When is the Right Time to Buy an Answering Service?

We talked about when it is the right time to sell your telephone answering service and when it is the wrong time. These posts were both from a seller’s perspective. What about the buyer? While seller and buyer timing does correspondingly mirror each other, the buyer has some additional considerations. Here are five situations when it is an ideal time to buy an answering service:

When You Have Cash

Although you can buy an answering service using seller financing, having cash to pay off the seller at closing will grab their attention and remove risk on their part. When in a sellers’ market, as is the case today, a cash offer may be the only option. After all, why would a seller accept a payment plan from you when another cash buyer is ready to move forward?

When You Have Financing

If you don’t have cash readily available, the next best option is a firm resource to finance the deal. However, make sure the money is truly available. Many a deal has been scuttled when a lending institution changed their mind, their terms, or their conditions at the last minute. Don’t put yourself or the seller in that situation.

When Your Operation is Working as it Should

Having your own answering service smoothly humming along puts you in a great position to make an acquisition. After all if your staff is already struggling with internal issues, they will not have time to devote to the acquisition—or will ignore your existing clients in favor of the new ones. Avoid both of these risks when your existing answering service is running as it should.

When Your Last Acquisition is Fully Optimized

Too often acquisition-minded answering service owners are so busy chasing the next deal that they ignore the opportunities awaiting them in the deal they just closed. I talk about this often: mine all you can from one purchase before moving to the next one.

When an Opportunity Presents Itself

Although it is unethical to exploit another answering service’s misfortune, being aware of changing situations and available to purchase a struggling operation can provide the opportunity to acquire a service at a favorable price. Just remember to be fair in the process. Word gets around fast of unscrupulous vultures who take advantage of struggling answering service owners. These five situations reveal when to consider buying an answering service. However, the optimum, ideal time to buy an answering service is when #1 or #2 exists, along with #3, #4, and #5. Be ready, be on the lookout, and be nice.

Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry. Contact Janet at contactus@callcenter-salespro.com or 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.