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You Killed Your Competition! Now What?

Copyright (c) 2006-2019 New Hampshire Concrete Cutting and Core Drilling, All Rights Reserved
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When your competition goes out of business they will obviously lose the relationship that they have with their existing customers. When this happens it will create what I like to call a "customer vacuum." All of their customers will be set free and they will start searching for another company that can service their particular needs. At the same time you and your existing competition will start grabbing for control of these customers. What you need to do is fill that vacuum and there is one very good way I use to maximize the chance of these unaccounted for customers coming right to your door.

The most effective way that I have discovered is to assume control, of a dead business' customers is to take over their phone number when their company dies. This can be very difficult and confusing at first but it gets very simple. You see most phone companies use what is called a "cooling off" period for recently disconnected phone lines. This period usually lasts for one year. This means that you can't just call your phone company and take over a phone line the day it is disconnected. The reasons for this, I assume are because the company may have just forgot to pay its phone bill or it has encountered some difficult times financially and it has to wait a week before getting it reconnected. It would be very unfair for a phone company to allow this type of outright squatting. Other reasons could be that the company may be restructuring and will resurface in six months or so. Whatever the reason this "fail safe" was put in place to protect the existing phone number's owner.

I will discuss with you in the next few paragraphs on how to acquire the phone lines without waiting on the "cooling off" period but for now let's discuss waiting a year. "A year?" You ask. "That's an eternity!" We'll it may seem like it but I actually waited a year for a phone line once and it produced more business than I could handle. I had to put on three more trucks because my business literally exploded. The company that had gone under was an established arm of a major franchise in my industry and they had already signed contracts for massive amounts of yellow page advertising, both online and print. They simply packed up and vanished into thin air one day leaving a foundation that could make your average business owner rich beyond their wildest dreams. Well, I called the phone company and explained to them what my intentions were and they told me the exact day the "cooling off" period would end. I waited my time and I got their phone number and I had it remotely forwarded to my company's main phone line. I saw an instantaneous increase in business and I bled that phone number white for years. To top all that off, the main company's web site kept that locations address and the phone number on its home page for two years after I took over the phone line. My existing competitors were baffled and probably still haven't figured out how my company grew so big so fast during those years. The fact is I got massive amounts of their existing customers, yellow page advertising and web site exposure for the cost of a remote phone line that cost a mere $16.95 per month. Man, I am still amazed!

Now, let's face it, in most cases there is a real good reason why a company goes belly up and most business owners will say something stupid like "if they had any customers in the first place they wouldn't have gone down, I don't want that phone line!" A company can have more than enough customers and still die for a number of reasons. My theory is this, when I spend less than $20 a month for a dead business' phone number, that company had to have at least five good customers. Acquiring one customer with a lifetime value of, let's say, $10,000 is worth far more than the measly 17 bucks you spent acquiring them and based on my experience you will get at least ten new customers even if the company was mismanaged beyond belief and has been gone for over a year. Your new phone bill actually tells you how many calls were remotely forwarded to your main number from your new phone line each month. With this information you can easily decide if it is worth it or not within a couple of months.

If you want the phone line right away there are several techniques I use. The phone company will allow you to take over the dead company's phone line if you can get a letter from the previous owner on that expired companies letterhead. Also, you must satisfy any debt that that company still owes on that number. So basically you need to approach your former adversary and let them know that you want the number, find out how much they owe, and if they are willing to give it to you. If they are not interested you need to spark some interest by pulling a couple of crisp hundred dollar bills out of your pocket. Remember, this person just lost it all along with several years of their life, a couple hundred bucks really matters now. Never act arrogant or give them any indication that you will get the phone line anyway if you just wait a year because they can easily derail your intentions by reinstating the phone line for a while.

I approached an "old timer" that was no longer in business and explained to him what I had in mind. He said he had just got sick of it and that it was a young man's game and he simply decided to retire. He asked how much I was willing to pay for the phone line and I jokingly said $100. He said that was fine but I had to pay $272 to the phone company in order to release the phone line. I excitedly agreed and I literally took over his business that had been established for thirty years and to top that off he went and dug out his customer list (all handwritten) and gave that to me too. I had planned on giving him as much as $5000, if I had to, for the phone line and I was willing to pay an additional $500 a month for two years. I walked away with several hundred thousand dollars a year for $372. It really doesn't get any better than that.

I had one of my competitors approach me and offer to sell me his existing customers for $100,000. I wanted to acquire his customers end the situation immediately but I was not willing to spend $100,000 on customers that were going to be mine in a year anyway. I counter offered at $35,000 and he balked and acted all insulted. Needless to say my competitors couldn't afford or wouldn't pay the $100,000 and his company laid down, put its legs in the air and died. A year later I took over his phone line and many of his long time customers at the same time.

Each customer that you acquire using this method is highly targeted and if cultivated properly will have a substantial lifetime value plus they will continually refer new customers to you. The best part of all of this is that over the years as my competition has died, none of my existing competitors got any of the customers once I took over the phone line. As each of my competitors dies, I take, starving the competition that remains. I will continue to take until I fulfill my ultimate goal, which is to be the last man standing!


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(c) 2006 New Hampshire Concrete Cutting and Core Drilling, All Rights Reserved

Written by: Robert Short
New Hampshire Concrete Cutting and Core Drilling provides concrete cutting and core drilling services to the contractor and homeowner in New Hampshire or NH. Visit our website at http://www.affordableconcretecutting.net for more information on concrete cutting and core drilling.

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Last Distribution Date:
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Internal ID: #3148





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