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What’s your phone number?

People contact me a lot through Facebook, Instagram, youtube and email but frequently I get the email letting me know that my phone number isn’t on the website and it needs to be. Not having my number on the website is very intentional. Before diving into the benefits of controlling the information flow, there is a little bit of a back story.

Back in 2012 I started a small Software Consultancy centered on Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solution; we were an Oracle Gold Partner. I provided private label technical services for some of the major players in that niche catering to SMB as well as global enterprise companies. It wasn’t a huge business but was pretty successful and with a couple, DBAs did very well for ourselves. Even though the business had its own business phone lines, I found that everyone seemed to call my cell phone. No one ever used my primary number(s). It was a total waste so I canned the main number and just posted my cell on the website. That was a HUGE mistake because now my cell is in every phone list out there. In 2017 I decided to take a job with my most successful customer to reduce my hours. Once that happened, I pulled the website down but I still get calls all day long from Robo dialers and salespeople.

In addition to the spam calls there is another advantage to not having my number online: people are forced to email or contact me through social media. That may seem inconvenient at first but overall it should be a much better initial contact for the customer. Having initial contact be written allows me to:

  • Prepare a comprehensive response
    • If the objectives of the contact are clearly communicated, I can respond much more thoroughly and do research where possible.
    • Prepare questions/considerations for the customer on things they might not have thought of
  • Research part numbers, availability, and options: A cold call may result in an odd question I am not prepared to answer, like Mike asking me for the part number for the black cover on a w123 ignition switch. A written contact gives me an opportunity to try to find that information.
  • Provide full contact information for follow up: I try to include all options for contacting me in my initial response to contacts.

Many customers and contacts have my cell phone and use it regularly. It is not a secret and I am happy to provide it, just not to lead generation systems. Please don’t be afraid to reach out!

Rodney

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