I don't know about you – but when I see companies that I use offering special discounts to new customers only – I get a little upset. I realize they need to continually sign-up and be recruiting potential buyers. But what about the loyal base? Aren't they just as important – if not more – than the new, unpredictable customer?
I can't remember which book it was of his – but I recall master marketer Seth Godin once citing – that it's the loyal customer who has the most potential for making a company big money. It should be about devoting as much energy as possible to pleasing that base than always trying to reach out and find the next customer.
So, I've decided to use this as a fuel for my next personal “challenge“. Starting today and continuing tomorrow – I'm going to contact all the fine folks I patronize to and see if they might be able to lower my bills OR offer me the same discount they give to the newbie customer. On Friday, I'll report my findings (savings if there is any) and share how it all went down.
Leverage your customer loyalty
If you've been a faithful customer who pays their bills on time – recommends that service/product to others – you have leverage. And, with so many choices out there, companies know we can go elsewhere. Use this to your advantage.
If you've ever read anything by Ramit Sethi (iwillteachyoutoberich.com) you'll know how important it is to use skillful negotiation. He has loads of helpful information about how to go about getting better deals – including how to make more money.
One thing I've learned from him is to be direct and unapologetic. I know that sometimes I can get a little too meek when I'm making a request or negotiating (leaning a little too much towards the side of not wanting to offend).
So in the case of negotiating for a lower phone bill – just state what it is that you want, back it up with your past history as a faithful, on-time bill payer and expect the best.
How do you lower your bills?
Maybe this scenario doesn't bug you as much as it does me. But, are there other ways that you go about negotiating or lowering your monthly bills?
I think it's important to do this a couple times a year. Sometimes I get into such a habit of just accepting what it is I'm paying for – whether that be utility bills, healthcare, insurance or other recurring costs – that I forget these costs could be negotiated.
Early in my adult-life, I remember paying off a used car and for months after, kept the premium auto insurance coverage for it. Now, I know a case could be made for why you would want full-coverage – but in this case – it didn't make a lot of sense.
Sometimes – all you need to do is ask.
How do you think I'll come out on Friday?