Shopping locally has never gone out of style. Even with extensive use of the Internet for online purchases, many shoppers still like the hands-on experience of seeing a product in person, trying it out, and dealing with a member of the local community. Customers want to know who is selling them a product, who will install it—and, even more important, who will be there to provide service if there’s a problem. That’s why HughesNet® dealers are such an important link in the HughesNet sales channel.
HughesNet highspeed Internet service is a product of necessity for an estimated 12 to 14 million homes and small businesses that don’t have access to terrestrial broadband, primarily in suburban and rural areas. Nearly 1,500 dealers throughout the U.S. offer HughesNet to their communities. Often running family businesses, HughesNet dealers are entrepreneurs, highly experienced at working inside homes, running wire, and installing and connecting various products. It’s become routine for a dealer to sell HughesNet service one day, and be seen on the customer’s roof installing the system the next day.
Riding the Dealer Wave
Dealers account for nearly 20 percent of the HughesNet business, which is now running at approximately 15,000 new subscriptions per month, and recently crossed the 500,000 subscriber mark. Some dealers sell HughesNet exclusively; others offer HughesNet services alongside other products and services. But whether they sell satellite TV or home security, automation or theater systems, dealers constantly come into contact with consumers and small businesses with no high-speed Internet service. Just asking the question, “How do you connect to the Internet?” creates an immediate, no-cost business opportunity for the dealer.
“We had so many TV customers who wanted Internet service that it was a simple step for us to sell HughesNet,” said Paul Mathias of MT Communications, a dealer in Medford, Wisconsin. “Now our Internet customers have grown to 90 percent of our business.”
In June, at its Maryland headquarters, Hughes held its first Dealer Summit, attended by nearly 100 top dealers. The summit provided an excellent venue for dealers and the Hughes team to meet face-to-face, discuss ideas, and plan for the future. One of the goals of the summit was to grow the business in the local channel. Members of the Hughes team took the opportunity to present new programs and technologies, provide tours of the state-ofthe-art manufacturing facilities and network operations center—and listen. Dealers used the opportunity to share ideas on marketing and selling strategies, and to provide feedback to the team.
“Dealers are very important to us. We can’t be successful unless they are successful,” said Allen McCabe, assistant vice president of Channel Sales. “The local dealer, the local presence in the marketplace, local advertising, local installation, and local support are essential for moving products and services.”
The launch of HughesNet service over the revolutionary SPACEWAY® 3 satellite in 2008 enabled dealers to offer the fastest service plans ever, with downloads starting at up to 1 Mbps and going as high as up to 5 Mbps. And it will only get better. Planned for launch in 2012, Jupiter™ is the next-generation satellite from Hughes. With over 100 Gbps capacity, it will bring even higher capacity and value-added services to customers across North America.
“I’ve been working with Hughes for more than 10 years,” said Wayne Martinez from WM, Inc., a dealer in Trinidad, Colorado. “Hughes is committed to the future of satellite and I intend to prosper with their growth.”