As the trend to keep our mobile phones within arm’s reach only continues to increase, the line between personal-communications and work-communications gets blurrier and blurrier and the practice of using our personal cell phones for business purposes seems virtually unavoidable.
The reality is that you don’t have to give your personal mobile number to your clients and prospects — and it’s better that way. If you think there’s no need or you think it’s just plain impossible to keep your personal number separate, here’s a few reasons to give you a fresh perspective.
#1: Protect Your Personal Security
Remember the last creep-tastic vendor or client to whom you begrudgingly revealed your personal digits? It was uncomfortable, but it hardly compares to cyber threats you expose yourself to by listing your personal number online.
This day and age, a quick google search can reveal a lot of personal information. By sharing your personal number, you’re making yourself vulnerable to a number of threats from online hackers and scammers.
Some people opt to carry two cell phones or set up a home land line, but those approaches bring their own set of inconveniences or wind up being quite expensive. A better option is virtual business line forwards any calls and money-making text messages to your chosen device so you still only need to have one phone on you when you’re out and about.
If you opt to get a virtual line for your personal use and your business use, it makes it more difficult for a potential cybercriminal to target you directly when only the business number is publicly available. With a virtual business line, threats will be directed your virtual service provider’s servers, which are most likely much better equipped to deal with a breach of security than you would be on your own.
Having this kind of protection in place preserves the safety of your personal data without affecting the mobility and convenience of using one personal mobile device to conduct business transactions and communication.
#2: Eliminate Losses with Call Screening
It’s important to be as available as possible to your clients — but if you’re using your personal cell phone, sometimes you don’t know who is calling.
Remember that time an unknown number or area code you didn’t recognize rang your personal phone, so you ignored it… only to find out when you were cleaning up your CRM that it was a huge potential deal? Of course, you followed up immediately, but you were two minutes too late and the prospect had just locked down the deal with a competitor.
Or maybe you’ve horrified yourself by answering the phone — thinking it was an old friend — in an unprofessional manner?
Having a virtual line that forwards to your personal cell phone allows you to better field those unknown numbers. How? You can set all calls that come in through your business line to show up on caller ID as ones sourced through that number. At least this way you will know that it’s someone trying to get a hold of you through your business line.
Better yet, if you integrate with a robust mobile marketing solution that integrates with your customer database or CRM, you can even better identify those prospects so you’re able to give the caller a more personalized touch. When you can pick up the phone and say, “Hey Sally, how are you?” it makes the prospect feel valued and known.
#3: Keep the Same Phone Number to Retain Clients and Close Slow Leads
Changing your number has repercussions.
There’s nothing more frustrating as a customer than trying to get a hold of your product or service provider and reaching out of service numbers.
Not only is this an issue for current customers, it’s also a major source of losses for slower moving leads. When you’re in an industry that buyers tend to spend a lot of time considering their spending choices (like adding a supplemental insurance policy, purchasing a new vehicle, or refinancing their home), a lot of changes can take place between the time they initially reach out and the point when they’re ready to move forward.
If one of those many business changes includes your phone number, website, or office address, it puts a lot of easily avoidable barriers between you and the prospect who is trying to give you their business!
When you use a virtual business line, you never have to change that number so you also never need to worry about anyone not being able to get ahold of you. If your business outgrows the business line plan you initially set up, you can always flesh it out with a more robust solution that forwards to an office line and an desktop SMS solution so your phone number can continue to grow with your business.