3 Bad Sales Lessons Courtesy Of T-Mobile

by Paul Castain on January 12, 2014


In the latest attempt to lure customers away from their competitors, T-Mobile is now offering to pay the early termination fees should you decide to break your contract and go with them.

I suspect they will generate a considerable amount of revenue but don’t let that keep you from learning the following 3 bad sales lessons!

Lesson # 1: Don’t ever disrespect your existing customers like this! How is it disrespectful? Well, since they’ll pay up to $650 between the ETF and other incentives to people who have aren’t currently doing business with T-Mobile and the existing customers get nothing I’d say there you have it!

So the new guy get’s $650 and the existing customer get’s nada? That’s an awful message to send!

Nobody and I mean nobody should get a better deal than your existing customers. Period!

Time out: On a related note, this is why I don’t negotiate! Everyone (prospects and clients) are given the same pricing and the same, straight forward way to reduce my fees . . . buy more, save more! None of this I value you more than my existing clients stuff. If you want loyalty, you need to demonstrate your loyalty first and speaking of which . . .

Lesson #2: It can attract the wrong types of customers. And what are the wrong types of customers? I don’t know, let me see, oh yeah, the kind that would break a contract and display no degree of loyalty. I’m probably going way, way out on a limb here but what makes you think they won’t pull that sh*t on you someday? No thanks!

And when did it become OK to break a contract just because someone agreed to pay the penalty for you?

Lesson #3: It encourages cut throat tactics with your competitors! Every time I hear of these tactics, I always hear about the counter measure by a competitor and they go back and forth until they completely bastardize their industry.

I’m wondering if sort of a #3 1/2 could be that it might just send a message of desperation to your prospects which could result in anything from them using that as a springboard to hit you up for more or running for the hills because you look like you’re hard up?

So please pardon the rant but I’ve seen this tactic play out way too many times with cellular, cable, uniform companies, cleaning services as well as several other B2B industries.

We really have to resist our urge to court the wrong kind of new customers at the expense of existing customers as well as our integrity!

Your turn . . .

What do you think about these kinds of tactics and have you ever been in a situation as a loyal customer where you noticed incentives given ONLY to new customers?

Please scroll down and share your thoughts!

  • http://www.hs-vision.de Helmut Stang

    As I’m from the home base of T-Mobile in Germany, I only can agree to your perspective on this kind of behaviour. I terminated the contract with T-Mobile because I have to pay for such an unfriendly approach. They limit your call volume, they limit your surf volume and they have call centers to call you with lying about options to purchase. I’m following the stories with the new head of T-Mobile US. Based on the approach they acquired more than 1 Million new clients, who will have to pay in the final end at some day.
    Congratulation Uncle Paul to bring up a story to be told in any sales training of how not to act!

  • Jim Koontz

    This is what the Satellite TV and Cable companies have been doing for years. They always give you huge incentives to change carriers and then, slowly jack up our rates over time. They promotoe disloyalty. Then your old carrier does the same thing to get you back. Why not lower and lower the bills for your longtime, loyal customers?

  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    Agreed Jim!

    It’s sends a bad message!

    Unfortunately, there are many companies outside of cable and cellular that do this!
    Thanks!

  • arlenep1

    I agree with you Paul … one price for all customers and ZERO negotiation. Several years ago my late husband and I were manufacturers reps for a niche of the retail industry. All the buyers know each other, regardless they are competitors. And we knew they would talk to each other and compare prices. This is one reason we were successful in that industry – we had integrity and didn’t play favorites. A lesson anyone in any business can learn.

  • Don Andersen

    Tell me about it, Jim. Funny you should mention satellite TV companies. I just saw that Dish Network is now giving away free ipad’s to people who sign up for the Hopper. Where’s mine! Been a loyal customer for 14 years.

    I agree. Just lower the bills and stop the unscrupulous tactics.

    Good topic as always, Paul.

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