Local Business Number vs Toll Free Number

Clients of TelAssistant often ask me, "Should I advertise with a local business telephone number or a toll free number?" This is a good question, and the answer depends on the market you are going after.

If you are a website without a brick-and-mortar location and attract clientele from across state lines, then you should certainly use a toll free number. A toll free number lets your clients know that you are a company that does business nationally. This subtly implies that you are a larger company. In some arenas larger is better. For example, if I was looking to purchase electronics online, I would rather deal with a nationally recognized company because I would assume that they have a larger market share, which implies more sales, which implies that they buy or produce more electronics, which implies that they have a lower cost to acquire their electronics and therefore they sell their electronics for a lower price.

If on the other hand I was looking for a babysitter to watch my children for a night, a toll free number may confuse me as I am expecting a local number. I may think that the number is wrong and skip it, or I may think that the advertisement is misleading and is an advertisement for some "company" and not a "babysitter" as I picture a babysitter to be.

But more than likely if you are asking the question, "What works better for me, local or toll free?" then you are somewhere in-between these two extremes. If this is the case, ask yourself the following questions:

1.) Do I want to be seen as a larger company or a small professional/freelancer? If you select the latter then a local phone number is best suited for you.

2.) When your prospects think of your company, should they envision a brick-and-mortar location? If so, a local telephone number subtly points to a "physical" location. Select a local number if this is the image you are going for.

3.) Where does the majority of your business come from? If the majority of your business comes from 1 or 2 cities, then maybe using a local number in each city is the best answer for you.

Every situation is unique, but if you follow these simple guidelines you should be able to select the best phone number for your company. If you would like to ask one of our account specialists what other companies in your category with similar circumstances are doing, please call us at 866-514-4555.

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