"What? No Telephone?"
I recently saw an interesting shop down the street. The next
day, I tried to call to see if they carried something I wanted.
But, I couldn't do it. They had no telephone number listed.
Do you believe that? Well, don't! It wouldn't happen with an
Every brick and mortar company has a telephone number for
receiving business calls. Can you even imagine a business with
no way for customers to contact them by phone? What kind of
business is that?
Yet, what do we have on the Internet?
We have people setting up home-based businesses. Then, they
seem to feel that since they are working from a home office,
they don't want to provide a telephone number on their web
sites. What's the thinking here?
Some online business owners believe that they will be inundated
with hundreds of calls per day and receive telephone calls from
cranks. Not true. Only a tiny percentage of your web site
visitors will ever call you. And you'll probably get just about
as many crank calls as you would with an unlisted private number
from cranks dialing randomly.
If you do get a crank call? That thing in your hand has a
disconnect button - use it!
Some people work online during hours that may not be considered
"business hours." They don't work 9 to 5. So what? Any
business can set its own business hours and they can be anything
you wish. Post your hours - and the time zone!
Oh, they'll just call anyway - day or night? So turn on Voice
Mail after hours. What's the problem?
One person actually told me that she "hates the phone." This
person objected to answering the same questions that were
answered on the web site. All I can say to that is, "Then, get
out of business." You can't build a company without customer
interaction. If you don't like people, then you'd better get
out of marketing!
At least in the USA, most land line telephone companies have a
service called, "Personalized Ring" - or "Distinctive Ring."
They give you a second number for about $6 per month. It uses
your main line - but when a call comes in on that number, the
telephone rings differently from your main number. Hark! A
business call! You can now answer your telephone with your
company name - and you don't even have to answer "after hours."
How can you run a business without allowing potential customers
- or business associates - to contact you personally? You
can't. If you refuse to provide a telephone number, trust me,
smart people will refuse to do business with you!
If you expect your business to be taken seriously, you need to
take that telephone seriously and provide a number on your web
site. If you refuse to provide a telephone number, don't try to
tell me you HAVE a business! You don't. No legitimate business
hides from potential customers and/or business associates!
Same ol' rule of thumb: How to they do it down on Main Street?
Are you in business - or not?