......almost.......and we have slightly exceed our planned targets in aggregate though not met ADSL2 targets for the second month of the first four. Bright spots for the month have been the achievement of our highest level of business data links in revenue terms and also the high level of business VoIP links together with solid AMS and Fax sales and the semi-successful introduction of the Optus mobile plans replacing the previous Vodafone plans. The only 'dull' spots were the failure to meet the modest ADSL2 target and, despite every effort the failure to grow ADSL1 sales more than a tiny fraction. I think the evidence is that, irrespective of what we do our predictions for both those services will, unfortunately come true. It is an inevitability of any over crowded maketplace (in terms of providers) when it reaches saturation point so it's no surprise- but difficult to deal with nonetheless.
We will, probably, put the free ADSL2 plans on the web site today and release them to current customers via the November newsletter but I have little expectation for much success from this stage of that process...even free in today's market doesn't have the attraction it once did. I am not sure what it might take to successfully promote residential ADSL2 services in today's 'environment' but evidently it seems to be beyond my capabilities or gambling willingness. It needs a completely new way of looking at things which I clearly haven't been able to achieve; at least to date. Co-incidentally, I had a chat yesterday with someone who clearly has been very successful in this tough market which he undoubtedly played a part in creating to seek some advice on my part - as I didn't initiate the meeting I'm still not clear what his motives were. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know about residential selling - but then I really didn't expect to. I'm pretty certain I didn't tell him anything he didn't already know about corporate selling so I'm still unclear what the purpose of the meeting was other than "to catch up after such a long time".....If I had to guess, I think it was probably sounding us out about buying wholesale services from them.
Maybe that is the solution - buy from a lower cost wholesaler, though it's difficult to see how that would work. To date, that hasn't been possible as Telstra has maintained its preference since the Tex/Mex carpetbagger days of selling retail lower than wholesale and while Optus has done its best not to do that it has its own requirements to build market share and make commercial returns dictated by a foreign parent - that are more than reasonable and understandable. Perhaps it will become possible now with one or more new wholesalers trying to more rapidly build their businesses via wholesale 'strategies'. Somehow I can't see that happening - but who knows in these strange times. When I think bout it perhaps 'the other party' was just gauging how much problem he would have in making inroads in to the business markets as he has done the residential markets?
So I will do my best today to summon up the enthusiasm that is needed to begin a new phase of ADSL2 marketing and also try to finish off the month on a positive note in the other areas of the business. If that sounds like I am depressed it's probably because of an email I read just before starting writing this blog which I think sums up the futility of the current residential marketplaces. Yesterday, Exetel reduced the new activation price of an ADSL1 service from $120.00 to $60.00. The abusive email I received was from a current Exetel customer who said:
"...typical f***ing Exetel inconsistency changing prices every five minutes because you are obviously insane without a clue how to run an ISP. I demand a refund as I paid your rip off $120.00 only 5 weeks ago"
I wonder what he would say if we had increased the activation price? Sometimes you wonder why you bother.