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Everybody wants more money. Getting more money is really quite simple – just ask for it, and use these strategies when you do so. You have nothing to lose, and lots of extra cash to gain.
The beauty of the following ideas is that they do not require any memberships, credit card numbers, subscriptions or the necessity of giving up any personal information. The ‘secret’ is simply to ask. If you have the gumption to ask, you can save a bundle.
Just about every monthly utility bill seems to go up. In my experience, the prices for things like mobile service, internet access, and home alarm monitoring seem never to go down. These costs always seem to go up (oftentimes, well above the rate of inflation and with no corresponding improvement in the qualities or features of these services). I could also add cable television costs here as well, except I do not have cable television.
How to Save on Monthly Utility Expenses
Step One – Do Your Research
Doing your research is a very important step that can not be overlooked when getting more money in your pocket simply by asking for it. It is your negotiation ammunition. Research what the competition is offering and get precise prices and features written down on paper. In many cases, you may find that the competition is currently offering a better deal with better features. Don’t lump ship, just yet (no matter how tempting it may be). Write the best deals down and move on to Step Two.
Step Two – Call Your Current Service Provider
Have your best deals available list in hand and call the Customer Service department of your current service provider. Now, this is KEY; don’t waste hours of your valuable time speaking with someone who cannot help you in the first place (i.e. most customer service department personnel). Be very polite and courteous and simply ask to be transferred to a manager or the customer retention department (most larger companies have one).
At this point, the customer service provider will inevitably ask if they can help you and rhyme off a list of current offers and promotions. Call transfers and escalations are often perceived as being a negative reflection on the service representative’s ability. Some work on commission and/or are told to transfer calls only if totally necessary. In any case, it could be perceived as a lack of customer service ability on their part.
Their hesitation, is thus, understandable. Understand this, but be firm and courteuos throughout your conversation. Most customer service representatives have a very stressful and demanding job and they deal with earfuls all day long. How they introduce your call to a manager or customer retention specialist (e.g. “She’s a jerk”, or “He’s screaming at me”, or “He is polite but insists on speking with you”, frames the next conversation that you will have. You want this next conversation to be a positive one. Here’s why.
Step Three – Suck Up (A bit)
Now you are hopefully speaking with someone who can actually do something for you. Start the conversation something like this:
“Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I know you must be busy”.
You will probably get a corporate response like, “I am always here to help. [insert company name here] always wants to ensure that our customers are happy. How may I help you?”.
Reply something like this: “I have been a customer at [insert company name here] for a while now and I have always valued your service and reliability. I am a happy customer. I just noticed that [insert competitors name here] is offering the same service for [insert price or service difference here]. I love your service and reliability and want to be able to stay with your service. What can you do for me?”.
You will now be put on hold after the manager stating “Let me see what I can do”.
Step Four – The Initial Savings Offer and Your Counter-Offer
You will almost invariably get an instant savings offer from the manager at this point. Keep in mind though, that they are trying to make the most money possible for their respective businesses. Their first offer is rarely their best.
You can respond something like this:
“Thank you for taking the time to look for better options for me. I do appreciate it. The problem here, however, is that I love your service and that I want to stay with you. You know as well as I do that I could simply take your new offer to your competition and ask them to beat it. We also know that they probably will. Let’s cut out that whole lengthy step and tell me what your real best offer is. I would like nothing more than to tell your manager about how you were able to retain a loyal customer. What is your best offer?”
The manager will now ask to put you on hold or, more commonly, ask to call you back the next day. In my experience, this means that an even better deal is coming your way. I have to stress, once again, how important is is to be courteous and professional at each and every stage of this negotiation. We are all human beings and we expect and deserve to be treated with respect.
Step Five – The Final Offer
At this stage, don’t get overwhelmed by your possible growing level of respect and admiration for the manager that you are dealing with. They are managers because they are good at what they do (i.e. deal with people). In each and every one of my phone calls of this nature I have been able to reduce my costs from anywhere between 20-40%! I have always ended up with more money in my pocket just by asking.
All I can say at this point is that your return phone call will probably bring you good news and save you even money. If the offer is still less attractive than what the competition is offering, then you must seriously consider switching.
Before doing this, however, remember to ask for the name of the manager that you are dealing with (in case you already haven’t) and mention that you will follow up with a letter to their manager outlining your disappointment about discontinuing their service and leaving for a competitor. Ask for their managers name. This is oftentimes enough to get further savings from than manager.
In any case you have tried your best using tried and true methods of getting more money simply by asking. This method of saving money has worked for me 100% of the time. I encourage you to try the same so that you have more money left for the things that really and truly matter to you – froogalism-style!
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Author: Jason Milburn Google
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