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Vol. 1 issue #190 May 2, 2006

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Toll Free Numbers
2006 By Bob Osgoodby

Much has been written about the value of 800 numbers. Basically,
an 800 number is like calling someone collect, since they pay
for the call instead of you.

Does an 800 number increase the chances of making a sale? Let's
explore this a bit. Suppose you read an advertisement, or visit
a web site that lists an 800 number where you can get more
information. Many times you get a "canned" spiel which, if you
bother to listen to the whole thing, asks for your number so
they can return your call. At that point, many people simply
hang up as they don't want to give out their private number. The
last thing they want is to be put on another telemarketing list.
This tactic is used extensively by some. Does it work? The jury
is still out on this one.

Some make you fight your way through a maze of options - press 1
for this, 2 for that, and so on. Some don't even give the option
of talking with a live person. If you don't select one it simply
starts the option selection process again. - The jury is in on
this one. The owner of this 800 number will pay for a lot of
calls, that simply frustrate the caller and will never result in
a sale. What a waste!

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Louwrens's General Info
 

Me on my wedding day   
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Louwrens La Grange (user id: louwrens) is offline. Last login: 5/2/2006 2:06:04 PM 135 Friends
Member since 4/29/2006
Mr Louwrens La Grange
Gender Male
Location Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Interests Online Marketing, Network Marketing, Social Networking, Sport, Travel
   
Company BeSeenCafe
URL View BeSeenCafe's web site
Industry Have your own Online TV Channel with this new full Video Social Networking Community. JOIN NOW for FREE our pre launch and earn residual income when people join your Community.

If you're lucky, you get a real person who answers the phone,
and who can help. Now let's switch the focus here a bit, and
make believe you are the person who answers. Is the caller a
serious prospect, a bored teenager with nothing better to do, or
what they refer to in the automotive trade as a "tire kicker?

Trying to determine if they are a serious prospect is a
challenge. If they are, you might make the sale. If they aren't
however, how do you gracefully end the conversation? Many small
businesses are a "one horse" shop, without the staff, and
equipment necessary to handle multiple calls. Every minute you
are on the phone, with someone who is not a serious prospect, is
not only wasting your time, but may cost you another customer,
who can't get through because the line is busy.

Some people, who may have a slight interest, think that because
it is a toll free number they don't have anything to lose, so
they make the call. It doesn't cost them anything, so why not.
These are your "tire kickers", are usually not serious
prospects, and are wasting your resources. 

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How do you avoid these types of problems? Simple, don't have an
800 number. If a person has to spend their "nickel" for the
call, they have already pre-qualified themselves as a serious
prospect. You know that time spent with them will be productive.
Now the small entrepreneur must have a separate phone line for
this. If you are involved in several businesses, you should have
a line for each one. That way, when the phone rings, depending
on the number called, you can answer the phone in a businesslike
manner.

We used 800 numbers with our businesses. As an experiment, we
took the 800 number off our website, and put in a non-toll free
number. Two things happened and they were both good. First, the
number of calls received decreased by almost 80 percent. This of
course concerned us at first. Secondly however, we saw our sales
dramatically increase. Why? Because the prospects were
pre-qualifying themselves, and we were not wasting our time, or
losing calls due to lines being busy.

Do 800 numbers have a place in your business plan? Sure! If you
are product oriented, a toll free order line is essential.
People may hesitate to pay a toll for a product they wish to
order. If you are service oriented, it is a must for technical
support. With long waiting times for help, it would be a real
turn off if one wasn't available.

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So how can you know if an 800 number will work for you?

Test it.

Call your local phone company and ask them the rates for
installing an 800 number. They'll have different plans, so make
sure that you choose a plan that fits your needs and budget.

Sign up for a couple of months and add the number to all of your
sales stuff - web site, etc. Then track your results. Does the
benefits (sales), justify the cost, then you've got a winner. If
not then unplug it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Did you know that subscribers to Bob Osgoodby's Free Ezine the
"Tip of the Day" get a Free Ad for their Business at his Web
Site? Great Business and Computer Tips Monday. Wednesday. And
Friday. Instructions on how to place an ad are in the Newsletter.
Subscribe at: http://adv-marketing.com/business/subscribe2.htm 

 

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