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It's no secret that smartphones have become an important aide to the modern-day worker over the past decade - so much so that they are often referred to as the modern-day Swiss army knife.

But with mobile contracts potentially lasting up to 24 months, it is crucial that, as a business, you shop around for a deal that caters specifically to what you need. In doing so you will be able to save a significant amount of money that can be re-invested into other areas of your organisation.

But price certainly isn’t everything, so we’ve compiled this guide to help you find the best mobile contract for your business.

1. Create a shortlist

When approaching the end of your contract, it is vital that you review it to see whether it still meets your needs. The fast-paced nature of business means that companies are continually evolving and growing, so circumstances change.

Whilst it’s natural to want to start talking with your current provider, it’s important not to go with the first offer that they come up with. Instead, you need to shop around to see what else is available.

It is good practice to compare at least three different providers when looking for a new tariff. One of those on your shortlist will be your existing provider, and at least one other should be an independent provider. The major benefit of the latter is that it will be unbiased and not tied to any specific network.

If you’re not sure which suppliers to approach, ask around for recommendations and/or use websites like Review Centre to find out which are most/least popular with their customers.

2. Speak and haggle

As a customer, you’re in a very strong position when it comes to getting an improved plan. On one hand you’ll have a provider (existing) desperate for you to remain loyal, while on the other you’ll have their competition ready to do whatever it takes to convince you to switch.

The power is in your hands.

The first step is to speak to the competition, explain your situation and requirements, and see what they can offer you. There is a huge variety of deals available on the market which change all the time, so investigate all of the different types of contracts they have available rather than automatically looking at like-for-like ones. If possible, ask the supplier for a tailor-made quote rather than an “off-the-peg” solution.

What you shouldn’t do, though, is accept an offer – no matter how good it seems – until you have spoken to each provider on the shortlist. The easiest way to avoid committing to a deal is to politely ask for some time to think about the deal.

Once you’ve spoken to each prospective retailer, it’s time to pick up the phone and call your current provider. Make sure you present your ‘homework’ when speaking and explain clearly that you’ve been offered the opportunity to switch to a better deal. Providing you come across as genuine, the provider will likely pass you through to the retentions department where the negotiations will begin. Again, refrain from committing to anything straight away.

This is a classic example of playing one supplier off against another and haggling for the best deal.

3. Draw up a pros and cons list

Once you’ve compiled a list of best deals, you then need to create a pros and cons list for each provider. Price is usually the number one factor when considering a contract, but there are several other important elements that you need to consider before making a purchase.

Cast your mind back to the last time you required your current provider’s customer service team: were they helpful or were they difficult to deal with? Quality of signal is another thing to consider, as is whether the provider offers insurance. With regards to the packages you’ve been offered, can you share the minutes/data allocation? If you’re looking at package deals, will you use all the elements of it or will you be paying over the odds for any additional bolt-ons you may want to buy, such as international roaming?

The list can be as long or as short as you want it to be.

4. Make your decision

You’ve followed steps one to three and now you’ve arrived at the crucial stage – the buying decision. If your current provider can’t match what you’ve been offered elsewhere then you need to seriously consider switching, but remember to consider your pros and cons list before doing anything.

Whichever supplier/contract you decide to proceed with, remember that you’ll be stuck with them for at least 12 months, so don’t feel rushed into making a decision that you may live to regret.

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About Andrew Frost

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