When businesses are looking for VoIP services, they actually have a little more power than they think. Traditional telephone companies are so set in stone that they never budge on their prices or services, but VoIP companies are a bit more lenient. Depending on the provider and the size of the potential deal, many companies have bargaining chips that they might not be aware of.
To help businesses discover what their phone service is really worth to a provider, our editor Matt Paulson shares the tips and tricks that he has picked up from the VoIP business. Since he is in touch with so many different providers on a daily basis, he knows how they think and how to get them to agree to a sale on your terms, not just there. Fortunately, these tips fall into two basic categories that are easy to remember: always negotiate, and shop smart!
Don’t be fooled into thinking that prices are static, or that temporary deals are really as temporary as they sound. Attempting to negotiate a price will never cause a provider to back away from a sale, so it’s always worth it to at least try. If you’re lucky, you can get some nice treats with these tricks.
One thing to keep in mind is the number of “seats” you are asking the provider for. One seat is one phone with a caller, and most VoIP packages sell their service based on the number of seats or extensions the customer asks for. If you’ve checked out very many VoIP providers, you’ll notice that they charge less per-seat when there are more seats because it’s easier to sell in bulk. If you are purchasing more than 30 or 40 seats, VoIP companies will do nearly anything to ensure your patronage.
Simply asking for a lower rate might work and is still worth trying, but you should also consider some of the past promotional deals that they (or even their competitors) offered in the past. Most of these deals are actually part of the salesperson’s so-called “bag of tricks,” and if you ask for them, there’s a very good chance you can get them. Often, these deals include something like a free period of phone service, free IP phones or other VoIP equipment, or even premium calling features.
When looking for a VoIP company, one of the easiest mistakes is simply settling for the first VoIP provider that offers the right settings. Even if you find one that you think is perfect, shop around and check out your different options.
After this, try calling up the VoIP provider you liked in the first place and let them know you’re thinking about using one of their competitors. Suddenly, the service provider will start singing like a canary and offer whatever deals they can to keep you onboard. If you add in that their competitors are willing to throw in a free phone or a month of free service, there’s a good chance that the VoIP provider you actually like will match that offer.