Don’t Use Fake Local Numbers

I got a call from SiriusXM tonight. Just like last night. And the night before. Each time, they used a different fake local number to trick me into picking up the phone. I did not like it. I asked to speak to the rep’s supervisor and asked to be put on their do not call list.

Did you know companies do this, often using CRM systems like FreeAgent CRM? They find your number and then pick from a bank of numbers in the same area code and auto-dial you. You pick it up more often because you think it might be CVS telling you about your prescription, or your kids’ soccer coach, and so on.

We do not offer this service nor will we. We believe how you acquire your customers matters. You need to treat them with respect from the beginning.

SiriusXM’s deceptions didn’t end with tricking me into picking up my cell. I recently tried to renew my subscription to their service using an offer they sent to me in the mail. They said it was $99 for 12 months. As I was checking out they tacked on service fees, royalty fees, and so on. Not taxes, but just tacked-on, made-up charges that were not in the initial offer. The real total was around $120. I didn’t renew. I didn’t really care about the $20 difference. But I cared a lot about them lying to me.

So, would I recommend SiriusXM as a company to do business with? No. The company is amoral and abusive to its customers.

What’s my point? How you run your marketing and sales organization matters a great deal.

Your methods are the truest signal of the values your company holds. They set brand perception long before prospects become customers.

Deceitful tactics are not rewarded in the long-term. Sure, it is a fact that using fake local numbers will boost pickups by up to 40%. So it is very tempting to use them. But why are you cold calling customers in the first place? And how will you overcome the deceit of their initial pickup?

Look at Netflix in contrast to SiriusXM. It’s very similar as a business and, arguably, it has much tougher competition. But at every turn, the company respects its customers and errors on the side of respecting them – even when they are pretty sure their service is being “shared” across families and so on.

The result? Sirius Holdings is worth less than 2x it’s IPO value from 1994 (24 years ago) while Netflix is over 300x it’s IPO value from 2002.

Unfriendly tactics directed at prospects do yield short-term sales results. But it’s my belief that sales #1 role is not revenue, but to protect and promote the brand of the company through building better customer relationships. And making that adjustment in your sales culture will yield sustainable long-term success.

So if cold calling, using fake local numbers, and changing the terms of your pricing on customers is how you want to grow your business, FreeAgent CRM is not a good fit.

However, if you believe in growing sales through building better customer relationships, well, we’re here to serve.

FreeAgent CRM. Better Customer Relationships.

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