Why Buy A Competitor When You Can Buy The Phone Number?

A lot of fiscally healthy contractors are taking advantage the current economy to buy weaker competitors. Sometimes companies can be purchased for little more than the provision of a job for the owner and a percent of future sales from his customer list. If the owner would make a good technician or fill a need for a service manager, an acquisition might be the best approach.

On the other hand, if the company is going under, why not let it and buy the phone number as soon as it becomes available. While it varies, the average cost of buying and forwarding a phone number runs around $30 a year.

What do you get with old phone numbers?

Calls from old business cards
Calls from old equipment stickers
Calls from old invoices
Calls from old refrigerator magnets
Calls from old marketing material
Calls from old yellow pages

Eric McChesney of Drain Masters Plumbing in St Louis vigorously tracks all leads. He says that 30% of his yellow pages calls come from books more than two years old. I don’t even keep new yellow pages directories, but clearly a lot of people keep their old yellow pages.

For $30 a line, buy old numbers and keep them active until they cease to get calls. At one call a year, the line pays for itself.

Whenever you discover an out-of-business competitor, call the phone number to find out when the number will be available. Enter the date in your organizer and buy the number. Why buy a competitor when you can buy a number?

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable, HVAC’s largest business alliance. The Service Roundtable helps give contractors faith in a positive future with highly effective business, sales, and marketing tools, peer-to-peer contractor support, and special discounts and rebates. For more of Matt’s writing, visit his blog at Comanche Marketing. To contact Matt about speaking for your organization, call toll free 877.262.3341, call him direct on his mobile at 214.995.8889, or email him at [email protected] Connect with Matt on Facebook, Linked In, and Plaxo, become a Facebook Fan of the Service Roundtable and follow Matt’s Tweets on Twitter.
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