Imagine being at home in the evening, enjoying time with family when the phone rings. The call display shows an unfamiliar number with a strange area code. Do you pick up? It’s pretty unlikely. Now imagine the number on the display is a 1-800 number – how much less likely are you to pick up the phone then? The reality is, unfamiliar numbers significantly damage pickup rates, and toll-free numbers absolutely destroy them. That’s because call recipients assume that unfamiliar numbers are telemarketers at best, and potentially even phone scams at worst. As a result, it’s incredibly important that companies depending heavily on telephone sales to out-of-area prospects find an answer to the problem. That answer is local presence, and it’s been an extremely effective tool available to sales agents for years – but will it still work in 2020? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Local Presence Dialing?
Local presence dialing is a feature built into some power dialers that enables users to preselect their outgoing area code from a list of available numbers. That ensures that prospects on the other end of calls see a familiar number on call display, significantly boosting answer rates – sometimes by as much as 65%. Once an outgoing local number has been selected, users can then use region-specific calling lists to automatically dial through all of their leads relevant to that geographic area, both boosting calling efficiency and supercharging answer rates simultaneously. The only real limitation to the variation offered by local presence dialing is how many different local numbers a company wants to program into the system for their agents to have access to, making it a powerful tool for nationwide sales.
Will Local Presence Calling Still Work in 2020?
“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” might be a Mark Twain quote, but it applies equally well to local presence! People have doubted the future of local presence for years, and yet, there have been zero reductions in its effectiveness – when used correctly, that is. To be sure, spoofing numbers in an event to hide the actual number being used to dial is illegal and absolutely should be. But that’s not what Local presence is. Local presence calls are actually made from the numbers that show up on call display, and those numbers are legally owned by the company doing the calling. There is no spoofing involved. It’s entirely legitimate, and as such, the use of normal local presence features – like the service included in CRMDialer – is set to be as effective in 2020 as it ever has been.
Best Practices for Local Presence Calling in 2020
In order to maximize the effectiveness of local presence dialing, there are some best practices that companies and sales agents should abide by when using the technology. The following are four of the most important of those best practices, in no particular order.
Never Use NPA-NXX Calling
NPA-NXX is an extreme version of local presence that allows users to automatically match not only the area code of their outgoing number, but also the first three digits with those of the recipient. That might seem like a good idea on the surface, but consumers have quickly learned that scammers frequently employ NPA-NXX, and as a result, won’t pick up calls from numbers that are suspiciously close to their own. That makes it a counterproductive technology for telephone sales.
Be Completely Honest if Recipients Ask About Location
There is nothing dishonest about the use of local presence, but if sales agents aren’t transparent about its use, then they start to walk the line. If a call recipient inquires, it’s important that agents are transparent about the fact that they’re calling from out of the area, and that they use a local phone number for their in-area business calling. Leads won’t balk at that at all, but if an agent lies when asked, it’s a different story altogether.
Always Choose a Non-Local Number Over Toll-Free
Even if a company doesn’t want to load up their power dialer with numbers from all over the country to get the most out of local presence, it’s important to load in at least one, especially if the alternative is having a toll-free number show up on call display. Even a normal long-distance number is a far better option for answer rates than a 1-800 number, which will almost certainly result in the majority of prospects opting to ignore the call.
Ensure Knowledge of and Compliance with all Federal and State Regulations
It’s important to be familiar with Federal regulations like the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 and any applicable local or state regulations to ensure that agent and company activities are always in complete compliance with relevant laws. Doing so ensures local presence can be used fairly and legally so that the significant benefits it offers can be enjoyed without any fear of negative outcomes.
Local presence is just one of the many features included in CRMDialer’s industry-leading power dialer software. With a complete VoIP phone system, automatic dialing and call queuing, one-click voicemail drop, IVR call routing, and much more built right into the platform, CRMDialer is the ultimate sales and productivity tool for companies utilizing telephone-based sales. For more information or to set up a free guided demonstration visit CRMDialer.com today!