Telecom in Ten | Episode 2 | Quality Connections | Northland’s Sales Development Team About Us | By Northland Communications TeamRicky Blackburn – Sales Development Representative | Michael Schmitt – Sales Development RepresentativeWATCH VIDEO HEREWelcome to Telecom in Ten, where we explore the quality connections between our cutting-edge technology, unparalleled service, reliable products, and you, our customer and community, as we continue to transform Telecom here at Northland Communications.01. Get To Know Us | (00:40)Chelsey: Hello everyone and welcome to our second episode of Telecom in Ten featuring our sales development representatives Ricky Blackburn and Michael Schmitt. We sat down off camera and asked them a series of questions for this conversation—so let’s jump right into it.What are your roles here at Northland as Sales Development Representatives?Ricky: Well we’re kind of like the first hand, the first person that talks to prospective customers—when they call they usually get ahold of us two.Michael: That’s right I mean in our roles right now our duty is to be that one who talks to the customer initially and sees what we can do to help them.02. Our Fiber Network | (01:15)Chelsey: At Northland, our mission is creating quality connections through our products and solutions—can you us give a bird’s eye view of our technology and what we offer our customers as a leader of the telecom industry here in Central New York?Ricky: Yeah I mean our fiber network we have over 1,000 miles of it throughout Central New York starting from all the way near Herkimer and going just west of Syracuse and everywhere in between. I would say it’s one of the big backbones of our business it’s something that tis of extremely reliable service and its relatively new technology and its kind of where the future is going and were so happy to every single day were expanding it every single day. Michael: I would agree with that and you know its backed by our local customer support team. We don’t have any third parties doing it. We’re the ones running the fiber, we’re the ones installing it, and we’re the ones making sure that it’s guaranteed speeds and it’s a connection that people can count on. 03. Business Simple | (02:00)Ricky: With our Business Simple, it basically means you can get the phone lines and the internet connection that you need. It helps out our small businesses in the area—we’re not making it super hard, you don’t have to have two different bills for two different companies—we’re making it all on bill and it makes things just smoother for the customer. Michael: It makes things simple. Ricky: I like what you did there. 04. Business Unlimited | (02:30)Ricky: And the same thing with Business Unlimited too—which is completely unlimited, as the name says, when it comes to the communications part of collaboration. Michael: What you’re doing is you’re taking a traditional phone system that a lot of businesses are used to and you’re taking those features and applying them into this new technology, but then you’re adding a lot of new technological advancements on top of that. So everyone’s familiar with an auto attendant, call waiting, and voicemail by now, but those are expected when it comes to a phone service. But what’s not expected are features such as text integration—where now, over your office line, you can text customers and co-workers—all through Business Unlimited. Ricky: Yeah and it doesn’t even have to be from your computer, it can be from your phone or your tablet. That’s what makes it unlimited is you can work and collaborate from anywhere. Michael: With Business Unlimited, we can give you as much or as little technology as you’d like. 05. Teams Direct Routing | (03:30)Michael: Microsoft Teams, that’s something that we recently really got involved in—a lot of corporations and businesses, in advancing their technological needs, have found great use of Microsoft Teams. I mean we use Microsoft Teams a lot. We decided at Northland it would be a good idea to integrate Northland with Microsoft Teams. So now, when you’re a company that is utilizing Microsoft Teams, whether it’s to speak with clients or each other, when you make a phone call through that, it can now be on Northland’s reliable network. And not only that, Northland can be the ones servicing that. 06. Northland’s Service | (04:10)Michael: When you have issues with your calls, you call Northland. And you get the same reliable answering and maintenance and work that we do day in and day out—now supporting your Teams platform. Ricky: That’s kind of one of the best things about working with Northland is when you have issues or anything like that you’re calling up to us here in Holland Patent or Syracuse. You’re dealing with local, reliable people that are here in this community. We’re a local company that’s been in the industry for over 100 years and you’re calling people who go to the same soccer games that you go to and the same grocery stores that you go to. We’re flexible and able to work with you for the services that you need.07. Our People | (04:55)Chelsey: Can you walk me through the general process if I am a prospective customer? Will I always have a “real” person to work with?Ricky: Yes, absolutely. Here at Northland we say ‘when you call we answer the phone’ and that’s the truth. When you’re a prospective customer you’re calling one of us and you’re doing a conversation with us. 15-20 minutes or so, at most probably a half hour and we’re doing a needs analysis. 08. Needs Analysis | (05:20)Ricky: We’re making sure that what we have to offer fits what you need and that we can basically best help you communicate the way you want to communicate. And that’s kind of where we do a needs analysis—we take everything down, we take detailed notes to make sure that it gets handed off to an account executive and they best understand what’s going on. Michael: And you know, to learn more, ask us the questions. I have no problem speaking and I know you don’t either—we’ve had numerous conversations where people are just inquiring about what services we have, if those services are available to them and you know what the process it. There’s a lot of aspects to this, and I know that a lot of the technological stuff can be a little intimidating, and it’s our job to comfort people—to make sure that they understand what they’re getting when they talk to Northland. You know we provide services and it’s our job to make sure people understand what those services are and what they include. 09. Flexibility | (06:20)Chelsey: You two speak with a lot of different people from a lot of different backgrounds and industries—a trending conversation for the past couple of years has been flexibility and remote work capabilities. Talk to me from your vantage point about where you see the trend going in the future and your thoughts on how Northland’s technology and service fits in to that.Ricky: Well you know as you said, the last couple of years have been definitely a trying time for all of the business realm, and one of the things that we did is help customers work from home. And now it’s definitely the hybrid environment like ourselves but that’s something that we help other customers do. We help them take their employees and bring them home. It just makes it flexible. All you need to do is have your computer and a headset and you’re good to go when it comes to working from home it’s the exact same thing as working in the offices—I can still print to the offices if someone needs something printed out, and it just creates lots of flexibility. Michael: I think the one theme that would radiate through all businesses is the ability to communicate where, when, and how they want, and Northland’s job is to provide that. We can ensure that whether you’re back in the office, working remotely, on the go, bouncing around from city to city—whatever your job duties entail, you are bale to communicate with who you need to as easily as possible. Our job is to make communication easier for you and your business. 10. The Northland Difference | (08:00)Chelsey: So, if I were someone who was considering a telecommunications solution for my organization, what would you tell me is the main reason why I should consider Northland?Michael: I would say first and foremost, we’re local. We’re a part of the same community that these businesses are located in. We frequent a lot of these places in our personal lives. We have a vested interest in seeing this community blossom and be the best it can be. We want to be a part of that. We’re not going to provide service to businesses that don’t need us—that we’re not a right fit for. We’re not going to heavily push service where it doesn’t belong—we want to help businesses that need our help, businesses that can benefit from our help. Those are the businesses we want to work with and those are the businesses that we go after. Ricky: Yeah I absolutely agree. One thing I like to say to our prospective customers is that we’re a local company that wants to help local. We’re locally creating our own network and expanding it. We’re investing in infrastructure in our local community. And we’re helping you communicate the way that you want to communicate. Chelsey: Alright, thank you guys so much for having this conversation today!Ricky: Yeah thank you for having us, you know it was great to have this conversation and let everyone know a little bit about what we do. Give us call!Michael: Yeah we’re here. We’re ready to talk. See if Northland’s a right fit for you!