By Camille Sperrazza
Some of us can remember what life was like when we didn’t carry cell phones everywhere. Others cannot imagine how we existed without them. But one man had the foresight to see that one day cell phones would be carried by everyone. That man is Nathan Yanovitch, President and CEO of Ameritel (1918 Kings Highway and many other locations; call 888-2-HOOKMEUP to find the Ameritel store near you). Ameritel started as a single retail store in Manhattan, selling beepers and pagers. It is now “The Number One T-Mobile distributor in the New York Metro area, Georgia, and Florida,” says Yanovitch. They recently went into the California market, and expect to be Number One there, too, he says. It all began when Yanovitch saw the potential of cell phones, and started selling OmniPoint, which later become Voice Stream, and now T-Mobile, he says. Sure, they had a retail store, and business was good, but Yanovitch saw an opportunity to expand further. It started quite simply. In the back of the store, “We had a man and a van who distributed to other stores in the area,” says Yanovitch. As a result, “We gained a name with OmniPoint and become their first master dealer.” By taking on this indirect channel, selling to retail stores in the local area, their sales grew, allowing them to build a significant wholesale distribution business with regional offices and warehouses across the country. Today, “we support a network of over 1500 dealers and company-owned retail stores,” he says. They have over 300 employees, and “are proud to be among the top three providers of new subscribers to our carrier partners.” They may be big, but they never forget their humble roots. Yanovitch says, “Ameritel’s success is related to the dedication and loyalty of our dealer partners. We treat them like family.” He is especially proud that, “Many of our dealers have been with us from the very beginning,” and says that he takes pride in helping these dealers “grow, year after year.” Because of Ameritel’s standing with T-Mobile, they can offer both dealers and customers unbeatable pricing when it comes to purchasing cell phones and plans. Yanovitch explains that Ameritel can sell phones to “mom and pop shops” for a much lower rate than they would normally pay. This is because of the volume of business Ameritel does with T-Mobile. For example, when these smaller shops want to purchase only one phone, they can do so from Ameritel at a price that they would normally get from T-Mobile, only if they were to purchase many phones, he says. Of course, this is good news for the consumer. It is also how some shops are able to offer customers free telephones, he says. “They’re actually subsidizing the phone with their commissions.” Ameritel provides its dealers with “the finest level of service and highest compensation levels…including accurate reporting, fast inventory turnaround, proprietary technology tools, creative advertising support, ongoing business development, training, and support.” He keeps in touch with his retail sub-agents with an in-house publication, he says. “Our expertise is in our knowledge and our customer service,“ says Yanovitch. “Our highly trained, technically savvy sales people sell high tech accessories, using T-Mobile calling plans.” For example, they can provide the details about the latest T-Mobile high tech WiFi services that join broadband and cellular networks. This allows customers to access high speed Internet, right from their cell phones. The knowledgeable staff at Ameritel is also enthusiastic about the newest product that is expected to be a big seller. It’s called “My faves.” You might have already seen the commercials. With this plan, T-Mobile allows you to select five favorite people you’d like to phone, and you may place unlimited calls to them. For example, select your home, your best friend, your spouse’s workplace, and/or your children’s homes or cell phones. Now you can call those places, and speak all you like. The minutes you use are not deducted from your calling plan. Plus, you’ll still receive free nights and weekends. There are various plans available, starting as low as $39.99 a month. These make great gifts, just in time for the holidays. Imagine being able to keep in touch with the five favorite people in your life, and never pay for a phone call. Yanovitch calls Ameritel, “the perfect one-stop shop for all your cellular needs.” He anticipates that business will continue to increase. As for the secret of his success, it’s good, old-fashioned hard work. “The harder I work, the luckier I get,” he says.