“The idea is that people are more apt to answer a call from an unknown number if that call appears to be coming from a local number: this gets the caller’s “foot in the door.” But is answering enough? Does local presence dialing really open doors for outbound-sales calls, or does it only slam them shut?”
The results clearly show that people are more apt to answer a local call than one coming in from a toll free number. Now…before you all rush out to try call ID spoofing (a practice where you fake a local call when you are not local) let’s analyze what we are really seeing in this survey.
- Unknown numbers and those coming from toll free numbers are the least answered. Why? Because they look like telemarketers, scammers, sellers purposefully hiding their location, and call centers. Whether you are or are not one of these types of callers is irrelevant. If you look like one, you will be treated as one. The lesson? Cold calling prospects from a toll free number or blocking your number will lump you into the “do not answer” category. In our office Casey never answers calls from unknown numbers or blocked callers because she has learned that 95% of them are telemarketers or scammers.
- While local numbers scored the highest, long distance area codes (or codes that were not hidden) scored second. This tells us that buyers prefer a personal touch. Buyers will always be more likely to pick up the phone when they feel it’s an individual calling them NOT a corporation.
- It’s all about trust. It’s fair to say that buyers will trust callers from their local area more than callers from away. Hence, the higher likelihood of getting your call answered. What you can do with this data:
- If you are local to your buyer, make sure you are calling them using your local line and not your toll free line.
- Do not “mask” your number. Numbers coming up unknown or blocked will hardly ever be answered
- If you are remote, call buyers using your direct phone number and not a toll free number. Again, don’t mask your number. You are more likely to have your call answered if you show your area code.
The telephone is a critical tool for all selling organizations. Any attempt to increase its profitability is worthwhile.