Mind Your Business: The Difference of One

By Steve Michaels

Q. I have been trying to acquire some call center accounts and have been told that I should not offer anything over ten times monthly billing, but I keep losing out. Can you help me?

A. I don’t know why someone would tell you this; sales of telemessaging call centers are just like any other market – run by supply and demand. There are averages that should be followed, but there are also times when you need to look beyond the averages to see how an account acquisition could help your business and its bottom line.

Even if you have just spent over $150,000 on a switch to answer your calls, have sent your managers to special classes for training, and have a brand new website, it doesn’t mean anything unless you have clients.  Clients are your lifeblood, and sometimes you have to go beyond any norms to acquire them.

Let’s take for example a service selling 120 accounts that are billing $20,000 per month. They are asking eleven times monthly billing, and you are sticking to your guns and offering ten times.  First, you will not get the deal, and second, we are talking about a price differential of only $167 dollars per account, an amount of money that you would gladly pay a salesperson to land that account.

The question comes down to what you are willing to do to enhance your bottom line and maximize your infrastructure.  You can always spend more money on your website, hire another salesperson, and create a marketing campaign, but none of these are going to guarantee more business.  Buying accounts will – if done right!

It’s ironic that the economy is flailing and yet the multiples for telemessaging business have never been better.  Finding financing to buy a business is harder, but even so, services are selling for top prices – for the time being.

Steve Michaels is a business broker with TAS Marketing and can be contacted at 800-369-6126 or tas@tasmarketing.com for questions.

[From Connection Magazine June 2010]

Learn more about the Telephone Answering Service Industry.

How to Start a Telephone Answering Service, by Peter Lyle DeHaan, PdH
Get the latest info in the book How to Start a Telephone Answering Service.

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