How to Create a Local Presence for Your Business When Making Outbound Telephone Calls
Before using Local Caller ID numbers to create a Local Presence, one should have a well-developed strategy. Without a strategy you may fool people to pick up the phone once or twice but this will become a short lived bump in answer rates, and probably won’t lead to many sales conversions. When you use Local Presence strategically, you will end up with both a lift in answer rate and more sales conversions. That’s what we really want.
In the old days of telemarketing we had an expression – “throw enough spaghetti against the wall and some of it will stick”. This won’t work anymore. Using Local Caller ID numbers to create a Local Presence by itself is just that same old – “Fool me once but not twice”.
Creating a strategy for Local Presence
Let’s agree that if you get a call from an 800 number you won’t answer the call. The reason is because you believe it is someone trying to sell you something. Most Sales managers’ knee jerk reaction to the obvious will be to buy Local Caller ID numbers to create a Local Presence for their business.
So what do we do?
- We know that any toll number vs. an 800 number will provide an immediate lift.
- Some will use a variety of toll numbers in rotation so as to limit the imprints on the called party’s Caller ID display.
- Others create a Local Presence by displaying a Caller ID number that matches the dialed number.
The data tells us the difference in lift between #2 and # 3 isn’t anywhere near the lift you will get just by doing #1. However, none of the above by themselves will increase sales in a meaningful way, even though more answers equal more possible sales.
What we really want to do is connect with the called party and lift conversions in a measurable way. We don’t want the conversation to start off with “Who are you?” and “Why are you calling me?”
Caller ID tactics that work to create a Local Presence
The magic is combining the Local Caller ID numbers with a Caller ID display name. That’s right, it is all about what the called party sees on the display BEFORE they answer their phone. That’s why you are considering using Local Presence numbers to begin with.
- If your brand is known, USE IT! If a buyer isn’t interested they might not answer, which isn’t really a bad thing – but if they are interested, they won’t mind talking with you. In this case your brand name, which the called party saw before answering the phone, has instilled confidence that they are talking with your company – vs. a telemarketer – and a real interest can be met with a sale.
- If your brand isn’t well known then lets use a different tactic that will also instill confidence. Let’s display your agents name. For example, if your agents name is John Peters, lets display; “Peters, John”. The call starts with “Hi, this is John Peters with xyz company”. Again, the expectation is met with who is calling. Since it has been reaffirmed there is about 5 seconds of trust to work with.
Unlike a typical phone company we specialize in providing Caller ID numbers that deliver your 15 character name with accuracy to the called party’s telephone display. We can provision a number with an associated display name in an hour or less.
Local Presence Technology
The biggest hurdle for most companies to create a Local Presence is having a CRM/telecom system that allows you to store and push a specific Caller ID number for each record on your calling list. (Our Professional Services Team is always available to assist).
If your systems are limited, we recommend using tactic #2. Try rotating area codes from major cities with the associated name display. Use twenty or so different numbers during one calling day, each month. These numbers would be associated with the calling list itself vs. each of the callable records.
I can’t emphasize enough how powerful combining both Local Presence numbers with your display name is going to be. We have one customer whose brand is so well known that when they switched from an 800 number to one of our Caller ID numbers, local to the location of their world headquarters, combined with displaying their brand name, answer rates increased by 42% and conversions by 12%. They also rotate a different number each day of the week to further reduce imprints and reduce called party frustration. Some of our customers have experienced even greater lifts. Across the board, the percentages of lift and conversions varies based on many factors, such as if the campaign is B2B, B2C and brand recognition.
Is it legal to use Local Presence phone numbers? Yes, it is.
The FTC, FCC and Congress have all weighed in on using Local Presence numbers. The regulations provide that “no person or entity in the United States shall, with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value, knowingly cause, directly or indirectly, any caller identification service to transmit or display misleading or inaccurate caller identification information”. The regulations, therefore, only impose liability on persons that knowingly transmit inaccurate or misleading Caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. Notably, the FCC acknowledged in the Report and Order that businesses often manipulate Caller ID information for legitimate reasons and cited the use of a local telephone number (rather than the actual telephone number used to make the call) as an activity that did not need a specific exemption, because such activity is not prohibited unless made with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain something of value.
The use of Local Presence telephone numbers by our clients that transmit their own names and/or the seller’s name does not violate FCC regulations because the Caller ID information transmitted includes an ANI (that can be traced back to the client) and the clients’ names, and is not made with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain something of value. Furthermore, calls made by consumers back to these numbers are forwarded to the sellers’ customer service departments. All such calls are answered during normal business hours and consumers can make DNC requests by calling these numbers. This complies with FCC requirements. In summary, when used appropriately, there are no prohibitions against creating a Local Presence for your business.
Are you ready to create a Local Presence for your outbound calling campaigns? Call Quality Voice and Data. Let us help increase your answer and conversion rates!
By Dean Garfinkel, President Quality Voice & Data, Inc. [email protected] 516 656-5111