Over my 34 years in sales, I have made it a point to steer clear of advising customers about contracts.
While I may have my opinions, I know that others are more qualified to give that kind of advice. So I don’t. That being said, I now find myself in the position of making an exception to my own rule.
Because I am simply stunned by the number of times Continuant has reached a verbal agreement with a prospective customer on a maintenance and support contract for Avaya systems, only to have the agreement “go south” at the last minute. Most often the reason is that the prospective customer did not know their Avaya contract expiration date, or, worse yet, the company failed to cancel their auto-renewal clause in time.
Not only would the prospective customer receive far better service and significant savings from Continuant, but Continuant would benefit from adding a new customer. By failing to identify expiration dates or to address the auto-renewal clause in a timely manner, the result became a lose/lose: The prospect was stuck with Avaya’s bad, expensive service for another year and Continuant lost the ability to add another customer into our growing ranks.
What keeps me awake at night is the sheer number of prospective customers that we have not been able to turn into happy customers because expiration dates or auto-renewal clauses were mismanaged. Remember: Auto-renewal clauses in Avaya’s contracts (and most others) require a thirty-day notice of intent to cancel. Period. Please be sure you know the exact expiration date of your contract!
Thank you for considering Continuant. It would be a privilege to have you as a customer, and I hope that expiration dates or auto-renewal clauses will not stand in the way.
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Chief Sales Officer and Co-Founder Bruce Shelby, began his career in the telecom industry in 1984, holding various positions in sales and sales management. In 1996, Shelby joined Doug Graham in founding the company that would later be known as Continuant: Telecom Labs, Inc. (TLI).