Too many online sellers want to remain anonymous and do business without having to have any contact with the buyer. That’s just not going to work and if you don’t build relationships with your customers they may buy from you once, then never again. Building an online business means being accessible when the potential buyers have questions. Ignoring them and leaving their questions unanswered will only make them find another company to do business with.
I had a telephone call today from a gentleman in another country wanting to purchase some of my items in bulk. He called me on my business phone and we worked out a deal. This man told me he hates doing business via email because he can’t type well and would rather have a conversation face to face or on the phone. I agree. Although I do most of my correspondence via email, I would rather talk to my customers and find out who they are and what they really need. I can make recommendations that help my customers get exactly the products that will work for them and maybe upsell them a related product they didn’t know we carry.
Now, with that said, you don’t want to give out your home telephone number and have people calling at all hours of the night and day. You need a separate business telephone number and I recommend you get a Google Voice account. It is a free service from Google that you can sign up for. Google Voice issues you a telephone number in an area code that you choose and you get free voice mail with your account. You can set the call forwarding so that it rings at your home, your work or cell phone. There are a lot of features offered with this product but I like the voice mail feature the best.
When callers leave voice messages for you, Google Voice translates them and you can view them on your computer screen or cell phone like a text message. I have found that the translation service is pretty accurate considering a computer is doing the translating instead of a human being. I have even called my own Google Voice account to record myself when I had an idea I didn’t want to forget. When I get back to the office my voice recording is all typed out for me. You can even email the message to another person if you need to.
There is no reason not to have a business telephone number if you are selling online. The call you miss may be money gone forever.