Mc Leod Usa: No Telecom Hayseed

Clark McLeod's tiny telecom makes big Midwest inroads

In 1982, Clark E. McLeod broke into the long-distance telephone business by randomly dropping a pen onto 25 names in the phone book. He visited each person--and persuaded 15 of them to buy service from his unknown company, Teleconnect. His pitch? Personalized service for 10% less than the going rates. Within five years, his company had wrestled away 50% of AT&T's market share in Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Iowa, and other such markets. "We gave our customers back control, and as a result, we won them right and left," McLeod boasts.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.