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Five Tactics To Negotiate Your Bills Down This Year

Five Tactics To Negotiate Your Bills Down This Year

Although the inflation rate has fallen over time with a slight uptick as of late, economists are still predicting its sharp rise, which means household costs will remain more expensive than usual.

For the last few years, Americans have grappled higher living costs for everything from gas and groceries utility bills. In fact, some consumers even think they are overpaying. Per a September 2021 report by billtech company Squeeze, it was found that auto insurance, home insurance, internet insurance and cell phone plans are causing a pain to household budgets. Sobering, but fortunately everything is negotiable.

Keld Jensen, author of Negotiation Essentials: The Tools You Need to Find Common Ground and Walk Away a Winner shared some tips we can start using right now to make our bills more affordable.

Bundle Your Services with a Twist

Most of us think that combo deals only apply to our local fast food menu, but you can apply this logic to your household costs as well.

“Instead of just asking for a discount when bundling services, propose ideas that could benefit both you and the provider,” Jensen tells ESSENCE. “For example, suggest a referral program where you receive a discount for each new customer you bring in. This creates additional value for the provider and earns you more savings.”

Compare, Negotiate, and Collaborate:

“When discussing competitors’ prices, frame it as a chance for your provider to innovate or improve their services,” Jensen says. “Suggest ideas like matching competitors’ prices and adding a unique feature exclusive to loyal customers like yourself. This approach doesn’t just seek a price match but encourages service enhancement.”

Look For Hidden Opportunities for Promotions

Jensen suggests thinking outside of the box to find a deal.

“While asking for promotions or discounts, also express your willingness to provide feedback on their services or participate in beta testing new features. This turns a simple discount request into a valuable exchange where the company gains insights or promotional support.”

Mutual Benefits in Payment Terms

“If you’re offering to pay annually, propose an idea like a small incremental increase in your discount rate for each consecutive year you pay annually,” Jensen points out. “This incentivizes you to remain a loyal customer and reduces the provider’s administrative costs over time.”

Leverage Loyalty for Joint Benefits

“Highlight your long-term relationship and propose ideas that are mutually beneficial,” Jensen advises. “For instance, you could offer to be featured in their marketing materials as a loyal customer in exchange for a loyalty discount. This way, the company gains authentic marketing content while you enjoy lower rates.”

Strategic Cancellation Threat

Jensen suggests leaning on hardball tactics to get what you want.

“Use this tactic only if all other options have been exhausted. Inform your service provider that you’re considering canceling your services due to the high costs or better offers from competitors,” he says. “It’s crucial to approach this conversation with a tone of regret rather than confrontation, emphasizing that while you value their service, the financial implications or competitive offers are pushing you toward this decision.”

 He suggests preparing for the call ahead of time.

“Before you make the call, ensure you’re aware of the terms of your contract, such as any early termination fees,” he says. “Also, research alternative options so you’re prepared to follow through if necessary.”

Taking it a step further, strategically using your reluctance can work in your favor. “When on the call, express your reluctance to leave and highlight your history with the company,” Jensen. “Mention that you’re exploring this option reluctantly because all other avenues to reduce your bills have not yielded results.”

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