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Thread: Junk phone calls - Grrr

  1. #11
    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    TPS and call blocking work for me. There may be just one or two sales calls in the average month that get through. There are ways of dealing with those. Have you tried starting a conversation with "Jesus loves you"?
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

  2. #12
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Here's a brief discussion of the problem on the telly.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h536WtZQSI

    I love the idea of getting a premium rate number (for my company, of course) and charging them per minute of the call's duration. I might also get one of these fancier blocking machines, 99, to keep them talking longer.

    Dave says that the first thing he did was to get us registered with the TPS, but he suspects that the nuisance calls are coming from overseas.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  3. #13
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    And here's a link to the UK's regulatory body if anyone else is considering getting a premium rate number.

    http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  4. #14
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    No use against robots, but in the days before digital telephone exchanges they had problems with people that left phones off hook, hogging a physical input to the local exchange. They used to plug a loud whistle into the circuit... mike/speaker feedback can provide an equivalent if you want to try the same trick.

  5. #15
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsieg58 View Post
    With a landline, screen all your calls (Silent ring) and never pick up unless you know or expecting someone to call.
    But that doesn't solve the problem. You've still got to let the phone ring. If you didn't, how would you know to pick up when you are expecting a call? And if it's not a call that you are expecting, and you decide not to pick up, you have to let it ring until they give up. That's even more of a nuisance than picking up the handset and immediately putting it down again.

    Also, what about genuine calls (including from prospective clients) that you are not expecting? The whole point of having a phone is to make it easy for people to contact you. Of course, I fervently wish they would use email instead, but for better or worse there are still people in the world who expect you to be available at the end of the phone line.

    If I didn't have any clients, and I didn't need to attract any new clients, there would be an argument for disconnecting the phone permanently, except perhaps to check voice mail once a day. But I'm not in that situation yet.

    Mike

  6. #16
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chabrenas View Post
    ...in the days before digital telephone exchanges they had problems with people that left phones off hook, hogging a physical input to the local exchange. They used to plug a loud whistle into the circuit...
    Where I live, they still do that.

    Mike

  7. #17
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    But that doesn't solve the problem. You've still got to let the phone ring. If you didn't, how would you know to pick up when you are expecting a call?
    I don't know what kind of phone you have or anything about it. Mine has a "silent Ring" feature. Instead of ringing a light flashes. (I can also turn it off and not see/hear anything at all) I look at my caller ID. If it is someone I know, or am expecting, I pick up. If it isn't, I ignore it. I guess you could say it is a nuisance to look up from my computer screen if you want, but not as much as answering a phone call.
    Also, what about genuine calls (including from prospective clients) that you are not expecting?
    See above.
    The whole point of having a phone is to make it easy for people to contact you.
    I agree, but contacting you doesn't mean interrupting you. Being a creative, getting mentally hauled out of my "zone" is more than an interruption, it can cause me to lose my entire train of thought that might take me a day to get back, or may never come back. We have been conditioned to believe when we hear the phone ring, the Pavolian response is to pick up. That the person calling has a RIGHT to speak/interrupt you, or whatever you're doing. I disagree. My time is valuable. I set aside time to do certain things, at a certain time of day. One of those things is answering calls. Interestingly, I can answer emails all day long and it doesn't interrupt my thought process. A phone call kills it quick though. That's just me and how I've learned to handle it.

    Mileage may vary. What can I say?

  8. #18
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    I agree with the Pavlovian response comment. I've seen many people do that even when they're in the middle of talking to someone. Actually even when they're in the middle of closing a deal with an enthusiast buyer (us). They have to answer the phone - because it rang, not necessarily because it was important. It makes me feel like saying, "If that call can't wait until you've taken our money, then clearly you don't care whether we're your customers or not. Goodbye.", and then walking out.

    I too find phone calls very intrusive and actively dislike using them for business.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  9. #19
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    I also agree about the Pavlovian response (something I try to resist myself), and I definitely agree about phone calls destroying an entire train of thought: something that I feel especially strongly about when I am writing or debugging program code.

    So what am I supposed to tell my clients? I already ask them to email rather than to phone me, but there are inevitably people who cannot or will not do that. You say "I set aside time to do certain things, at a certain time of day. One of those things is answering calls." So should I tell my clients that, if they really must phone me, they must do so at the time of day that I stipulate? These are clients, for goodness sake.

    And what about prospective clients? Do I put on my website my phone number with a note saying "only available between 16.00 and 16.45, Mon - Thur"? If you were shopping for a professsional service, what would you do: go out of your way to phone at the specified time, or simply look elsewhere?

    Mike

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    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    So what am I supposed to tell my clients? I already ask them to email rather than to phone me, but there are inevitably people who cannot or will not do that. You say "I set aside time to do certain things, at a certain time of day. One of those things is answering calls." So should I tell my clients that, if they really must phone me, they must do so at the time of day that I stipulate? These are clients, for goodness sake.
    Yeah, I hear you, Mike. I also have some clients that refuse to email even though there usually nothing I can do to help them by phone. Usually it requires links and graphics and the telephone simply doesn't cut it for either. I have to get on my computer, solve the problem, then call them back, direct them to a webpage, laboriously spelling out the URL. When an email would eliminate the double-step and 99% of the problems. On my website my verbiage goes something along the lines of "For the fastest response, please email me at XX@XYZ.com. Please know that phone calls go straight to a message machine and creates a delay in me solving your problem. Please allow 24 hours for a return call." Does it work? Mostly, yes. Some people still insist on telephone hand-holding. Don't ask me why. But at least it's out there and they know what to expect if they choose to use that method. That's for my internet businesses. Obviously, my brick and mortar business is different and we have to take appointments and that telephone has to be manned. Luckily, I don't have to man it.

    I guess in your situation you could try 1.) Either a VA (Virtual assistant) to answer the phone and take messages, or 2.) there are also services that transcribe your phone messages into an email. Both are cheap.

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