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london 020 number

3 Ways to Get Your Sales Prospects to Pick Up Their Phones

The first challenge you need to overcome when making B2B sales calls is getting them to pick up the phone in the first place.

The more time you spend having conversations with prospects in London the more successful you will be, so it makes sense that you need to work on improving your chances of getting through to someone before perfecting your sales pitch.

We’ve come up with a few simple sales calls tips to reduce the amount of time you spend dialling fruitlessly and start getting more of your calls to London customers picked up.

Get a local dial code

If you’re making a sales call, one of the best ways to get your call picked up is to avoid it looking like a sales call! If you’re calling businesses in London, they’re far more likely to pick up a call from an unknown number if it has a local dial code 020. Local 020 numbers have the potential to bring in a new client making an enquiry and have a sense of neighbourly familiarity about them so are usually perceived as being friendlier.

With Smart Numbers, it’s easy to affordably mask your existing number with a telephone number of your choice, including local London 020 numbers.  Check out our full list of business telephone number solutions here.

Call at the right times

A simple way to get more of your calls picked up when calling B2B is to bide your time and pick your moment carefully.  If you catch people at the wrong time they’re likely to be irritated and abrupt, but by calling at the right time you have a far better chance of them being receptive to you.

Of course, it’s impossible to know when your prospect is in the middle of something and when they’re taking a breather, but there are plenty of studies that give us a better idea of when people are more likely to be available to talk.

A 2017 study found that generally Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to make B2B sales calls, whilst calling between 11 am – 12 pm or 4 pm – 5 pm gives you the best chance of getting your calls answered.  This makes sense as these are the times when people are likely to be wrapping things up for lunch or the end of the day.

Reach out prior to calling

Another great way of getting more people to speak to you is by making yourself known to them before you make the call. Getting yourself on your prospect’s radar helps to make your call feel a little friendlier and less like a cold call.

You could do this by sending an email or connecting with them on LinkedIn. If you catch your prospect at the right time and they recognise your name or business name, even if they’re not sure where from, then they’re more likely to take the call.

Give our experts here at Smart Numbers a call on 03450 178 179 for help choosing an attractive 020 telephone number for your business.

Landline number to mobile phone

How to Get a Local Landline Number on Your Mobile

A mobile local landline number can offer your business flexibility and convenience, allowing you to appear local to customers no matter where you’re taking the call from.

Running a small business can involve a lot of multitasking, and for many business owners, it simply isn’t possible to be waiting in the office for calls all the time.

Customers can sometimes be put off calling businesses that list a mobile number as their main point of contact as they make the presumption that a mobile number means the business isn’t very established or professional.

A local landline number for mobile allows business owners to successfully juggle the day-to-day tasks required to run a business with maintaining a professional appearance to customers.

How do mobile landline numbers work?

Getting a mobile landline number is simple with Smart Numbers. There’s no need to lose your existing mobile number, network provider, phone or sim card.  Our mobile landline service works with your existing setup by simply masking your mobile number with your chosen local UK landline number when you select to do so.

Your chosen UK landline number will then be displayed to customers during both incoming and outgoing calls.

Benefits of a mobile local landline

Mobile local landline numbers are invaluable for helping small businesses to retain a professional appearance whilst still operating efficiently.  Here are just a few benefits of a Smart Numbers mobile landline:

Appear local from any location – Mobile landline numbers offer small businesses great flexibility and efficiency.  No matter where your business requirements take you on any given day, as far as your customers are concerned you’re still sat in your office in the location that your business operates from.

Professional – Studies have found that customers perceive businesses with a mobile number as their main point of contact to be less professional than those with landlines.  A mobile landline means you can retain the professional image with your customers whilst benefiting from the flexibility of a mobile phone.

Choose a memorable number – When you get a mobile landline number you have the option to select your new number, allowing you to choose a number that will be memorable for your customers and that will stand out on your marketing materials.

Don’t miss calls – Missed calls are lost business, so it’s important to never let a call go answered.  A mobile landline gives you the flexibility to take your office phone out on-the-go with you during the day so that you never miss a call.

Make your business appear more established than it is – If you’re a one man band or a small business that is just starting out then you will need to answer calls whilst you’re out on the job.  A mobile landline can disguise the fact that you’re doing so by giving the appearance that the call is being answered from an office to make your business appear more established than it is.

How to get a mobile local landline number

Find out more about how Smart Numbers Ltd can help you with securing local landline numbers for your mobile. To set up or for more information or advice, give us a call on 08450 178 179 or 03450 178 179 (0345 numbers are included free in mobile contracts).

call recording solutions

4 Ways Call Recording can Benefit your Business

Call recording is a cost-effective solution to several essential business requirements and may have more benefits than you realise.

No matter what reason your business is considering call recording, you will find that having the ability to play back your business calls will assist you in more ways than you expect.

In this blog we will look at four key areas where call recording can help your business, from staff training to dispute resolution.

Excellent staff training tool

For many businesses the real attraction of call recording is its effectiveness as a staff training tool.  When customer service employees listen back to their own calls or colleague’s calls they can learn from mistakes, learn to communicate more clearly and identify any missed selling opportunities.  Listening to real life customer queries or complaints is an invaluable way of preparing customer service staff for a variety of real-life situations that they may encounter in their role and prepare them to deal confidently with difficult calls.

Keeping a history of each employee’s calls can also help to track performance and see how individual employees have improved and progressed over time, something that can give employees great job satisfaction.

Improve the service your business offers

As well as helping your business to offer highly effective training for customer service staff, call recording can also give you the insight into your customer’s needs that you require to improve your products or services.  By listening back to real customer comments and queries your business can learn more about what your customers really think about your products and services and how they can be improved to better meet customer needs.

Evidence during disputes

Call recordings are an excellent way to revisit any calls being disputed by a customer to find out what happened on the call and help to resolve the issue with the customer.

In the event of legal disputes, call recordings can also be used as invaluable evidence to protect your business from a costly fine, saving you both time and money.

Play back calls for further information

It can be difficult to take effective notes over the phone if there is a lot of information to take down.  If your business often takes a lot of information from customers, particularly complex information, it can be very useful to have the ability to play back calls to gather information rather than rushing to write it all down as the customer speaks.  This also allows you to give the customer your full attention during the call and prevents you having to call them back to ask them to repeat details you may have missed.

At Smart Numbers, our highly affordable call recording service is free to set up and network based, meaning there is no need to purchase or install expensive telephone equipment to get started.

To find out more about the telephony services offered by Smart Numbers, give us a free call anytime 24/7 on 03450 178 179.

business success

5 Ways to make your Small Business appear more Established

Investing in services that make your business look bigger and more established than it really is can help you to win more customers and grow your business.  Even businesses with a modest budget can afford products or services to disguise the fact they’re just starting out to help them whilst they’re building a client base and improving their reputation and credibility in their industry.

Buy a registered office address or PO Box – Running your business from your home address is a great way to keep costs down until you’re ready to invest in your own premises, but a home address can be off-putting to customers.  For a small cost, you can buy a business address or PO Box in a prestigious location or local to your customer base to give a more professional appearance.

Buy a virtual landline number – Whilst you may find using your personal mobile number a convenient and low-cost way of running your business, studies show that customers are less likely to trust businesses that advertise a landline number as their main point of contact. So, get a virtual landline number that diverts calls to your mobile phone.

At Smart Numbers, we sell a variety of telephone numbers for any geographic area, town or city in the UK including London numbers that can be diverted to your mobile number for a more professional look.  Businesses with London numbers are often perceived as being more reputable, successful and established than those with a lesser known dial code or mobile number as their main contact.

Invest in your website – It may be tempting to save some cash and DIY your own website, but an amateur website is a sure-fire giveaway that your business hasn’t been around for very long or is small and unestablished.  Websites that haven’t been created by a professional are often not very user-friendly and can be difficult to navigate.  Investing in a professional website will not only make a great first impression but should also be designed with conversion in mind to help turn your visitors into customers or enquiries.

Get a snappy domain name and email account – Your business website and email address should be the same as your business name without displaying any third-party email or website host names. Short and snappy URLs and email addresses are better for your business as they’re memorable and look more professional and trustworthy.

Get a virtual assistant – When you’re first starting out, trying to juggle every aspect of your business on your own can leave you snowed under tedious administrative duties when your time could be better spent growing your business.  Hiring a virtual assistant to answer calls and emails will not only free up your time but will also give the impression that you’re not the only person in your business.

To find out more about the range of mobile landline numbers that we offer including our sought after 0207 and 0208 London numbers, give us a call on our freephone number 03450 178 179.

Business telephony call solutions

How to Get More Business With Smart Telephony Solutions

If business is slow, have you considered the possibility that it could be your phone line that is holding your business back?

As a customer, there is nothing more frustrating when you’re trying to give a company your business than an ineffective telephone system blocking the way.

From businesses that never appear to be there to pick up their phone, to those that are constantly busy on the line or those that you really despise calling because it costs a fortune; a good telephone system can make the world of difference to customers.

As experts in smart call solutions here at Smart Numbers Ltd, we’ve come up with five top tips for winning more business using smart telephone solutions.

Get an attractive dial code

Having a telephone number that looks professional can be the difference between customers picking up the phone and dialling your number or calling a competitor.  A freephone 0800 number or a local dial code can make your business look professional and established, as well as helping customers to save money on their phone bill.

Divert calls to another line when busy

There’s nothing more off-putting when trying to speak to a business for the first time, than never being able to get through on their telephone line.  A constantly engaged phoneline can turn new customers off and frustrate existing customers.  Don’t miss calls and lose business just because you’re already on the phone.  Get your number set up to divert calls to another line when your number is busy so that a colleague can answer instead.

Call queuing

If you often have a high volume of calls coming in then another useful solution is to set up call queuing to prevent missed calls, lost business and frustrated customers.  Allow customers to wait on hold on the line until someone becomes available to take their call so that they don’t have to repeatedly call back.

24/7 live call answering

Need your customers to be able to speak to someone any time of the day or night but unable to offer the service yourself?  You can still be there for your customers when they need you and never miss a job again by setting up a 24/7 live call answering service.

Call recording

Call recording is a very useful training tool for businesses and can play an important part in learning how to improve your service or win new business.  By listening back to your business calls you can identify where things could have been communicated more effectively and any missed opportunities to upsell or improve the service you’re offering.  Feedback and tips can also be provided to other staff members to help them improve their calls.

To discover more about the smart call solutions discussed above or to learn more about our full range of services, please get in touch with Smart Numbers Ltd.

For further help or expert advice on how to make your business’ phone system work better for you and your customers, give us a call anytime 24/7 on either 08450 178 179 or 03450 178 179.

Local Number vs. 0800 numbers

In this digital age, many people see phone numbers as being obsolete for businesses but they are still a key method of contact for many potential customers. Not every customer will be as tech savvy as you’d hope and whilst live chat and social media are great ways of interacting, they aren’t for everyone. Most customers would admit that they feel safer in the knowledge that there is a human on the other side that they can actually speak to if they have an issue. With that in mind, many start-up businesses are often left with the question of should they use a local prefix number or an 0800-toll free number. Here we walk you through the differences and advantages of local numbers and 0800 numbers to help you decide.

Local Numbers

Having a local number if you are a small business owner is key, not only does it let potential customers in your area know that you are open for business, it shows them that you are there for when they need you. If, however you also work in a number of areas nationwide you may also want to consider using a virtual landline so that you can have number local numbers. For instance, you may be located in Liverpool and whilst you are not based elsewhere you may also operate in Manchester. In this instance, you can use a virtual landline to create an 0161-prefix number so that people in that area feel safe in the knowledge they are contacting a reputable, local working business. In general, you will find that customers are much more likely to contact a business that they believe works locally, it gives them a sense of trust and familiarity that you can’t get with an 0800 number.

0800 numbers

That being said, there are a lot of advantages to using a Freephone number that you can’t get with standard local numbers. Firstly, and most obviously, an 0800 number is a freephone number which means your customers won’t be worried about incurring obscene call charges when trying to contact you. It also creates a sense of professionalism that you just can’t get with a local number. Having an 0800 gives the impression that you are a credible multinational company that works with customers across the country. It will also improve customer relations as it is a sign that you are willing to incur call costs so that they can contact you without any worries. Even if you must put them on hold, whilst it may leave them slightly disgruntled, they will have no complaints about call charges. Plus, if you are a smaller business looking to branch out in working nationwide what better way to start than with a number that does not pertain to any specific area. When customers dial an 0800 number they do not know which part of the country you are located in, they will just assume that you operate in

Both numbers can benefit your business in the long term but it is up to you to decide which will suit your needs best. If you are thinking of creating a virtual landline with one of the numbers, then the first place to start looking will be Smart Numbers Ltd. We will help you better understand your options and find a package that will help you to grow.

local business number

The Importance of Having a Local Number For Your Business

Statistically speaking, the majority of business now comes from people finding companies via search engines. Whilst the research shows that an online presence is key, once the customer has decided on the company they will want to contact the business over the phone. Most people believe we’re moving into a depersonalised digital era, but at the end of the day what everyday people want is to be assured by an actual person. So, at this point you would think, well, every business has a phone number they can be contacted on, so what’s the issue? This is where most business owners fall down and consequently lose business. They are not questioning what their business phone number means to the public, what image are they putting out into the world. A phone number can make or break your business which is why here we detail the importance of having a geographic local number.

Trust is key between a customer and a company and this starts when the customer wants to contact the company. If they find that the company does not have a local prefix on their contact number, they will assume that you aren’t local, and the mistrust begins. It is much safer for the customer to find a business operating in the same field that has a local number. The beauty of having this means that you don’t have to be based locally but you give the impression that you are. This means you can work nationally, bringing in customers from across the UK.

It is also important to consider your customer demographic, specifically their ages. Older customers are not likely to find you online, instead they will search locally for what they are looking for. If they come across your business, but don’t see a local prefix it is extremely unlikely that you will be considered. Having this prefix not only tells them you’re local but also lets them know that they won’t have to pay for expensive call charges in the process.

Finally, purchasing a local number is a choice that will pay for itself in no time at all. It is undoubtedly a small investment that has potentially huge returns in the customers it will bring in. You can have local numbers for all over the country and be bringing in new customers daily. You will be able to see growth almost immediately and continue to expand as far as you like.

There are many communications companies like Smart Numbers Ltd providing an exciting mix of telephone numbers, call management, along with additional business services aimed at connecting your business with your customers. No contracts, no hidden extras, just unbeatable price & service.

what do virtual landlines offer your business

What do virtual landlines offer your business?

Virtual Landlines are becoming one of the UK’s most popular phone line options for smaller businesses. Whilst it can be easy to start out using a mobile number or a fixed landline number, this isn’t practical if you want to grow your business. There are numerous reasons why switching to a virtual landline will be beneficial to your business and your customers. That is why here we have created a comprehensive list to help you understand what to expect with this type of phone option.

One of the biggest reasons that business owners can be apprehensive to use a virtual landline is the prospect of changing their existing contact number. If you have been operating for a few years the number may be known to many of your customers and be printed on business cards, letters and be included in web and email designs. It makes no sense to make a change that will cost you more than you’d ever wanted to spend. However, the beauty of a virtual landline is that you can port your existing number for free. With this change, you will give yourself and your business a new lease of life; no longer will you be confined to an office landline to take calls. It won’t matter if you move your office space or if you are simply on the move, you will be able to take calls from anywhere in the world at any time. You will also end up saving a considerable amount of money each year as you no longer have to pay for a line rental.

You will also find that most providers are very welcoming to new customers and want to keep you as long as possible. As a result of only providing monthly rolling contracts they often find other incentives to keep your business. This is generally in the form of credit that can be used in the UK or overseas. If you also find yourself short on credit at any time you will find that it is extremely easy to top up using their app or web portal.

One of the hardest things for modern worker is having to be confined to four walls, doing the standard 9-5, 5 days a week. But, with a virtual landline you will find that you can quite easily escape from this without jeopardising your business. Virtual Landlines help empower you and allow you to get more from life than just working. Being able to experience a new freedom and more productive working condition can completely change how you feel and work. Being able to work from anywhere in the world, whether that be from bed or from a beach abroad will improve how you feel about your work.

Finally, whilst roaming fees in the EU have recently been dropped (hooray!) they are still in place outside the EU. Therefore, companies providing you with your virtual landline keep their roaming charges as low as possible. They know how important it is as a business owner to be able to take calls at any time of day, wherever you are and not be charged the world for it! Plus, generally through their apps when you make a call a lot of the time it will be free because it uses Wi-Fi.

For advice about your business communication needs, contact Smart Numbers!

0845 numbers for your business

Why your business should have an 0845 number

 

If you are a small business looking to make changes so you can begin to expand one of the best places to start is with your contact number. A lot of the time you will start out with a mobile number as it is convenient and you aren’t paying out extra each month for another number. However, in order to appear more professional and allow customers to believe you operate nationwide, you may want to look into getting an 0845 number.

What is an 0845 number?

The 0845 number was first brought into use in 1996 as a number that was non-geographic but was charged at the local rate of the caller. It has since become an extremely popular option for businesses of all size, especially since most mobile contracts will include local call rates in their monthly customer allowances.

Why use an 0845 number?

  • This number allows you to create a national presence for your business without having to be situated in every area. 0845 are not associated with any particular region so your customer will call under the impression that you operate in their area.
  • It will allow you to promote a more professional image even if you are a smaller start-up business working from home or from a small local office.
  • It will allow you to have a more distinguished work and home life, especially if you have previously been using your mobile number as a contact for customers. By having this number, you will no longer have to mix your work and personal calls throughout the day.
  • You can use this number for whatever you need whether it be a primary contact number for you or your business or if you need it as a support line for customers.

What else do you get with the number?

Generally, when you purchase a 0845 number through a service provider they will also be able to offer you extras as part of your package, this can include the following;

– Virtual receptionist to direct customers to the right place

– Call forwarding to whatever landline or mobile you wish

– Access to control everything through an online portal app wherever you are in the world

–  Voicemail services that can be sent to you as a transcript via email

– The ability to block unwanted calls from problem customers or other business enquiries

How do you get the 0845 number?

Most phone service providers will be able to offer you a package for an 0845 number, you will be able to choose between a fixed or rolling contract. However, there are a lot of different packages on the market with different providers who can offer you different extras. You will have to shop around to find a price, contract and add ons that suit you best.

How much will this set me back?

Typically, 0845 numbers are relatively cheap in terms of what you will pay for other phone contracts in your life. With this type of virtual number there is no need to pay for a line rental, so if you forward your calls to a mobile you will no longer have to fork out the £20 plus a month.

For more information, contact Smart Numbers for no-obligation advice.

Best smartphones for 2017

What is the best smartphone 2017 so far

At this moment, there are more mobile phones on the Earth than there are people. In 2014 the number of currently active mobile devices crossed 7.19 billion and over the past 3 years has only grown. As a result, the demand and market for the latest and best smartphone has never been greater. People are always looking for a phone that has more storage, capabilities and encompasses many aspects of life as possible. No longer is a mobile phone a device solely meant to call and text people, it has the capability to take high-resolution pictures and videos, play movies, allow internet access, use GPS and so much more. And it is because of this that so much of our lives revolve around this one piece of technology. So, like everyone else in the world you are probably looking for the best smartphone on the market in 2017 which is why we have compiled a list that meets these criteria.

The war between Apple and Android is ever growing but research and testing shows that currently the best phone on the market is the Samsung Galaxy S8. Most people believe that Samsung is always one step behind Apple, but not with this phone. Aesthetically it is a complete overhaul from the standard mobile with its curved display that allows you to view your screen at all angles. Accompanying this is the unrivalled 12-megapixel camera, providing you with high-resolution photography. It also comes with 64GB storage so you will never have to worry about the dreaded ‘not enough storage space’ infamous to Apple products. And whilst Apple is seemingly releasing a new product every year making your previous product obsolete, it can easily be said that this phone is an investment that other companies will spend years trying to rival. But, as with any investment there is a price to be paid that starts at £679 or £779 for the S8 Plus.

Seemingly, the edge that Apple has had over Samsung for years stems for the aesthetic of the product which Samsung have clearly knocked out of the park. By creating a phone that not only surpasses any Apple product specs wise whilst maintaining a sleek, new and desirable aesthetic they have truly risen to the occasion. And with the current screen to body ratio at 84% they have almost rendered the above and below bezels nests obsolete. Seemingly with this product Samsung has listened to the consumer and given them what they want whilst Apple has arguably failed with their bold iPhone 7. The decision to remove the headphone jack on their new product has left many consumers angry and forced them to purchase new adapters in order to listen to music whilst charging their phones. With moves such as these it is easy to see why consumers are moving over to Android phones and why the new Samsung Galaxy S8 has been chosen as the best smartphone of the year.