 Digital Video Equipment
Providing video has been the staple since the cable
industry inception. As its core product, video services
continue to be a prime focus for MSO’s seeking to gain
market share over competitors. By expanding
programming, high definition channels and enhanced
technologies, such as VOD, cable providers continue to
grow their video offerings.
Basic Programming
Basic cable is the primary level of service offered for
subscription. This programming may include retransmitted
broadcast signals as well as local, regional and national
cable network and public access programming.
Public Access Channels are channels set aside by a cable
operator for use by the public, educational institutions,
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Building Product Knowledge
local governments, and commercial interests unaffiliated
with the operator.
Basic service offerings at the system level may be offered
in multiple tiers. Cable providers offer tiers that include
additional national channels such as The Discovery
Channel®, USA Network, TNT, A&E, The Weather
Channel®, MTV, VH-1 and more.
These tiers are
structured to provide additional programming for higher
rates of subscription.
Premium Channels
Premium channels are often referred to as pay channels or
pay-tv. They represent programming that a consumer
must pay additional money to subscribe and are not part of
a basic cable package unless bundled in a promotion.
The demand for these premium channels can be high
because of the programming offered. Over the last few
years many original programs have been created and
produced exclusively for these premium channels which
require subscription access to view. Shows such as The
Sopranos, Dexter and Weeds have all originated
exclusively on premium channels.
In addition to premium channels there is also pay–perview, often called PPV, channels. This is a type of pay-tv
where viewers are charged each time they watch a special
event or movie being broadcast.
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HDTV Channels
High Definition Television (HDTV) provides service to
digital televisions which offers twice the resolution, wider
screens, higher sound and color than the standard format.
With the addition of this technology the demand from
viewers of HD programming has increased.
Cable
providers can offer select HD channels within their digital
programming packages. The amount of HD programming
is often determined by the amount of the digital cable
package a subscriber selects. Some providers have even
provided HD only tiers where subscribers only receive HD
programs through their cable service.
Often network programs will carry an ―HD‖ caption within
their logo to identify the availability. There are over one
hundred channels that offer HDTV within their
programming including local, regional and national
networks.
VOD (Video on Demand)
Video on demand provides viewers a unique way to watch
films and television programs through their digital
receivers. Depending on the cable provider, the service
can provide access to a wide collection of material and
allow the viewer to rewind, pause and fast forward the
program, just like a DVD.
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Video on demand originated as a pay-per-view system.
Now, Video on Demand is offered by most major cable
and network systems and often provides free access to
thousands of previously shown television programs and
movies as part of tiered packages. Video on demand does
still charge fees for specific broadcasts which usually
include the latest film releases.
Video on demand works in two fashions. The programs
may either be streamed or downloaded to the digital
receiver. The streaming system enables viewers to watch
the program as it is being downloaded. The downloaded
option stores the program within the digital receiver for
later viewing.
A direct sales representative should know what type of
technology is offered when using Video on Demand. It is
also important to understand what limitations if any are
placed on the footprint of the cable provider. Even though
a provider may offer Video on Demand, the service may
not be available to all markets served.
Digital Video Equipment
Each MSO uses different brands and models of products.
A direct sales rep should obtain documentation on features
and compatibility of products their cable company offers
including digital receivers, digital video recording units and
modems. The following products will provide a basic
understanding of features offered to customers.
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Digital TV Receiver
The use of a digital receiver provides cable companies a
way to broadcast digital cable. These receivers act as a
delivery system feeding power from the cable provider to a
subscriber’s television.
DCT6200 Analog/Digital, HDTV Set-top
The Motorola DCT6200 delivers high definition programming
and interactive digital cable. It supports applications, graphics
and typical digital TV functionality: including the interactive
program guide (IPG), video on demand (VOD), and commercialfree music.
Key Features
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MPEG-2 digital video processor
Integrated high definition
DVI and dual 1394 (DTV) digital connectors
Built-in MPEG analog encoder
Two 54-860MHz Tuners
800 MIPS, RISC-based microprocessor
32 bit, 2-D / 3-D graphics
Analog/digital video scaling (Picture in Graphics)
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Building Product Knowledge
(Example shown)
Source: Motorola, Inc. (www.motorola.com)
Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
The use of a digital video recorder provides cable
companies a way to broadcast digital cable. The recorder
acts as a delivery system feeding power from the cable
provider to a subscriber’s television and allows digital
recording of programs.
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DCT6400 Analog/Digital, HDTV, DVR Series
This DVR set-top series combines the features of digital cable
such as: programming options, interactive program guides
(IPG), video on demand (VOD), and commercial-free, CD quality
music — with dual-tuner, digital video recording (DVR) for watch
and record capability as well as high definition television
(HDTV).
Key Features
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Decodes high definition video
Outputs HDTV in multiple video modes
Provides dual tuner DVR functionality to pause and
time shift live video
Includes a built in DOCSIS cable modem for IP
services
(Example shown)
Source: Motorola, Inc. (www.motorola.com)
Interactive Program Guide
An interactive program guide (IPG), or electronic program
guide (EPG) is an on-screen guide to cable programming,
allowing a viewer to navigate, select, and view content by
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Building Product Knowledge
time, title, channel, genre, etc. by remote control. When
used with a DVR, a viewer can locate programs they wish
to view and by selecting the record option save the
program to their DVR storage system for later use.
(Example interactive program guide)
Direct sales reps should possess intimate knowledge of
their cable provider’s IPG and remote control for both
digital receiver and digital recorder units. If subscribed to
cable provider service a direct sales rep can spend time at
home learning the features. If a rep is not a subscriber,
they should spend time using a company television to
review and become familiar with the IPG and remotes.
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Building Product Knowledge
Data (Broadband Internet)
 Upstream & Downstream Speeds
 Cable Modem
Cable Internet is a form of broadband Internet access that
uses the cable provider's infrastructure including digital
lines and fiber optic networks, to provide access to
subscribers. Similar to how DSL piggy backs on the
telephone network, cable internet is layered on top of the
existing cable television network infrastructure and is one
of the most popular forms of residential Internet access.
Upstream & Downstream Speeds
The downstream is the speed a user can download data
such as web pages, digital photographs, music and even
movies. Cable broadband can provide users bit rates as
high as 50 megabits per second depending on the
provider.
Most cable providers offer two to twenty
megabits for consumers’, the actual speeds can depend
on a number of variables including usage of the internet
and computer used. The upstream is how fast a user can
upload data from their computer. Most cable users
experience rates ranging from 384Kbit/s to 20Mbit/s
depending on their cable provider.
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Broadband cable Internet access requires a cable modem
at the customer premises and a CMTS (Cable Modem
Termination System) usually located at the headend. The
two are connected by either coaxial cable or Hybrid Fiber
Coaxial plant.
Most cable providers offer some form of Internet access
only subscriptions.
This means that customers can
purchase the high speed service without tying it to a cable
television subscription. Cable providers usually charge
higher rates than if one bundles the broadband service
with a video and voice subscription.
Subscribers will often use wireless routers to connect
multiple computers in their home. Cable providers are
witnessing the benefits in this technology and have begun
to offer wireless routers within their internet packages.
(Example router)
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Building Product Knowledge
Cable Modem
The use of cable modems enable companies to provide
subscribers with high speed internet access. These
modems act as a delivery system feeding power from the
cable provider to a subscriber’s computer.
Selling Features
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Always on, always connected
No telephone line needed
Voice and data from one unit and one broadband
connection.
Real-time gaming access
Faster than dial-up accounts
Download music and video formats within a few
seconds.
Save time and money without having to wait for
content to be downloaded from the internet.
(Example modem shown)
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Motorola SURFboard® Cable Modem SB5120
By utilizing the capacity of the Cable TV network,
SURFboard® SB5120 Cable Modem can access
Internet for surfing, downloading, working, shopping
gaming - at speeds up to 100 times faster than
traditional 28.8k analog phone modems*.
this
the
and
with
The use of dual cable modems, often called MTA’s, enable
companies to provide subscribers with high speed internet
access and VoIP services. These modems act as a
delivery system feeding power from the cable provider to a
subscriber’s computer and phone system.
*Actual speeds will vary, and are often less than the
maximum possible. Upload and download speeds are
affected by several factors including, but not limited to:
network traffic and services offered by your cable operator
or broadband service provider, computer equipment, type
of server, number of connections to server, and availability
of Internet router(s).
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Building Product Knowledge
(Source: Motorola® www.motorola.com)
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Building Product Knowledge
Voice (Digital Phone/VoIP)
 Local & Long Distance Calling
 Security Alarms Systems
 Porting Phone Numbers
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a term for delivering
voice communications over the Internet or other packetswitched networks. Other terms synonymous with VoIP
included Voice over Internet (VOI), IP telephony and
Internet telephony. VoIP systems usually communicate
with the public switched telephone network (PSTN)
allowing for transparent phone communications.
VoIP advantages include reducing communication and
infrastructure costs by routing phone calls over existing
data networks and avoiding duplicate network systems.
VoIP transmits telephony speech as digital audio
packetized in small units of typically tens of milliseconds of
speech, and encapsulated in a packet stream over IP.
There is more than one option for VoIP installation. A
digital VoIP can bypass all analog lines providing wireless
service to subscriber’s phones. A wireless phone system
is set up with the base unit connected to a dual-modem
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(provides Internet to computer and VoIP to phone) that
provides the phone system digital service.
How VoIP Works
(Example basic diagram)
Analog VoIP works with a subscriber’s standard phone
jacks and phone lines allowing the digital signal to travel
through the modem (ATA) and transmit packets via
internet. This service often requires a loop to be placed at
the D-mark of the subscriber’s phone base.
Local & Long Distance Calling
Because of the technology cable providers can offer local
and long distance calling at a considerably low rate. Many
cable providers offer both local and long distance for free
within their packages. Since phone calls are transmitted in
digital form through internet connection, subscribers avoid
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Building Product Knowledge
paying traditional phone company fees since their service
is bypassed.
Depending on the cable provider the long distance
coverage may vary. Some providers offer unlimited calling
to all of the United States, where some only offer to the
continental US.
Others may include unlimited long
distance service to Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Security Alarm Systems
Not all VoIP technology supports residential security alarm
systems. This information should be provided to a
potential customer prior to finalizing any sale transaction.
Usually technical installers will test the alarm system with
the alarm company during installation, but no guarantee
the system will work through the VoIP technology.
Porting Telephone Numbers
Porting a telephone number is referred to as Local number
portability, (LNP) for fixed lines, which is the ability to
transfer either an existing fixed-line telephone number.
These numbers are assigned by a local exchange carrier
(LEC) and can be reassigned to another carrier. This
porting option means that a new subscriber can maintain
their previous phone number when transferring to the VoIP
phone service.
Depending on the cable provider’s
infrastructure, porting capabilities may be limited. Most
major MSO's now have porting capabilities nation-wide.
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Building Product Knowledge
Pricing & Promotional Offers
 Product Bundles or Triple Play Offers
 Dish Win Back Incentives
 Rate Card Pricing
 Installation & Activation Fees
Promotional pricing is different than rate card. Cable
companies provide direct sales department’s special
promotional pricing to assist them when trying to sell. The
length of a promotion can vary. Some cable providers will
offer promotions for six months or even a year, while
others change promotions every thirty days.
Product Bundles or Triple Play Offers
Cable providers try and promote bundled products to
provide video, voice and data to every household. By
bundling the products, cable providers are able to
generate more revenue than subscribers only paying for a
single product, like a traditional video subscription.
Bundling consists of tying two or three cable products
together usually in any combination. A bundle could
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
consist of video and data; video and phone; or data and
phone. The goal is sell all three video, voice and data,
services, commonly called the triple play, to each
household.
An advantage of bundling or purchasing a triple play is the
subscriber savings vs. purchasing single products. Cable
providers have offered six month or year-long promotions
of all three services for $89 or less. A direct sales rep
needs to be aware of the bundled promotions their
company offers, but also the expiration date of the
promotional pricing.
It is also important to know the length of the promotion.
For example, a promotion may only be sold for thirty days,
yet if a customer subscribes, the promotional pricing may
be good for a year.
Dish Win Back Incentives
Since the primary video competitor of cable companies
has been Dish Network™ and Direct TV®, sales bounties
are often awarded to direct sales representatives who
convert satellite customers to cable. This means cable
companies will often pay additional monies to direct sales
people if they can convince customers to drop their
satellite service and subscribe to cable.
Some cable providers have taken the challenge a step
further and provided new subscribers with credits to offset
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Building Product Knowledge
any penalties a customer may incur for early cancellation
of a satellite contract. Some of these credits have been
valued as high as $300 towards their cable bill.
To take advantage of these offers the direct sales rep must
usually provide some form of proof that the customer was
a satellite subscriber. This is usually in the form of an
invoice or credit card statement. The customer credit is
usually qualified with a copy of the satellite contract and
penalty invoice associated.
Rate Card Pricing
Understanding the rate card pricing is important for direct
sales staff. Often times a customer will ask what the price
will be for the services once a promotional offer ends.
Depending on the cable provider, the promotional offer
may go directly to rate card pricing, or maybe a
percentage increase on each product.
Most cable providers increase their rate card pricing on an
annual basis and usually in January or February of each
year. The average rate of increase is between 6-9% of
video, voice and data services. Rate card pricing can be
as high as 40% above promotional offers.
Unless bundled in a promotion, most cable companies do
not offer anything but rate card for their broadcast basic or
premium channel offerings.
(Example Pricing Chart)
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Subscription
Service
Promotional
Pricing
Promotional
Expiration
Standard Rate
Fee
Broadcast
Basic Cable
$10.21
N/A
$10.21
Expanded
Basic Cable
$54.00
N/A
$54.00
Digital Tier 1
$39.99
7/1/2009
$56.00
Digital Tier 2
$49.00
7/1/2009
$65.00
Digital Tier 3
$59.00
7/1/2009
$79.00
5MB
Broadband
$35.00
3/30/2009
$45.00
10MB
Broadband
$55.00
N/A
$55.00
VoIP Phone
Service
$19.99
5/31/2009
$38.00
Triple Play Offer
Digital Tier 1, 5MB Broadband & VoIP for $99.00
Offer Expires 3/31/2009
Depending on location and franchise agreements
broadcast basic charges vary.
Certain cities or
geographical areas within a cable provider’s footprint can
have different rates for their basic cable service. This can
be important for direct sales representatives selling basic
cable service in those locations to avoid misquoting. To
attempt to eliminate confusion some cable providers will
offer expanded basic for the same rate across the board,
even if the broadcast basic is dollars higher in specific
locations.
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Building Product Knowledge
Installation & Activation Fees
Each cable provider has their own set of rules when it
comes to installation or activation fees. Some companies
provide free installation and waive activation fees for their
direct sales department to facilitate the impulse purchase.
Of course the specifics fluctuate regarding how many
outlets are covered in the free installation or if there are
additional charges to wall fish. It’s imperative that direct
sales people educate themselves on the amount of outlets
covered and what an additional outlet would cost. With
technical training a direct sales rep can estimate if a wall
fish will be needed and let the customer know that an
additional cost may be incurred.
The best way a direct sales rep can handle this is by
explaining to the customer the possibility of the additional
charges, but not quoting them the amount. This should be
covered by the installer prior to doing any work inside the
customer’s home.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
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Building Product Knowledge
Gaining Competitor Knowledge
 Who Is the Competition?
 Collecting Competitive Collateral
 Online Research
 Dissecting Competitive Offers
The old adage ―keep your friends close and your enemies
closer‖ is true when it come to understanding competitive
knowledge. To gain a competitive edge a direct sales
representative must know as much about the competitor
as they do about their own company. This can be very
challenging since technology advancements appear
frequently, thus changing products and services offered.
Who Is The Competition?
The first step in gaining competitive knowledge is to
identifying the competition. Who is the competition? What
do they offer? Where do they provide services? How
competitive is their service? How competitive is their
pricing?
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Method: Satellite
Services: Video
Coverage: Nation-wide coverage in both
rural and urban markets.
Direct TV®
Direct TV® is a national satellite video provider with
multiple high definition channel offerings. The company
possesses exclusivity of the Sunday Ticket, which offers
every National Football League game televised. The
company also provides up to one hundred high definition
channels when local, regional and national networks are
included. Digital video recorders may also be provided
through this service. Video packages range in price from
approximately $30 to $100.
Method: Satellite
Services: Video
Coverage: Nation-wide coverage in both
rural and urban markets.
Dish Network™
Dish Network™ is a national satellite video provider with
over one hundred high definition channel offerings when
local, regional and national networks are included. The
company provides premium channels, sporting events and
major network programming. Digital video recorders may
also be provided through this service. Video packages
range in price from approximately $30 to $100.
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Building Product Knowledge
Method: Fiber
Services: Video, voice and data
Coverage: Nation-wide with focused on
major markets.
AT&T U-verse
AT&T U-verse provides video, voice and data with over 75
high definition channels, VOD and DVR. The internet
service offers download speeds of up to 18Mbs. Digital
video recorders may also be provided through this service.
Bundle packs range from $69 for 2 products to $145 for
three product offers. In addition to video, voice and data
offerings, AT&T may also offer their cellular phone service
within their U-verse packages.
Method: Fiber
Services: Video, voice and data
Coverage: Nation-wide with focused on
major markets.
Verizon FiOS
Verizon FiOS provides video, voice and data with up to
100 high definition channels, VOD and DVR. The internet
service offers download speeds of up to 30-50Mbs
depending on area. Digital video recorders may also be
provided through this service. Video packages starting at
$47 and Triple play packages start at $79 a month. In
addition to video, voice and data offerings, may also offer
their cellular phone service within their Verizon packages.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Once the information is collected a comparison can be
made of products and services offered. The comparison
should view not only price, but also features available on
all areas of service including video, voice and data.
By comparing the competition side by side with the cable
provider offering, a direct sales representative can
determine a sales strategy to compete against each
competitor. This knowledge is crucial when in discussion
with potential customers. Customers may ask about how
a cable company stacks up against the competition.
Collecting Competitive Collateral
Cable competitors often market using direct mail sent
directly to consumers’ homes. Mailers can also be
embedded in newspapers similar to direct mail collateral.
Direct sales reps should collect as much of this material as
they can when presented during field sales.
Radio and television commercials are also a good way to
stay in sync with what offer the competitor’s are providing
consumers. Brochures and handouts with competitive
information may also be located at electronic stores and
kiosks at local malls.
This information is valuable because the direct sales rep
can now use the competitive information within their sales
strategy. The information should also be shared with their
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Building Product Knowledge
supervisor or manager to review. This can have a
significant impact on how to counteract competitive offers.
Online Research
Using the internet as away to stay in touch with the
competition can prove valuable for direct sales people. In
addition to the major satellite providers and depending on
markets, fiber providers, there are also additional
companies to seek out. These include internet service
providers, telephone companies, and competitive cable
providers if in a cable overlay market.
Below is a list of websites of some major cable competitors
that provide promotional information online.
www.directv.com
www.verizon.com (FiOS)
www.qwest.com
www.hughesnet.com
www.vonage.com
www.aol.com
www.dishnetwork.com
www.att.com (U-verse)
www.tdstelecom.com
www.wildblue.com
www.skype.com
www.netzero.net
Dissecting Competitive Offers
Understanding both the competition strength and
weakness can help overcome the loss of a sale. This can
be accomplished by breaking down or dissecting the
service and offer of each competitor. By making a list, a
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
direct sales rep can study and commit to memory the
strengths and weaknesses each competitor poses.
Some criteria to include in comparison:












Pricing for low to high video offering
Programming and HD channels offered
Exclusive Programming (Cable Access)
Download & upload speeds
Data transfer caps
Long distance limitations
Cost for service after promotion
Locally provided customer service
Installation or activation fees
Cost for digital receiver, DVR or modem
Contracts or penalty fees
Service charges if service is interrupted
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Building Product Knowledge
Chapter review
This section is to determine the knowledge gained from
the previous chapter. If a direct sales rep is unable to
provide an answer to any of the questions, they should
make note and research to locate the correct information.
Product Knowledge Quiz
1. How much is broadcast basic cable service?
____________________________________
2. How many digital tiers can be offered to
subscribers?
____________________________________
3. Can a premium channel be sold to a basic analog
customer?
_____________________________________
4. How much is HBO separate from a package?
_____________________________________
5. How many HD channels are offered?
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
_____________________________________
6. Which HD Channels are offered in each package?
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
7. Does a customer need a special digital receiver to
view the HD programming?
_____________________________________
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Building Product Knowledge
8. How many types of HD digital receivers can be
offered to a customer? List them.
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
9. What is the monthly fee for a DVR?
_____________________________________
10. How much for an additional DVR?
_____________________________________
11. Will the customer be able to wirelessly receive
signal to each home computer?
_____________________________________
12. How fast is the download speed?
_____________________________________
13. Is there a cap on downloading files such as music
and movies?
_____________________________________
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
14. Will the cable internet work with any computer?
_____________________________________
15. Can a subscriber port their number to the new
cable phone system?
_____________________________________
16. Is there a fee associated with phone porting? If so,
how much is the cost?
_____________________________________
17. What areas of the United States can a subscriber
call without incurring long distance charges?
_____________________________________
18. If a subscriber calls outside the free long distance
range, how much will they be charged each
minute?
_____________________________________
19. Will the cable digital phone system work with a ―Life
Alert‖ system?
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Building Product Knowledge
_____________________________________
20. If electricity goes out of a subscriber home will they
still have access to their digital phone system?
_____________________________________
21. What video package is offered with the triple play?
_____________________________________
22. How much is the triple play offer and how long is
the promotion?
_____________________________________
23. Can a subscriber elect to bundle two products?
_____________________________________
24. Is there a contract associated with the subscriber
service(s)?
_____________________________________
25. What cable access programs are available?
_____________________________________
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
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Field Process Knowledge
Field Process Knowledge
Comprehensive Description of Responsibilities
 Credit Scoring
 Processing a Sales Order
 Schedule Installation
 Review Sales Order
Direct sales representatives are expected to carry out an
array of tasks when selling in the field. Each cable
provider has specific policies and procedures that are
required to be followed. These are guidelines that help
protect the direct sales rep, customer and company. In
addition, these guidelines offer support and assist in
helping direct sales reps achieve their sales goals.
Credit Scoring
Cable providers use credit scoring as means of protecting
their company assets.
Equipment such as digital
receivers, digital video recorders and modems can cost
hundreds of dollars. By establishing a credit scoring
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
procedure cable companies can
subscriber’s bill payment history.
shed
light
on
a
Credit scoring agencies such as Equifax®, TransUnion®,
and Experian, are leveraged to provide cable companies
with this information. Some cable providers will use all
three of these agencies. The intent is to determine the
amount of risk a provider may associate with a subscriber
depending on their credit score.
Identification Check
To perform a credit score through these agencies a
subscriber’s social security number must be provided. In
addition, cable providers require most direct sales reps to
confirm a prospects identity with both a social security card
and state issued identification card or driver’s license.
Depending on the provider, these confirmations can be as
simple as a direct sales representative’s acknowledgment
of viewing the information, or required to submit
photocopies of the identification when turning in sales
orders.
Historically cable companies have experienced a high
volume of identity fraud with past subscribers. Individuals
would provide cable companies with false names, social
security numbers and other forms of identification. In
addition to the sales review process, most cable providers
also require identification to be shown to an installation
technician prior to install.
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Field Process Knowledge
Over the years the cable companies have strengthened
their confirmation process by taking additional steps to
prevent or reduce identity fraud from occurring. If a direct
sales representative is faced with a potential customer
who refuses to show identification they should contact their
supervisor prior to placing a sales order. Although some
customers are concerned with showing their identification
for legitimate reasons, there are others who refuse
because of owing past due or fear of low credit scoring.
Past Due Balance
With the information provided for running credit scores a
cable company also checks for any past history of the
prospect. Sometimes the information provided is cross
referenced through software that shows a past due
amount owed by the prospect from a prior service date.
This means the prospect a direct sales rep is attempting to
sell has been a customer in the past. If a past due amount
is showing in the customer history there are several
possibilities as to why the amount is posted to an account.
The customer could have voluntarily asked to disconnect
service, yet didn’t pay their final bill. The customer could
have voluntarily asked to disconnect service, yet failed to
return company equipment which incurred charges on their
account. Some equipment such as DVR’s can post
amounts as high as $500. The customer could have been
disconnected because of non-payment and the amount
was never collected.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Depending on the length of time between disconnect and
re-establishing contact a direct sales rep may need to
investigate with the prior customer to establish reasoning
for any past due activity on account.
Charges Associated with Credit Score
To offset the risk of churn or no-pay disconnects, cable
providers often associate an installation and/or activation
fee to subscribers who return a low credit score. These
fees are usually required prior to installation of any
subscriber service.
Amnesty Programs
To increase subscriber base some cable providers will
institute an amnesty program. These programs have been
designed as a way for cable providers to reach out to past
customers whom have been disconnected due to nonpayment. Amnesty allows the former customers with past
debt the ability to subscribe to cable services.
There are different variations of the amnesty program.
Some include restricting past debt customers to providing
basic only service until past due is paid in full. This
enables past debt customers to still subscribe to service
while the cable provider eliminates risk from loss of digital
equipment. Other programs will erase a portion or entire
debt depending on criteria such as amount owed or time
elapsed.
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Field Process Knowledge
Processing a Sales Order
Not every cable provider is the same when it comes to
processing sales orders. Some companies require a
customer’s signature on every order.
Some cable
companies provide internet order forms for their reps vs.
carbon copy forms.
The following pages include
processes used by most major cable providers, but each
direct sales rep should check with their supervisor to
confirm their company procedures.
Sales Order Forms
Sales order forms are provided as a guide to direct sales
reps to ensure that all needed information is completed.
The forms also act as confirmation to both the cable
provider and subscriber of services requested. Sales
order forms provide areas of information to be completed
including customer name, address, phone number as well
as services ordered, pricing and installation date and time.
Direct sales representatives should make sure that all of
the information on a sales order form is completed in full.
It is also important that the forms are legible for later
reference. Sales orders are often in duplicate or triplicate
form so copies can be separated and distributed to specific
locations including sales department, technical operations
and customer.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Calling In Sales Orders
Since most MSO’s use credit scoring, a sales support
center is usually made available. These support centers
often provide a dedicated phone number for direct sales.
The support center primarily focuses on supporting direct
sales orders by processing credit scoring, sales order
entry and scheduling availability.
Depending on the size and volume of the support center
and demand for support, there may be stress placed on
time per call. In these cases companies usually require
that a direct sales rep have all the information completed
on a sales order prior to calling in an order. This practice
can help expedite orders and conserve time for each order
processed.
Accepting Payment
Methods of payment are determined by each cable
provider. Major credit cards, check and cash are the
primary forms used. Some companies and or divisions of
companies have strict policies requiring direct sales
representatives to only accept checks and/or process
credit cards as forms of payment. This eliminates the
chance of misplacing customer cash from a transaction.
A good practice is to write the check number somewhere
visible on each sales order form for tracking.
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Field Process Knowledge
Schedule Installation
Prior to requesting an installation date a direct sales rep
should have the customer provide a couple dates and
times they could be available. This saves time and
confusion when trying schedule out. Once a direct sales
rep has these dates they should be able to call a support
center and get an order scheduled. Some cable providers
have same day or instant installs programs in place. This
enables a direct sales rep to have a new subscriber
installed the same day of the sale.
Cable technicians usually perform installations from a work
order. These work orders include the services a customer
ordered, number of outlets to be activated and any notes
regarding special requests. A direct sales rep should
include any notes that a customer requests when calling in
the sale. This could include requesting that the technician
call ahead prior to arrival; or ask that they not parking in a
driveway, etc.. This type of communication can assist the
technician greatly when preparing for an install.
Review Order
Whether a sale is conducted within a customer’s home or
over the phone it’s critical to review prior to finalizing. This
practice can help prevent customer service issues and
scheduling conflicts in the future.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Information that should be reviewed with each customer
sale includes:








Contact Information
Subscription Services
Pricing
Number of Outlets
Customer Signature
Confirm Payment & COD
Installation Date & Time
Customer Copy Provided
Follow Up
Direct sales reps should track their completed installs.
This process allows them to contact their new customers
and confirm the installation occurred and that they’re
satisfied with their new services. It is also an opportune
time to request a referral for new business.
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Managing Turf (Nodes)
Managing Turf (Nodes)
 Identifying Sales Territory
 SFU & MDU
 Reviewing Street Sheets
 Contact Ratio
Each cable company has specific territories that they can
provide services to through their cable plant. These areas
are broken up into nodes. Some nodes can be quite large
and are broken down further into node legs. The nodes
are provided power by way of either trunk and feeder cable
with amplifiers, or in new or rebuilt systems the use of fiber
optic lines run from the headend.
Nodes are designed to provide service to homes passed.
Usually a node is comprised of homes between the
amounts of 500 and 1000. A sales representative’s focus
is to work within a node to sell video, voice and data
services to homes that are not currently active subscribers;
or upgrade current subscribers with additional services.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
Identify Sales Territory
Direct sales representatives’ work either in an assigned
area comprised of specific nodes, or in a sweeper format.
An assigned territory representative is designated to sell
within a confined geographic location. All homes passed
within this location usually belong to the assigned rep and
may include both SFU (single family units) and MDU
(multi-dwelling units) opportunities.
A sweeper, often referred to as a floater, usually roams
from node to node working every home passed. A
sweeper may work multiple nodes at a given time. The
purpose of a sweeper is to simply establish as much
contact as possible with the node currently worked.
SFU (Single Family Units)
SFU, or single family unit, is classified as a home or
residence occupied by an individual or family. Although
usually classified as a home owner, a SFU could also be a
rental home. Cable companies see greater value with
SFU subscribers’ because of the lower amount of churn.
Since most SFU’s are home owners the risk of them
moving as often as a subscriber who lives in an apartment
complex is far less, thus sustaining greater customer
retention.
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Managing Turf (Nodes)
MDU (Multi-Dwelling Units)
MDU, or multi-dwelling unit, is classified as multiple family
housing units such as a duplex, townhouse or apartment
complex. Cable companies often pay less commission on
these types of subscriber sales because they historically
are considered more transient and pose a greater risk of
churn than those subscribers residing in a SFU.
Reviewing Street Sheets
Street sheets, often referred to as turf sheets or green bar,
can provide direct sales representatives with both active
and inactive customer information. Within each street
sheet names, addresses, telephone numbers and
classification codes designating active, never and former
customer statuses should be provided. Active customers
listed should include the services they’re currently
subscribed to differenciate when attempting a sales
upgrade.
Contact Ratio
A contact ratio is determined by how many attempts a
direct sales rep makes by knocking doors when
canvassing an area vs. the amount of contacts
established.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
One of the most successful practices to increase contact
rates is the ―three attempt rule‖. Successful direct sales
representatives will try to establish contact at first during
the day. This allows them to read their street sheets and
see the addresses in the daylight and become familiar with
their territory.
If contact is not established an attempt is then made
during the evening usually after 5pm. If again contact is
still not established, a representative will make one final
attempt at contact during a Saturday. By practicing the
―three attempt rule‖ a direct sales representative can
generate a higher contact ratio, and in return produce
higher sales. This method of territory management is also
valuable in not burning through turf.
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Managing Turf (Nodes)
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Technical Comprehension
Technical Comprehension
 Cable Infrastructure
 Installer Ride Day
 Blind Audit Process
Today cable television systems deliver entertainment
video, high speed internet and digital phone service to
consumers' homes. In addition to the video, voice and
data, many cable systems provide extended services,
such as Video-on-Demand. While the capabilities of cable
systems have been enhanced, cable systems have
evolved into a hybrid-fiber coax (HFC) structure.
The cable television architecture consists of five major
components including the headend; optical fiber; feeder
cable; drop cable; and terminal equipment.
Cable Infrastructure
Cable programming content is received and processed at
the headend. A network programmer transmits a television
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
signal through the air from a satellite, microwave, or local
television antenna to the headend. They may also send
the content by a direct fiber link from the studio. The
content received is then modulated to become a radio
frequency (RF) signal that is part of a frequency spectrum.
The headend then assigns each signal a unique channel
frequency, which occupies a unique portion of the
spectrum. The combined signals then distribute content
from providers and are then transmitted through the cable
network to homes.
In the early day’s trunk, feeder, and drop cables were how
subscribers received their service. Today’s trunk cables
and amplifiers are replaced by single optical fiber lines.
The fiber optics transmits RF energy by way of light
reflecting down a glass fiber. This reduces noise and
distortion in the cable plant. The process also eliminates
the need for amplifiers. With HFC architecture, a single
fiber is run directly from the headend to an optical node in
a neighborhood. The node converts the optical signal back
to RF signals and the local neighborhood part of the cable
plant distributes the RF signals the same as before. Nodes
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Technical Comprehension
are spaced to serve a neighborhood with 500 to 1000
homes passed by the plant.
Another benefit of the HFC architecture is that it enables
the cable plant to reliably deliver signals that originate in
subscribers homes and relays back to the headend. This
two-way capability enables interactive audio, video and
data services. Because of the popularity in cable over the
last fifty years many homes have been installed in the past
and are wired for cable service. MSO’s now run cable
underground vs. using telephone poles like years past.
When a customer purchases cable and the home has
never had the service prior, or have had cable trenched,
the cable installer will run a drop cable from a tap on a
feeder cable into the subscriber's home. The drop cable is
then connected to digital equipment inside the home. The
terminal equipment processes the cable signals and
enables subscribers to view, record, and interact with the
services.
Installer Ride Day
To better understand the technical process of how cable
works at the subscribers’ home, ride days are
implemented within sales training programs. These ride
days enable a direct sales rep to see first-hand what is
entailed in a video, voice and/or data installation.
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During a ride day with a technician or installer a direct
sales representative should observe a variety of processes
including:




Performing Audits
Hot Taps
Disconnects (Analog)
Video, Voice & Data Installation
The experience should provide knowledge on wall fishing,
outlet installation, activations, testing and other aspects of
a professional cable installation. If a multi-dwelling unit is
scheduled during the ride day, a direct sales
representative can also learn the hot tap process used
when connecting and disconnecting apartment complexes.
The installer ride day purpose is to educate the direct
sales rep so they can understand the install process and
also provide knowledge to decrease truck rolls or customer
services issues. By having a technical understanding the
direct sales representative should walk away from the
experience knowing both the possibilities and limitations of
the service they sell.
Blind Audit Process
The blind audit process is a practice enabling a direct
sales representative to review homes passed on a street
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Technical Comprehension
sheet and identify, locate and resolve the use of
unauthorized cable service.
By reviewed streets sheets a direct sales representative
can identify which services a subscriber is being charged.
They can then review the connection from the drop to the
home and see what type of filter or connector is issued to
trap out services the subscriber is not being charged.
For example, if a direct sales representative locates a
home on their street sheet that is currently charged for
basic analog cable, yet they are unable to locate the
connector that traps a higher end service (family, classic,
etc.), the subscriber may be receiving unauthorized
programming.
Each cable system has a set of procedures on how to
identify and handle unauthorized service. The following is
a suggested process which prompts the direct sales rep to
contact their cable provider and confirm the services in
billing. If confirmation is obtained an SRO (service request
order) can be placed to schedule a technician to review
and trap the additional services from entering the
subscribers’ home.
One sales tip is for the direct sales representative to
attempt contact and educate the customer on the
unauthorized service.
This allows the direct sales
representative to possibly upgrade the customer and
prevents the customer from losing additional programming.
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Sales Organization
Sales Organization
 Building a Hot List
 Sales Collateral
 Presentation & Preparation
To be successful a direct sales representative must
possess both organizational skills and manage their time
effectively. This section covers how to stay organized with
sales materials and marketing collateral. It also covers
how a direct sales representative manages their day with
appointments, leads and other contacts.
Preparation is the key to organization.
The better
prepared a direct sales representative is with their
materials and time, the better they will be prepared for
customer interaction and selling.
Each day a direct sales representative must possess all
material needed to succeed and leverage their time in the
field wisely. There are only so many hours in the day,
wasting this time because of lack of organization will have
a negative effect on sales.
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Building a Hot List
By maintaining a hot list a sales representative arms
themselves with an organized list used to grow sales.
A hot list is comprised of potential customers contacted
that have expressed some interest in product offers.
These are essentially leads that can be called back on for
conversion to become new customers.
There are a variety of ways to create or manage a hot list
but should all include certain pertinent information.
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
Prospect name
Address
Phone number
Date of contact
Products of interest
Call Back Date & Time
Some variations of the hot list may only include phone
numbers to contact so a direct sales representative may
conserve time and fuel. A hot list may also be structured
by a specific product so the list is easier to manage.
To qualify whether a contact should be on a hot list is
decided by each individual direct sales representative.
Some direct sales representative may wish for the
prospect to provide a verbal acknowledgement to
purchase prior to being added to their list.
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(Example Hot List 1)
Date
Name
Address
City
Phone
8/12/08
Tom Rain
123 Main
Lincoln
555-4121
Best Time To Contact
Product Of Interest
Saturday AM
Basic video and VoIP service
Date
Name
Address
City
Phone
8/12/08
Jane Bell
212 4th
Lincoln
555-9825
Best Time To Contact
Product Of Interest
Weekday evenings
Triple play with HBO
(Example Hot List 2)
Broadband Leads
Date
Name
Phone
8/12/08
Katherine Brown
555-4530
8/12/08
Roger Dolby
555-7771
8/12/08
Maria Gomez
555-0085
8/13/08
Diane Voss
555-3367
Date
Name
Phone
8/12/08
Jason Cusack
555-9833
VoIP Leads
Others may follow a gut instinct, and add people that they
feel will purchase after a specific timeframe.
The
timeframe may have relevance to financial situation,
current provider contract or discussion with spouse.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
A suggestion would be to have the hot list maintained in a
protective folder or three-ring binder and always kept in
vehicle for ease of access.
To manage a hot list successfully it must be updated daily
and referenced to call upon regularly. The longer a direct
sales representative waits to call upon a lead or prospect,
the greater the chances they will lose interest or sign up
with a competitor.
Sales Collateral
The use of sales materials is a crucial tool used to
communicate the company’s product offering.
Sales
collateral comes in many different forms including direct
mailers, radio and television commercials, billboards and
brochures.
In direct sales, collateral is vital too, providing the direct
sales representative a method of disseminating marketing
information to potential subscribers. Direct sales collateral
may include brochures, business cards, door hangers or
other marketing leave behinds.
Channel Lineup
A cable channel lineup is the most valuable form of
collateral available when relating to video offering. The
programming offered in the Channel Lineup is what
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separates cable companies from satellite providers such
as Dish Network® and Direct TV®.
Channel lineup cards may be formatted in different ways
depending on the cable company. There are theme-based
cards, analog vs. digital separated cards, and plain
numeric format offerings.
It is important for a direct sales representative to become
familiar with the lineup card(s) used in their sales area and
memorize all of the channels available. This includes
basic, standard, premium, HD (high definition) and digital
channels.
Since many cable providers can offer hundreds of
channels depending on the package, this may be time
consuming. Depending on the package offered, channels
will be different. It is important to keep updated with which
channels are offered in specific packages. It is equally
important to know which channels and packages are
offered in HD.
Direct sales representatives should have an abundance of
channel lineup cards at their disposal. It is difficult to offer
video related products if one can’t show a prospect what
programming is offered.
Brochures
Another form of sales material used by direct sales
representative is brochures.
Brochures can contain
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
information such as benefits, features and pricing on
products offered.
Brochures are often used to promote a specific product or
service or upgrade that a cable company is rolling out such
as VoIP, Broadband Boost or additional HD programming.
Some brochures are also used as informational
enhancements to educate the consumer of their product
offering.
By reviewing the brochures a direct sales representative
can also educate themselves on the features and benefits
offered. This can then be used during the sales process to
peak the prospects curiosity and generate questions of
interest.
Note: The following is an example Channel Lineup card used in 2007 by Insight
Communications.
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Sales brochures are excellent leave behinds for prospects
to review with their family prior to making a buying
decision. A direct sales representative should try and
schedule an appointment to visit and re-evaluate the
product offer when leaving the prospect with a brochure to
review.
Usually brochures are in short demand because they often
possess a short life cycle. Like the channel lineup, a direct
sales representative should have a solid amount of
brochures, yet use sparingly to those they feel confident
will buy.
Or leverage as a tool to gain additional
appointments.
Door Hangers vs. Sticky Notes
The longtime battle to use either the door hanger or the
sticky note as a leave behind for missed contacts rages
on. There are benefits in using both. The door hanger
can often be printed in full color press with a heavier stock
for durability, while the sticky pad can be a more friendly
material if direct sales representative wish to stamp their
contact information. The sticky note is usually easier to
handle and carry from door to door.
The door hanger usually is a larger format and can offer
printed information on both sides. This comes in handy
when printing information in both English and Spanish.
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
The downsides include both formats losing their position
from a door due to wind or other weather related elements.
Although both formats can be successful, the goal is to
establish contact with a consumer so the leave behind
such as the door hanger or sticky note is not needed.
Personalized Handouts
By personalizing a flyer or handout a direct sales
representative can separate themselves from the other
marketing materials.
A direct sales rep needs to
personalize their materials to not get lost with other
company marketing efforts. By adding their cell phone and
providing promotional information and pricing the rep can
designate themselves as the point of contact, thus
increasing the chance to gain the sale.
Most direct sales representatives are only paid on sales
installed. If a rep approaches a prospect, establishes
contact and educates them on the product offering they’re
not always guaranteed a sale. If the prospect in return
calls a company sales line, customer service center or
signs up through a walk-in payment center, the direct sales
representative will not get credit for the sale.
Because of this fact, personalization is a must when
distributing any sales material. If using a personalized
flyer or handout, a direct sales representative should have
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approved prior to printing and distributing. Usually a
company sales manager is the approving source.
Note: Example of personalized direct sales flyer.
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Presentation & Preparation
Preparing for the work day is important to any direct sales
representative. Their appearance should be neat and
hygiene excellent. A door to door sales person deals with
people each day and often is called upon to be in a
prospect’s home. A prospect judges a company and their
offer by who provides them the information. This is a
direct reflection on the sales person. By being presentable
a direct sales representative has a greater chance of
engaging a prospect.
A direct sales representative should wear a clean and
wrinkle free shirt, sweatshirt, and/or jacket or coat that
identifies them as a cable company employee. In addition,
they should also wear clean and pressed slacks. If jeans
are worn there should be no tears or worn appearance. A
direct sales representative should also have an
identification badge that shows their picture, their name,
title, cable company name and logo.
Other preparations to consider include vehicle is fueled
and clean. Cell phone battery is charged and ready for
use. Contact numbers are available and stored in a
clipboard or briefcase.
If a cable company requires a direct sales representative
to turn money collected in from prior day sales, make sure
it is accounted for and matching sales orders.
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Material Preparation
In door to door sales, representatives must have materials
available to provide to prospects. Prior to starting each
day a representative should ensure they have all of the
sales materials needed to perform their job. These items
should include:
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




Promotional brochures
Channel lineup cards
Door hangers and/or Sticky notes
Personalized Flyers
Street sheets (turf sheets)
Hot list
Sales orders
Logistics
A direct sales representative should plan how you will work
territory prior to hitting the streets each day. By using a
highlighter a direct sales representative can single out
specific homes located on street sheets for visiting
purposes.
Depending on how the streets sheets were generated
usually determines how a representative will use them.
For example, when general turf requests are made the
street sheets are usually targeted by selecting the
addresses that have ―never‖ been a subscriber. The
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Selling Cable: The Direct Sales Guide for Video, Voice & Data
second choice is subscribers that are ―former‖, meaning
they were a subscriber at one point in history.
Finally, a list may be targeted to active customers that are
subscribing to only key services a representative may
contact to upgrade.
Note: If a direct sales rep needs assistance with driving directions, there
are a number of services available for logistics including Streets &
Trips®, Google Maps® and GPS applications.
Scheduled Appointments
A direct sales representative must manage their sales
appointments effectively. Good organizational skills and
time management are vital to guarantee no prospects go
unseen. Appointments should be made priority and all
other canvassing structured around these time frames.
By keeping appointments organized in a scheduler, cell
phone, BlackBerry® or other managed devise, a direct
sales representative may track their contacts more
efficiently. This practice can help avoid the risk of missing
or forgetting an appointment and losing potential sale.
Time scheduling can be very important when working in
certain geographic locations. Areas that get darker earlier
shorten their time span to work later.
By scheduling
appointments later in the day, a direct sales representative
can spend more time acquiring contacts during daylight
hours.
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Appointment Management
Daytime
Evening
10am-12pm
Door tagging for afternoon
12pm-1pm
Lunch
5pm-8pm
Scheduled Appointments
1pm-5pm
Daytime appointments or
canvassing.
(Example Appointment Management)
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Learning the Sales Cycle
Learning the Sales Cycle
Understanding the Sales Process
 Introduction/Greeting
 Discovery Process
 Educating Customers
 Closing the Sale
 Requesting Referrals
Selling cable services to a customer is a process, rather
than an event. Direct sales are made by establishing
credibility, relating to a customer and creating comfort
zones. These can only be accomplished by engaging with
a customer first. This section is designed to provide direct
sales representatives effective ways of communicating
with prospects and converting them to customers.
Introduction/Greeting
First impressions are significant when trying to engage a
new prospect. A direct sales representative only has a
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couple seconds to gain interest after the initial approach.
It’s important for a direct sales representative to be neat in
appearance and appear friendly and confident. If knocking
a door to establish contact, a good practice is to step away
from the door and stand approximately ten feet away so
the customer has a clear view of the representative when
answering. This is especially important when knocking in
the evening hours.
By holding up an identification badge, and verbally
identifying themselves with their name and company they
represent, a prospect is more likely to participate in a
conversation with a direct sales representative.
An example introduction could be, “Good afternoon. My
name is Mark with ABC Cable. How are you doing today?”
By breaking down the introduction a prospect will be
pleasantly acknowledged, introduced to the sales person
and their company, and posed with a question that
requires their interaction. The simple introduction is
structured to serve a single action, which is to commence
engagement.
Engaging with Touch Points
To engage a prospect a direct sales representative can
use touch points. Touch points are moments of interaction
between the sales representative and the potential
customer. They could include a smile, eye contact, or a
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pleasant greeting. The more touch points established, the
more engagement.
Touch Point Scenario
While at a hardware store, Tiffany was searching for a
specific brand of hammer. Her husband had mentioned
the brand earlier and she felt would be a good gift for his
birthday.
Unfortunately she was unable to locate.
Immediately an attendant approached her after noticing
the frustration on her face and asked if he could help.
Tiffany explained to the attendant her interest in the
specific hammer. The attendant smiled and offered to look
in the back to see if there was any left. After a couple
minutes the attendant returned with three hammers of the
same brand Tiffany wanted. The attendant explained that
the hammers were used for different things. He then
asked what her husband uses would be with the hammer.
After explaining the attendant offered Tiffany the hammer
and asked if there was anything else he could do to help.
After Tiffany said no - the attendant wished her a great
day.
The attendant didn't make Tiffany feel intrusive to or
interrupting him of his job, but rather the purpose it. As
marked below the attendant demonstrated multiple touch
points including


Offered to look in back for brand of hammer
Brought multiple hammers to choose from
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
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Assisted with identifying the best match
Offered additional assistance
Wished Tiffany a great day
What the attendant accomplished was multiple positive
touch points during a single transaction. The attendant
could have avoided Tiffany or simply stated they were out
of stock without looking. Instead, the attendant was
friendly and helpful. Tiffany most likely will share her
positive experience with others regarding the transaction.
This is called word-of-mouth advertising and it's free.
Shock Value
Creating a shocking statement is a great way to grab a
prospects attention. Criteria involved when using a shock
statement should be true and relevant to the purpose of
the contact. The goal is to relate something about the
product or service offering and its benefit to the prospect.
Statements such as ―My visit is to make your life a little
easier;‖ ―I’m here to save you and your family money;‖ or
―Our internet service is the fastest in town;‖ are not
shocking. Shocking must be thought provoking and
descriptive in the benefits provided.
A good example of a shocking statement is ―My only goal
today is saving you exactly $429.62.‖ What this statement
does is peak the curiosity of the prospect as to why
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$429.62? Where did the number come from? How can I
save that much money? This statement is a teaser and
opens the door to the sales representative to now begin
the discovery process.
Discovery Process
A direct sales representative should determine the needs
and financial ability of a prospect prior to presenting their
offer. This means a representative should qualify a
prospect and not just take them from introduction to close.
Benefits of the Discovery Process
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Discovery determines wants, needs and desires.
Part of a direct sales reps job is to uncover these
qualities.
Discovery provides you with the prospects' financial
parameters of what they currently pay for video,
voice and data solutions.
Discovery determines time frame to determine
whether prospect wants services today, next week,
or a month from now.
Discovery reveals competition. It allows a direct
sales rep to structure their offer with competitors' in
mind.
Discovery helps prevent objections before they
emerge. If a sales rep questions and listen
attentively, prospects usually tell the rep everything
needed to convert them to a customer
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Many direct sales representatives try and avoid using the
discovery process because they perceive the method to be
intrusive. They feel by probing through a prospects needs,
current services, financial and purchasing authority, they're
in return becoming too personal. Their fear is that the
discovery process could risk upsetting the prospect and
result in losing a potential sale. The discovery part of the
sales process is simply a method used for sharing
knowledge.
A direct sales representative knows all about their cable
offering including packages and pricing, the prospect
knows all about their wants and needs. When both
combine the information the prospect can make an
educated decision on the services offered. If a sales rep
looks at the method this way, they're not being as intrusive
as they are trying to provide the prospect with the best
solution possible.
Discovery Questions
The discovery process consists of skillfully questioning the
prospect to better qualify them. These questions should
be focused on what and how they currently use video,
voice and data services. Specific information such as
channels of preference, features and price can all be found
through discovery questions. The answers provided help
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guide a direct sales rep in the direction of determining the
best package.
“What television programs does your family enjoy?”

This simple question can determine if a prospect is
truly loyal to their video provider. If the prospect
(and family) predominantly watch channels that are
comparable to the cable provider’s offering it can
provoke education into the channel lineup.
“Do you frequently go to movies or rent movies?”

This question can pose a cost savings solution if
the prospect frequently spends money on movie
tickets or rentals. By educating the prospect on
premium channels available and Video-onDemand, the prospect may find viable interest.
“How much do you spend in long-distance each month?”

This
question
informs
the
direct
sales
representative of how much the prospect is paying
in long-distance fees. It can help guide them to the
unlimited long distance offer available through the
cable provider.
“Might I view a current bill to compare features and rates?”
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
Viewing a prospects bill can provide valuable
information into their monthly charges, usage,
competitive information and more.
For example, a customer can respond with an amount
they’re charged for their phone service each month. The
amount offered may be the promotion fee they subscribed
to but doesn’t include additional fees. These fees could be
line charges, surcharges, long-distance charges, service
charges, taxes and more. By viewing the bill a sales
representative can point out these hidden fees and build
rapport with the prospect.
A direct sales representative may find through these
discovery questions that a prospect is paying a
considerable amount each month in long-distance
charges. This can prompt the direct sales representative
to offer a cost savings with the unlimited long distance
feature. These simple questions usually fuel additional
discovery questions and create interaction between the
sales representative and the prospect.
Not all questions should be directed towards saving
money. Many customers purchase via perceived value.
Establishing value to a prospect can also be performed
through the use of discovery questions.
“Are you often waiting for downloads when online?”
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
This question can gain insight into any usage
problems the prospect has with their current
method of internet access. If they possess a slow
connection, a direct sales representative can pitch
high speed broadband as the solution.
“Have you ever heard of Video-on-Demand?”

This question can offer a direct sales
representative an opportunity to explain the unique
service VOD offers. Time is in short supply with
many prospects due to work and other activities.
By educating them on VOD, a representative can
show value of being able to watch thousands of
programs around their schedule.
Discovery questions should not be asked in rapid fire
mode. This can cause a prospect to withdraw from the
interaction. After a question is posed a representative
should listen carefully to each response to ensure a mutual
understanding. This is called ―active listening‖.
Through active listening, hot button issues, purchase
criteria and other valuable information that interests or
disinterests the prospect can be learned. Questions can
easily be misunderstood, so they should be phrased in a
way to have only one clear purpose.
Direct sales
representatives should also avoid technical language that
might confuse a prospect.
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Educating Prospects
Savvy customers will research products and services prior
to purchase. During this process they will shop around for
price, features, functionality and overall value. The direct
sales process is primarily an impulse purchasing method
to gain customers. This means that the prospect has been
approached by a direct sales representative and most
likely has not been able to research the product or service
prior.
To support this statement, direct sales
representatives are frequently asked to leave some
information behind so the prospect can review before
making any decisions.
Often a prospect will call back if the time is taken to review
and value is perceived.
More times than not, the
information and prospect disappear to never to be heard
from again. This equates to a missed sales opportunity.
To avoid missing a sales opportunity from lack of research,
the direct sales process promotes customer education.
Through customer education, a direct sales representative
can review the video, voice and data offerings in an
interactive setting. A prospect can ask questions and
gather feedback and answers from the rep, which is not
available when reading a brochure or handout.
Customer education should not be a long and drawn out
process, but rather a concise overview of video, voice and
data features and benefits. The goal is to inform the
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prospect of the value in a cable provider’s product and
service offering.
Example
“ABC Cable Company’s High Speed Internet service is
100 times faster than standard dial-up. Imagine what
you’ll do with all the free time.”
“Some key features include always being connected; no
need for an additional telephone line; fast access to music
and video downloads; online gaming; and compatible with
our new digital phone service.”
This 20 second educational statement covered:

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


Convenience
Competitive superiority
Cost savings
Time savings
Overall value
In addition, the statement ended with a transitional
comment “compatible with our new digital phone service”.
This should help intrigue and prepare the prospect for the
next product of education.
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Educational Materials
People often request sales materials for reading to
process information more effectively. A direct sales
representative should provide prospects with informative
materials to guide them through the educational process.
When discussing video offerings a channel lineup card
should be available so the prospect can scan for channels
of interest. When data is the topic, a broadband brochure
demonstrating speed comparisons between cable high
speed internet and dial-up or DSL should be offered. The
same should be true when discussing voice. The focus
shouldn’t be on reading every word within the material, but
discussing key features and benefits to express the value.
Once this is shared, the direct sales representative should
allow time for the prospect to digest the information, and
then answer any questions posed from the presentation.
When answering, a representative should make sure to
provide clear and accurate information. If a question is
asked that a representative is uncertain of the answer,
they should either advise the prospect they will research
and contact them with the correct information; or contact a
supervisor or manager for direction.
By providing prospects with accurate product and service
information a sales representative is educating them on
options for their video, voice and data needs. Education is
vital in selling because it empowers a potential customer to
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make an informed decision. If a sales representative can
effectively educate their product and service offering, they
increase their chances of successfully closing sales.
Closing the Sale
Closing a sale is considered by direct sales people as the
most worrisome stage of the selling process. This process
is when a representative discovers whether all the sales
legwork is going to pay off or whether it's all been a big
waste of time. A successful closing comes down to one
thing: Knowledge. The more a sales representative knows,
the more likely they'll be able to convert a sale.
Closing should occur once the sales representative and
prospect have all the information needed to make the right
decision.
Getting to know the prospect will help familiarize a sales
representative with their needs, providing an arsenal of
reasons why the offer is the best match.
When a direct sales representative understands the
competition, they can go into the closing with confidence,
producing reasons the offer is better for their needs.
Although cost is often a factor, it's not always the most
important consideration when making a buying decision.
Customer service, product quality, and features may also
be factors. In some cases, they may even be more
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important than the cost. A direct sales representative
needs to match their strengths with the prospect's
priorities, and then be prepared to use that knowledge as
leverage in the closing.
Summarizing the Sale
Planning the summary of the sale consists of the
knowledge gathered from the discovery (prospect’s needs
and wants) and services to offer while educating them. To
summarize the sale a direct sales representative needs a
summary statement.
The statement sums up what
matched services the representative offers to reach the
needs of the prospect.
This is where the direct sales representative uses their
problem solving ability to determine the best possible
cable package for the customer and presents the package
to show value. Summary statements are not interactive,
meaning the customer should only listen during this portion
of the sale cycle.
“After reviewing your needs for higher speeds I’ve selected
package A for you. This will provide you considerably
faster speeds when you surf the web and download files.
The package costs only $29.99 per month, but after you
eliminate the additional phone line charge and cost of your
dial-up account, you will receive faster service for about
the same price.”
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The example summary statement specifically explains the
offer, the benefits, and the cost.
In addition, the
representative explains cost savings through removing the
current services which demonstrates value.
Ask for the Sale
Once a direct sales representative issues their sale
summary, they need to immediately progress to the next
step in the closing process. This step is accomplished by
simply asking for the sale.
Too often direct sales representatives make the mistake of
asking for the sale with questions like "Would you like to
sing up today?‖ or "Are you interested in any of these
packages?" What happens is the representative has
inadvertently handed over the sales control and left it in
the hands of the prospect. It's a gamble that costs many
direct sales representatives the sale.
This happens
because sales representatives are not confident with either
their offer or themselves. When someone goes to the
grocery store a cashier asks them to pay for their products.
This is no different.
Closing a sale relies on closing questions.
These
questions demonstrate a representative’s confidence in
their offer and perceived value of what is being presented
to the prospect. At closing, a representative should never
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offer an open-ended question, but rather a bold question
holding firm because of the value of their offer.
An example of a good closing question would be, "Would
you prefer a morning of afternoon install?" or "Will you be
paying for your first month with a check or credit card?"
The only easy answers for the prospect to respond with
include either "morning or afternoon"; or "check or credit
card". These questions demonstrate confidence to the
prospect that the direct sales representative possesses
regarding the value of their products and services offered.
Review Order
Prior to completing the sale a direct sales representative
should always review the order with the new customer.
During the review specific information should be double
checked and confirmed with customer including:








Installation date & dime
Sales order completed in full
Check amount accurate and signed
Review total costs to customer
Confirmation of specific services ordered
Contact numbers home, cell and work
How many outlets and locations
Any special instructions
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Once the review is completed a direct sales representative
should provide the new customer with their contact
information. This may be needed if the customer must
reschedule their install date or wish to add more services
or change packages.
Now that the direct sales representative has completed the
sales cycle, they should thank the customer for their time
and assure them they’ll be satisfied with their purchase.
The final step before leaving the customer is gaining a
referral.
Requesting Referrals
Successful direct sales representatives appreciate the
importance of referrals. A referral is basically a lead and
can be more effective than a testimonial. When a sales
representative acts on a referral they have been instructed
to establish contact. This takes the intrusiveness out of
the equation and since the referral was provided by
someone the lead knows, it is more powerful than a
testimonial from a stranger.
The rule of thumb is to always ask for referrals shortly after
closing the sale while the experience is still positive and
fresh in the mind of the satisfied customer. It is the belief
that if a sales rep can satisfy the customer they can do the
same for their friends and family. But why should a sales
rep limit themselves to a customer? Why not use the
same practice when associating with prospects that
haven't purchased or simple contacts in the field?
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“Mr. /Mrs. Jones, I know that this may sound strange but
the reason I’m so successful in sales is because I
generate business through referrals. I do this because I
take very good care of my customers. I know that you’re
not a customer yet, but while deciding on whether or not to
give me and my company an opportunity to serve you,
could you refer me to someone that may benefit from what
I can offer?”
The concept can provide the sales person with a positive
uncertainty. This means that even if the sales rep walks
out with no sales or no lead, there is potential and hope.
Hope can assist in possessing a positive mindset for the
next appointment or door knock.
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Creating a Positive Attitude
Creating a Positive Attitude
 Positive Habit Forming
 Handling Rejection
 Setting Sales Goals
Possessing confidence is a great trait to maintaining a
positive attitude. To establish sales confidence a direct
sales representative should constantly realize the value of
what they can offer each prospect.
Too often a
representative worries about achieving sales quota, or
contest placement, or other things that become a barrier to
the sale. Understanding the benefits of the services
offered and how they can improve people lives, is a good
start in maintaining a positive mindset..

Approach each prospect knowing the value of the
cable offering.

Understand the offering may save people time,
money and provide convenience.
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
Itemize all the benefits the video, voice and data
offer provides people.
If a sales rep can feel their offer would be of value to
anyone, they have established selling confidence.
Positive Habit Forming
Every direct sales person has faced the disappointment
and guilt that comes from setting a goal and giving up on it
after a couple of weeks. Sustaining motivation for a longterm goal is hard to achieve.
One solution to this problem is focusing on efforts instead
on creating a new habit that will lead to achieving a goal.
A direct sales representative can start by focusing not on
what they have to achieve over the course of the next
month or year, but instead on what they are doing each
day. This way a representative is focusing on something
achievable. Each day the little change adds up and can
make a significant impact over time.
To achieve positive habit forming skills a representative
needs to focus on one habit at a time. They should first
start by taking their positive habit for a test run for 30-days.
Then follow through with the habit each day for 30 days
straight. If something prevents the representative from
using the habit on any day, they should simply start the
process over.
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Over time the habit becomes easier and more fluent.
Some people only need two or three weeks to effectively
form a habit, while others need more time. The key is
consistency.
Follow through with positive habits:





Commit to perform habit daily.
Set up rewards to motivate.
Share habit with friends to gain support.
Track and report your progress.
Most important - Stay positive.
Handling Rejection
One of the hardest things for a sales person to deal with is
rejection. In direct sales a representative will receive
numerous refusals, which is why cold calling is
challenging. The best thing a sales representative can do
is turn a refusal into a valuable experience.
Be objective. Separate the problem from the person.
Thank them for their time and for listening. Appreciate their
situation.
By reviewing the rejection a representative may learn from
what happened. They can think about the conversation,
what was said and how it flowed. Think about the body
language. Were there any moments when things went
awry? What might the representative do different? How
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might another direct sales representative handle the
situation?
The representative should be open and honest. Are there
any preferences that they have making them miss things?
Is there a pattern of things that are preventing them from
selling more often?
The worse thing a direct sales representative can do is
take any form of rejection personally.
Many
representatives feel that the rejected offer is a rejection of
them. They can often feel that people don't like them or
they have personally failed. The sales industry in general
is full of rejections. If it was easy everyone would be
selling everything. A direct sales representative must
learn to put failures behind them and stay positive and
focused on the next opportunity.
Setting Sales Goals
Setting goals are the building blocks to help any door to
door sales person succeed. By establishing attainable
short-term goals, a direct sales representative can assure
frequent victories, building a strong track record and
momentum with each one completed.
Performance goals should be viewed as reachable
challenges a direct sales representative can obtain. These
goals can be chased by reviewing current performance
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Creating a Positive Attitude
and breaking down what needs to be accomplished to
achieve the goal. Some performance goals may include:





Bonus Tiers on Commission
Top Team Ranking
Satellite Dish Win Back Program
Contest Victories
Breaking Sales Record
One challenge direct sales people face when trying to
reach their goals is where to start. When establishing
goals a direct sales representative must make them both
reasonable but also worth achieving.
Setting an
unreachable goal will cause frustration to the point of
abandoning the concept. Establishing a goal of no
apparent worth may have the same result if the
representative feels no sense of accomplishment.
A good exercise is to break goals apart. The first step is
selecting a goal and examining it closely. By thinking about
the goal one may realize that it is made up of a number of
smaller goals, each of which is in turn made up of other
smaller goals.
On a piece of paper write down a major goal at the top,
and below it, write down the steps to take to achieve this
goal. Each of these steps represents a smaller goal, and
each of these smaller goals can be broken down further if
necessary into more manageable tasks. By reviewing the
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entire paper a direct sales representative can now see a
more obtainable way to reach a goal.
Goal Exercise
List a short-term goal.
___________________________________________
___________________________________________
Break goal down with smaller goals and tasks.
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Break these goals down further with additional goals or
tasks to simplify the process.
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___________________________________________
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Once all of the smaller tasks are created, diagnose the
amount of time and effort involved in completing. This will
provide insight into how to achieve goal.
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Chapter Review
This section is to determine the knowledge gained from
the previous chapter. If a direct sales rep is unable to
provide an answer to any of the questions, they should
make note and research to locate the correct information.
Sales Knowledge Quiz
1. List five examples of touch points.
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_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
2. List three example shock statements.
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3. List five example discovery questions.
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
4. Write a paragraph focused on customer education
of digital phone services.
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
5. List at least three examples of customer education
materials.
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_____________________________________
_____________________________________
6. List three example sales summary sentences.
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
7. Provide three ways of how to correctly ask for the
sale.
_____________________________________
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Creating a Positive Attitude
_____________________________________
8. List at least five things to review with customer
when finalizing an order.
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
9. What five things are vital when forming positive
habits?
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
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_____________________________________
10. List three separate sales goals.
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
11. Provide a personal goal. Use the breakdown
process and provide smaller goals to complete that
will help work towards the personal goal.
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
_____________________________________
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Creating a Positive Attitude
Sales Knowledge
Use the following section as a guide to create a complete
sales cycle process for the example scenarios.
Incorporate an introduction/greeting; shocking statement;
discovery questions; customer education; summary
statement; and closing procedure.
Scenario 1: Joel recently moved to Detroit from the
Boston area and is a lifetime New England Patriots fan.
Since Joel now lives in Detroit, his DMA covers the Detroit
Lions games vs. New England's. Joe is subscribed to
Direct TV® because the service offers "The NFL Sunday
Ticket", which enables Joel to watch every Patriots game
televised.
Goal: Leverage the sales flow cycle to sell Joel video,
voice and data from cable offering.
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___________________________________________
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___________________________________________
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Creating a Positive Attitude
Scenario 2: Freda has been a loyal customer to a
traditional phone carrier for over thirty-five years. In that
time she has also maintained the same telephone number.
Freda doesn't spend much time watching television but
does enjoy email and pictures she receives of her six
grandchildren, whom all live out of state.
Goal: Leverage the sales flow cycle to sell Freda video,
voice and data from cable offering.
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Creating a Positive Attitude
Roll Playing
Role playing is a sales tool used to identify sales strengths
and weaknesses. The training tool allows direct sales
representatives to simply sharpen their sales skills through
using the sales flow cycle.
The goals of roll playing is for the direct sales
representative to first memorize and practice their sales
knowledge in an interactive setting. Second, maintain
control of sales conversation when prospect interaction
steers away from the sales cycle. Finally, overcome
objections posed in a controlled environment to improve
on handling pressure, problem solving, and overall sales
conversion.
A direct sales representative should practice roll playing
each day with managers, trainers and peers.
The
following tips for direct sales people to incorporate will help
strengthen their selling skills.
1. Make roll playing challenging. Request participants
to surprise with random objections and attempt to
change subject during conversation. This can help
train a direct sales rep on staying on course to the
sales cycle.
2. Create a list of the top five objections faced in the
field. A Direct sales rep should practice roll playing
to overcome these objections and learn how to
manage value expectations. This is an excellent
method when practiced with direct sales peers
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because of the historical experiences and solutions
that can be collaborated.
3. Role playing is an educational tool that should be
reviewed often. If a sales rep records their sales
role playing sessions, they can see first-hand their
strengths and weaknesses and work to improve.
When seasoned direct sales people fall into
slumps, the comparative review of past and present
roll playing videos can often assist them in getting
back to form.
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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Terms
Analog is a data format that information is transmitted by
modulating a continuous transmission signal, such as
amplifying a signal's strength or varying its frequency to
add or take away data.
ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) is a network
technology based on transferring data in cells or packets
of a fixed size. The cell size allows ATM equipment to
transmit video, audio and computer data over the same
network.
Basic or broadcast basic is the primary level of service
offered for subscription.
Broadband, also known as Broadband Internet, is a type of
data transmission in which a single medium can carry
several channels at once. Cable TV and B-ISDN networks
use broadband transmission, where many local-area
networks use baseband communications.
Prior to cable TV, the method of broadcasting cable was
called CATV or Community Antenna Television.
CO (Short for central office) is a telecommunications office
that handles the telephone service for that geographic
area. Phone lines are connected to the CO on a local loop.
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Coax cable is a type of wire that consists of a center wire
surrounded by insulation and then a grounded shield of
braided wire. The shield minimizes electrical and radio
frequency interference.
DBS (direct broadcasting satellite) is a type of satellite
used for consumer services such as the transmission of
radio and television programs.
Digital Receivers are used to provide digital video
formatting from cable provider to subscribers’ televisions
and often called a "cable box" or "cable converter".
Digital Video Recorder, or DVR, acts as a delivery system
feeding power from the cable provider to a subscriber’s
television and allows digital recording of programs.
Disco is commonly referred to as a disconnected
customer.
Download to copy data (usually an entire file) from a main
source to a peripheral device.
DSL (digital subscriber lines) refers collectively to all types
of digital subscriber lines including ADSL and SDSL, which
are modulation schemes to pack data onto copper wires.
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Glossary of Terms
DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) is a
mechanism at a phone company's CO that links DSL
connections to a single high-speed ATM line.
DSR (direct sales representatives), is a term referring to
door-to-door sales people.
Footprint is the amount of subscribers and the logistic area
your cable plant covers.
Green Bar is the older method of obtaining street sheets
named from the paper used in the large scale printers.
Green Bar is printouts of current and past customer history
used in the cable industry as a guide for direct sales staff
when seeking to sell products to new customers or
upgrade current customers.
HD, or HDTV, is High Definition Television that provides
service to digital televisions offering twice the screen
resolution, higher sound and color than the standard
format.
HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax) is a way of delivering video,
voice telephony, data, and other interactive services over
coaxial and fiber optic cables. An HFC network works
consists of a head end office, distribution center, fiber
nodes, and network interface units.
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ISP (Internet Service Provider) is a company that provides
access to the Internet so a user can browse the World
Wide Web and USENET, and send and receive e-mail.
LOS (Line of sight) is a process used when establishing
communication between a dish and wireless module to a
satellite or wireless tower.
Modem (Short for modulator-demodulator) is a device or
program that enables a computer to transmit data over, for
example, telephone or cable lines.
MSO, or Multiple System Operators, are major cable
providers who franchise in multiple locations.
An Interactive Program Guide, or IPG, is an on-screen
guide to cable programming, allowing a viewer to navigate,
select, and view content by time, title, channel, genre, etc.
by remote control.
Local number portability, or LNP, is the ability to transfer
an existing fixed-line telephone number assigned by a
local exchange carrier (LEC) and reassign it to another
carrier.
MDU, or multi-dwelling unit, is classified as any multiple
family housing units such as a duplex, townhouse or
apartment complex.
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Glossary of Terms
Nodes are designed to provide service to cable
subscribers from the headend. Usually a node is
comprised of homes between the amounts of 500 and
1000.
Pay-per-view, or PPV, is a pay-tv service where viewers
are charged each time they watch a special event or movie
being broadcast.
Premium channels represent programming that a
consumer must pay additional money to subscribe to such
as HBO, Showtime or Cinemax.
PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), commonly
referred to as POTS (Plain old phone service), refers to
the international telephone system based on copper wires
carrying analog voice data.
Router (row´ter) (n.) is a device that forwards data packets
along networks. A router is connected to at least two
networks, commonly two LANs or WANs or a LAN and its
ISP’s network. Routers are located at gateways, the
places where two or more networks connect.
Satellite broadband, commonly referred to as IoS (Internet
over Satellite) offers two-way Internet access via satellites
that orbit some 22,000 miles above the equator.
SFU, or single family unit, is classified as a home or
residence occupied by an individual or family.
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Sub (Subscribers) is an industry reference for consumer or
customer.
Turf is often referred to when describing a sales person’s
logistic territory to sell.
Upload to transmit data from a computer to a bulletin
board service, mainframe, or network.
Video on Demand, or VOD, provides viewers a way to
watch already aired films and television programs through
their digital receivers 24/7.
VoiP (Voice over Internet Protocol), commonly referred to
as Internet telephony or VOI (Voice over Internet), enables
users by way of Internet as the transmission medium to
make telephone calls by sending voice data in packets
using IP rather than by traditional circuit transmissions of
the PSTN (Public switch telephone network).
Wi-Fi is the name of a popular wireless networking
technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless highspeed Internet and network connections.
Wireless Internet is any computer network where there is
no physical wired connection between sender and
receiver, but rather the network is connected by radio
waves and/or microwaves to maintain communications.
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Index
Index
DBS, 137
digital receiver, 25
A
analog, 26, 33, 34, 84, 140
ATM, 136, 138
Audits, 77
B
blind audit, 78
broadband, 13, 33, 35
Broadband, 136
C
cable, 137, 138, 139
Cable Modem Termination
System. See CMTS
cable plant, 68, 76
CATV, 12
Channel lineup, 84
Channel Lineup, 21, 84, 85
churn, 69, 70
CMTS, 32
CO, 137, 138
coaxial, 13, 139
D
data, 13, 33, 68, 74, 76, 77
digital video, 13, 25, 26, 27
digital video recorder. See DVR
Direct TV®. See satellite providers
Disco, 137
Dish Network®. See satellite
providers
D-mark, 37
Download, 138
downstream, 31
drop cable, 74, 76
DSL, 13, 31, 138
DSLAM, 138
DVR, 27, 28
E
electronic program guide. See IPG
F
feeder cable, 68, 74, 76
fiber, 139, See optical fiber
floater. See sweeper
Footprint, 138
frequency spectrum, 75
H
HD. See high definition
HDTV, 13, 23, 25, 27
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headend, 74, 75, 76
HFC, 74, 76, 139
high definition, 13, 84
homes passed, 68, 69, 76
hot list, 81
I
interactive program guide. See
IPG
IoS, 141
IPG, 25, 27, 28
ISP, 139, 140
L
lead, 83
leads, 81
LEC, 39
LNP, 39
local exchange carrier. See LEC
Local number portability. See LNP
M
MDU, 31, 36, 40, 46, 58, 68, 69,
70
modem, 26, 28
Modem, 139
MSO, 13, 14
multi-dwelling units. See MDU
Multiple System Operator. See
MSO
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N
node, 68, 69, 76
nodes, 139, See node
O
optical fiber, 74, 75
P
packets, 136, 140, 142
pay–per-view. See PPV
POTS. See PSTN
PPV, 22
prospect. See lead
PSTN, 36, 140, 142
public switched telephone
network. See VoIP
R
radio frequency. See RF
RF, 75, 76
Router, 140
S
satellite dish, 141
satellite providers, 84
SFU, 68, 69
single family units. See SFU
Sub, 141
Index
subscribers, 12, 13, 33, 34, 68, 69,
70, 75, 76, 83, 93
sweeper, 69
T
terminal equipment, 74
territory, 141
trap, 78, 79
U
unauthorized, 78, 79
Upload, 141
upstream, 31
V
video, 13, 25, 27, 28, 68, 74, 76,
77, 82, 84, 85
Video-on-Demand. See VOD
VOD, 13, 25, 27
VOI. See VoiP
voice, 13, 68, 74, 77
Voice over Internet Protocol. See
VoIP
VoiP, 141
VoIP, 14, 34, 37, 82, 85
W
Wi-Fi. See Wireless Internet
Wireless Internet, 142
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