Many companies in India have some sort of a nexus or venue in the West. It is common for companies to have an American phone number, or perhaps an office in London, or an agent in Australia. It makes sense, and you can get ahead by using this technique. Think from the perspective of your clients. If you were a mid-level manager in the United States, do you want to call an Indian number at 1am, or would you prefer to call an American number during regular business hours? Done thinking? That’s right — me too! The other benefit of having a presence in the West, is that people will think your entire company is in THEIR country which will make them all the more comfortable. Below are some various approaches to getting an agent.
(1) Get an office in America
It is expensive to have an office in the United States. You have to pay rent, liability insurance, utility bills, payroll, salaries, and more. You will pay if you use this approach. But, on a brighter note, if you want to be in full control of the people promoting your business, you need to have them as employees and not fly-by-night freelancers. Sure, you can start out with a more flexible relationship with a freelancer you don’t really know. But, in the long run, if you have a company in India with 20 or more people, I recommend having a nexus somewhere in the United States. Keep in mind that rents and labor costs are a lot more reasonable in Texas, Oklahoma, Southern states (not Florida), and Midwestern states. If you try to get an office in a wealthy coastal city in America, you will be paying double for office space and more for salaries as well. You can fly to DFW in Dallas from any continent in the world. It has all of the benefits of a coastal city, with a price tag of a small town!
(2) Get an agent
Unfortunately, I have met many people who are agents for outsourcing companies in one way or another. They pretend that the company providing the service is really their company. They charge triple what you are charging for your service with no real added value other than how pretty their voice sounds. Many of these agents are not up front with prospective clients which gives the illusion of unreliability. If you use an agent, you need to come up with an arrangement where you will both come across as being reliable and reputable. You might pay a commission for leads regardless of how well those leads pan out in the long run. If the leads systematically are not good, then try another agent.
(3) How do you find an agent?
Just visit www.findanagent.com! Just kidding. It is not so easy to find an agent. Someone who is already involved in outsourcing who knows how to get business would be a good agent. You could also try to deal with companies in the United States who are in the same industry that you are in. They could route work to you that they cannot handle. At least they are already getting the type of calls that you could use! You need to get to know a lot of people to shop around for an agent, and the search will take months in the best case scenario. But, if your business means anything to you, then invest your time and find someone who will get you results!
(4) A U.S. phone number
It is not a crime to get an American phone number and then forward it to India. Many companies do this. You need to have a big enough business to afford a phone operator who works the night shift to accommodate American calls during American business hours. Keep in mind that the U.S. is spread over six time zones with the majority in Eastern, Central and Pacific time which is 9.5 to 13.5 hours before your time in India (depending on daylight savings). If you are more connected to England or Australia or some other country, then you can get a phone number from there instead of an American phone number.
Having the image of being where you are not without lying is powerful. If someone thinks you are in Denver, and finds out you are in Darjeeling, that is not a crime. Just don’t lie about your name or location. Don’t falsely claim to be in Denver, just get a Denver phone number and let others falsely assume you are there. Don’t claim to be John Smith when you are Ravishankar Balasubrahmanian. Those of us who are experienced in business know that if you lie about one thing, you will lie and cheat about everything! Nobody respectable will do business wiht a liar. So, be honest, and be helpful on the phone, and then people will not be that upset when they find out you are 10,000 miles from Denver (and 1000 feet higher). If you get a good agent, nexus or foreign phone number, this could lead you on the way to wealth!