Wireless Contract Negotiation – Understanding the Priorities of Wireless Contract Negotiation

Many organizations fall into the same trap when negotiating wireless contracts – listening to the wireless carriers. All wireless carriers know where the savings opportunities are, and most importantly they know what you’re spending. Negotiating the buckets of spending that your carriers offer will only end you with an ineffective contract.

There are a few guidelines you should follow when negotiating with your wireless carriers.

Know your spend. The most critical rule is knowing your spend. You wouldn’t go into a gunfight without ammo would you? You must understand how much you spend on voice and data plans, feature charges, minutes used, equipment purchases and replacements, etc. You will not get an acceptable contract without knowing your spend and where to focus.

Ignore volume percentage discounts. I’ve seen many companies focus on volume discounts, but it’s the absolutely wrong approach. I guess it’s a bragging right to tell all your procurement buddies, “I negotiated 25% from Carrier X.” I’d much rather take the initial 20% offered and focus on rate plan, features, equipment costs. The extra 5% would only equate to $50K annually for every million you spend.

Focus on service charges. Like the guideline above, focus on the service charges. After all, it makes up most of your wireless spend. Negotiating $10 off your rate plan costs would equate to an annual savings of $120k for every thousand users you have. Much more savings than focusing on the percentage discount.

Negotiate out of service level contract terms. The carriers will push for service level contract terms of one or two years. Negotiate out of this if at all possible. A service level contract term will complicate your wireless management, or you’ll be hit with early termination fees. If a line is under a two year service contract and that user leaves the company, cancelling the service early could result in a $200 termination fee. It’s much wiser to give back some of volume discount percentage to eliminate the early termination fee issue. If you can’t negotiate out of this clause, you’ll need to ensure you manage wireless numbers and reassign rather than cancel.

Fight for fixed equipment pricing. Like service line contracts, you don’t want to manage upgrade pricing. Many carriers will subsidize the first piece of equipment heavily but force you to pay extremely high costs if replacing within a year or two. Paying $500 for a Blackberry three times because you have an executive who keep dropping them off his yacht is not fun. Try to negotiate flat pricing for equipment. Don’t focus on specific models, as they always change, but on classes. Put the responsibility on your carrier to offer devices in the same class or higher at the negotiated rate.

Look for other benefits. Does your organization have other needs? Are you looking at Wi-Fi for your locations, bar code scanners at your warehouse, Fixed Mobile Convergence? Work with your carriers to provide these services as part of your contract. It’s extremely difficult to get capital approval in today’s environment. Let your carriers fund your projects. Wireless carriers are happy to provide these added services as it carries over into more usage and more users. As long as it’s related to wireless, your carriers can help.

Speed is a strategy. How long have you seen wireless contract negotiations take? Six, eight, ten months or longer? What value comes out of these long negotiations? I’ve seen organizations in a year long contract cycle and only achieve 10% greater savings than the offers exchanged in the first 2 months of the contract.

To clarify my point, let’s assume the initial contracts offered the potential for $500k in annual savings. The additional savings over a three year contract (at 10%) would equate to $150k.

  • Initial Contracts Savings Potential Annually = $500,000
  • Monthly Savings Potential – rounded = $ 42,000
  • 10 Month’s of Savings Lost = $ 420,000

In this scenario, the organization lost $420k in savings to achieve an additional $150k. Now, you could argue that the organization will still get the $420k, it’s just pushed out farther. This is true, but when you factor in the amount of time and man-hours invested into the longer contract cycle the $150k in extra savings erodes pretty quickly. In any event, I’d rather start getting $42k in savings now and move on to the next opportunity.

The specific approach to a wireless contract negotiation varies based on your organization’s specific needs, but these guidelines will help you focus on the true savings opportunities.

Making a Presentation? It’s Not Just About Your Topic

Jerry Seinfeld once quipped, “At a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” Over 41% of people have this fear of speaking in public – that is, giving a speech, report, or presentation. This can be at a business, in an academic setting, in church, your office, or in any organization to which you belong. But there are times when no matter how you feel about it, you have to do it – period.

Most people feel that once they can control their anxiety about speaking – their racing heart, hyperventilation, sweating, or shaking, they are all set to present. Of course, you need to address your anxiety first because you have to be calm, comfortable, and present with your audience. But that is not the most important thing on which you have to focus. You are going to have to know more for your presentation than just your subject.

You are going to have to know who your audience is, why they are there, and what they are likely to expect from you.

You can use the following checklist to see that you are presenting what they need and want to hear in a way that is most understandable and useful to them to meet their needs.

1. Who is your audience? You need to consider what is relevant (age, generation, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic group).

2. Why are they there to listen to you? Are they just interested in the topic; are they seeking help; do they want to learn something new to add to their working knowledge base; or have they been told to be there?

3. How much do they already know about the subject? What is their information base, their education level, professional level, or experience – personal or work?

4. What are their general and specific goals in listening to you? Are they personal or work-related?

5. Do they have a current problem (personal or work) that they are hoping you can help them solve? If they do, this should be your primary focus. Knowing and understanding this, you can provide them with necessary information to help motivate them to act on their problem.

6. What is it in concrete, specific terms you are going to offer them? Is it facts, useful action-oriented techniques, new relevant how-to information, perspective, reassurance, support, advice, or feedback?

7. What specifically do you personally want to achieve through this presentation?

8. What role or attitude will give you the best chance of making a successful presentation? Are you there to act as a Teacher, Enlightener, Analyst, Expert, Advisor, Supporter, Problem Solver, Inspirer, or Guide?

Following this checklist will help you scope what you are going to do so you can tailor your presentation to the needs and wants of your audience, as well as enhance your credibility and visibility in the process.

Flower Arrangements Are an Environmentally Friendly Present

In our current society it is not difficult to get caught up with the material aspects in life and although this happens to be normal given the type of societies which are prevalent nowadays, it is also an aspect that might not be in the greatest interest of the world in which we live. This happens to be why it is a good idea to begin to think in a respectful way to the Earth when we are considering the method in which we desire to convey ourselves at times when we send a present. There is always going to be many ways to communicate that we care, although buying things that may bring forth more issues into the world is not something that is easy to feel good about. While a earth friendly metamorphosis is definitely under way, we might not always know the way that we can do something good for the planet and still give a great gift because after all, we still need to be able to impress the recipient, don’t we?

Well, in today’s society there is actually a priceless kind of present that many folks often do not think of when it comes time to get a gift for someone’s birthday or other major festivity in an individual’s life. It is much easier than one might believe to get something that happens to be kind to Earth yet still conveys the way you feel if you think in about giving a biodegradable gift. When you wish to take into account for a gift which doesn’t abuse the earth then take into account natural gifts, try floral arrangements! Of course, this is one wonderful present which may create emotional impact in the heart of whoever we want to offer the flowers to and at the same time, be something we can feel confident it will not damage the earth which we all live on. Since flower arrangements are a material of our earth that happens to be replenished constantly, it is a wonderful idea to pick them. Flower arrangements will die in their normal setting and their beauty can’t last in the wilderness, but when they are picked for a gorgeous bouquet they last longer not just in a vase, but within our memory bank, also.

This gift remains a perfect way to show someone special how you feel and get a floral arrangement right into their hands no matter where they might live. Flowers have always been a unique present that works for all people no matter what culture they are from. Keep in mind that this planet offers us the most amazing things and we do not ever have to create products in a work shop just to have the perfect expression of our appreciation to give!