Does Your Business Still Need a Phone Number?

Recently, I had an “argument” (more like a pointed email exchange on LinkedIn) with an allegedly smart person who owns a “big data” software company. They were looking for a marketing director and I wanted to inquire on the position.

When I went to their website and looked for a phone number to call them, however, I noticed there was no number listed. So I tracked down the CEO and politely suggested he add it to their contact page.

His response was rude and frankly dumb. He insisted that in the “digital age,” phone numbers are irrelevant, and that if prospective customers need a phone number to reach them, then they aren’t the right prospects for them.

Are you kidding me?

I told him, you have a right to your opinion—and good luck. If I were a prospect, you already lost me by forcing me to fill out a form to reach you. By the way, if I had prequalified your company as a potential partner (which 70+% of B2B buyers do beforecontacting providers), then I went to call you and couldn’t find a number…your chances just went down the tubes. I had questions and was ready to talk to someone…but you were too aloof to give me the opportunity.

I also pointed out how one his largest competitors in the space had multiple phone numbers listed on their website. Put the sites side-by-side and guess which one looks like the amateur?

No wonder his company can’t find a marketing director. Who is going to want to work for someone so arrogant as to think they don’t need a business telephone number?

I understand we’re in the “digital age” and yes, some technologies are dated and unnecessary (Exhibit A: fax machines). But phone numbers aren’t dead and are still very much a critical communications tool for B2B sales and support.

Furthermore, phone numbers are easy and cheap to get—whether you’re using Google Voice, eVoice or another of the dozens of VoIP providers.

If you want to argue with me about it, call me: (704) 584-9656. Better yet, ask me how I can improve your company’s marketing efforts—starting with making your phone number more prominent.

I am a seasoned web marketing and public relations professional with 25 years of experience. I have been involved in starting several web development and online marketing companies.

I earned the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) designation from Public Relations Society of America and served as president of the PRSA Charlotte chapter in 2009. I am a frequent public speaker and a contributor to top blogs including Business2Community and Social Fresh.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.