Phone Use Errors: What about Phone Spam?by Dave Cottrell
Phone use errors are things that can just kill your business and are a complete waste of your valuable time. One of the biggest phone use errors, as I wrote in a previous article, is not using your phone at all. But in the list of major phone use errors, the following one tops them all.
Let’s digress ever so slightly. Do you want to know what really bugs me? Have you had this experience? Are you (horror of horrors) doing this or even thinking about doing this, yourself?
One big error people make, as I wrote about a while ago, is NOT using their phone. One HUGE error people are making is using the phone to spam people.
What REALLY, REALLY bugs me, and is the biggest of the big phone use errors I can think of is spamming people using dialers and recorded messages, a type of computerized system that automatically dials people and leaves a recorded message, plugging a get-rich-quick scheme or some other wares. All those people who phone me, pretend to be my friend and leave part of a recorded message on my answering service drive me crazy! They are filling up my valuable answering service space and wasting my time, almost always with stilted, read-from-the-page messages that never start at the beginning.
Does this ever happen to you?
These guys don’t even wait for the tone! You get something like, “…my super-duper push-button ultra-fantastic sytem, that will make you gadzillions in 2 days with no investment and no money, blah, blah, blah, and ad nauseum…”
Don’t they know how their system works? Have they read their manual? Do they even know how to use the phone? Don’t they realize this is the worst of the worst phone use errors anyone can be guilty of?
Does this ever happen to you? How does this make you feel? I am willing to bet you wish you had some kind of program that would cause their phone and computer to automatically explode! Your time is valuable. The space on your answering service is valuable. These people are stealing from you!
I’d rather have a real, live telemarketer call me! At least then I can hang up on them (or mess with their minds – evil grin)! But THESE people just set their program to run with its automatic dialer and over-hyped (is that redundant?) recorded message, and hope someone’s listening at the other end! How many times has my voice mailbox been too full for a legitimate caller to leave a message? I’ve lost count!
Then there are those people who collect my phone number from an online ad I’m running or my website, call me, and start out with, “Hi, I just saw your ad on the internet and wanted to call to tell you how we can help you make gadzillions with our overpriced, underperforming piece of computer generated junk….” Oh, this is one of the major phone use errors out there!
Making such a claim either directly, as in, I picked up and answered the phone and you talked to me directly, OR on an answering machine is a big mistake in both cases. It just annoys the heck out of me, and trust me; I am probably one of the more patient and polite people you will call. Doing this INSTANTLY makes the hackles rise on the back of your prospect’s neck and puts him on the defensive. Rather than building a bridge to do business, you have just created a bullet and bomb proof wall that you’re probably never going to get through!
When I’m at my phone and personally receive one of these calls, AND somebody notices a real, live person has answered their call, my very first question is, “What website were you visiting?” 99% of the time they don’t have an answer! This just stops most of them cold, because they know they’ve just been owned and they haven’t got anything to come back with.
The truth is, they have absolutely NO interest in what I’m doing, which instantly shows me that they have absolutely NO interest in me, and guess what? I’m NEVER going to do business with them!! Out of all the phone use errors they could make, this is a biggy…
I’m not on any “Do-Not-Call” list, nor will I ever be. In my opinion, “Do-Not-Call” lists are not enforceable. Some smart bureaucrat somewhere just created another reason to raise taxes. Who’s going to prosecute the hundreds and perhaps even thousands of worldwide “businesses” who use phone spam to get their message out?
(We have the technology, today, to create a program for our voicemail that would automatically hang up every time someone used an auto-dialer, or started to create a message BEFORE the tone; if we implemented it, we could eliminate a massive chunk of phone spam overnight. With today’s technology, it CAN be done. Why hasn’t it been done?)
Continuing on with phone use errors, and right in the middle of this present mix, is the subject of buying prospect lists. These are the lists that most of the spammers use. Not everyone realizes they are spamming when they buy these lists, nor do they realize they are being ripped off. Many of the companies who sell these lists sell them over and over again, and many resellers sell them at greatly discounted rates after that.
These are lists that are advertised mainly as being lists of business opportunity seekers who have RECENTLY filled out an online form stating that they are looking for a way to make money online. The fact is, they are OFTEN so old that even if someone filled out such a form, they will not remember. Using these lists for anything is one of the big phone use errors being committed, even by those who use the phone directly and properly in person to make calls.
This is why I get so many calls from people who start out with, “Hi, I just saw your ad on the internet and wanted to call to tell you how we can help you… etc.” Not everyone realizes their phone us errors. Since they actually paid good money for a list that was guaranteed to be all “fresh” business opportunity seekers, they really think that what they’re saying is true. C’mon… give them the benefit of the doubt…. but it this you?
There really is no substitute for using your own lead capture pages and using your own phone, your own voice and your own personality to make first contact. If you’re going to spend money in advertising, spend it on driving quality traffic to a good lead capture page and do your own calling. That is the correct way to do it!