How Not to Sell Your Telephone Answering Service
August 30, 2016
There are some commonsense steps to take when selling your telephone answering service, just as there are when selling anything. Common key elements include presentation, promotion, correcting problems, and so forth.
At the risk of comparing a business to a vehicle, would you abuse a car, drive until it breaks down, and then slap a for sale sign on it along the side of the road? Of course not, but too many people adopt this same philosophy when it comes time to sell their answering service.
If you don’t care about selling your answering service for a good price, here is what you should do:
Don’t Maintain Equipment, Staffing, or Marketing: Don’t worry about tomorrow, it will all work out – you hope. Instead of planning, let your equipment age and don’t maintain it, allow staff to atrophy and keep underperforming employees on the payroll, and ignore all marketing because you don’t see the point of promotion anyway.
Let Small Problems Become Big Issues: Instead of resolving a small customer service error, ignore it and maybe it will go away. Or it could fester into a lawsuit that will cost dearly.
Give Away Service: You argue that the incremental cost to answer one phone call is zero. Therefore you can surely give free answering service to family, friends, and nonprofits without consequence. Yeah, right. Where else does that work?
Undercharge: The old joke is “We lose money on every sale, but we’ll make up for it in volume.” Some answering services actually think this way. But no matter how many unprofitable clients you add, the result is still unprofitability.
Allow Payroll to Bloat: So what if you’re overstaffed a bit? You’ll provide better service, right? Maybe, but likely not. Over scheduled shifts lead to bored staff who tend to goof off. That’s never good. Just having one extra agent per shift will cost about 100k per year. Do the math if you don’t believe me.
Let the New Owner Worry About It: A deferred problem is a time bomb waiting to go off. Each one makes your answering service less attractive. Too many make it unsalable.
Ride it Out as Long as You Can: Some owners are passive, sucking out as much money as they can with no regard to the future. It makes about as much sense as driving a car without any oil in the engine. Your days are numbered.
You may laugh at these six foolish steps, yet each one of them has occurred. The seller has let his or her business languish but still expects to sell it for top dollar. No way, not going to happen.
Whatever you are selling, including your answering service, take care of it and work to provide a can’t-say-no package to a potential buyer. That is how to sell fast and for top dollar.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider and consultancy for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706 to arrange a private consultation about buying or selling an answering service.
Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.
Should You Use Direct Mail as a Marketing Tool For Your Answering Service?
If you’ve networked with other telephone answering service owners or attended many TAS meetings,, the subject of direct mail as a marketing tool is ...
Email Opt-Out Traps to Avoid
A great way to market your call center or answering service is with email marketing: you collect email addresses and send regular messages that contai...
Six Steps to Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center
Regardless of the reasons for outsourcing your healthcare call center work, pursuing a reasoned path is the surest way to a successful outcome. Here a...
7 Tips to Maximize the Sale Price of Your Answering Service
At the end of the year, some telephone answering service owners think about selling their business. They want to complete the sale by year-end. Often ...
How to Maximize the Valuation of Your Answering Service
Smart business owners are always looking for ways to increase the value of their business. You should, too. Whether or not you plan to sell your telep...
Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center Work to Reduce Costs
While a common reason to outsource healthcare call center services is to increase quality, an even more likely motivation is to save money. And saving...
Outsource Your Healthcare Call Center Work to Counter Labor Issues
Many areas in healthcare suffer from a shortage of qualified personnel. One common area is nurses, and many healthcare call centers hire nurses to wor...
What to Do When You Struggle with Sales and Marketing
Every telephone answering service and outsourcing call center owner wants to grow his or her business. There are only two ways to do so: growth throug...