When I tell people that we sell telephone numbers, they don't really get it. Which is pretty understandable. After all, most people believe that telephone numbers are the ones supplied to you on your phone line or on your mobile. Things start to clear up once I explain that the only way to get a Non-geographic Number is from a company like ourselves, but they then take a turn for the worse when I mention we also provide Local Numbers. “Why would anyone want one of them?”. Well, there are a number of reasons why you'd want a local number, but my favourite reason is to avoid advertising a mobile number.
You see mobile numbers advertised everywhere; on the side of vans, in the paper and online. It makes me cringe every time I see one. If you're trying to advertise your business, you want to look professional. A mobile number does not achieve this.
I think the reason we see mobile numbers being advertised a lot is that many people don’t work from home or an office, especially builders, plumbers, electricians etc. These are normally the kind of businesses that advertise a mobile number on the side of their van, as they can only answer calls on their mobiles whilst out and about.
But what they don't realise is that they could get a virtual Local Number and forward the calls to their mobile. This would look much more professional on the side of a van, plus you get the convenience of being able to answer your calls wherever you are.
But why is a Local Number better then a mobile? Well firstly, it looks as though you are based in an office or head quarters somewhere, which can make you look more established. I'm sure most people will realise that you're answering the call on your mobile once you pick up (especially if you say “I can't write down your number at the moment; I’ve got my hand down someone's toilet").
Secondly, it can also be a lot cheaper to call a landline. Granted, a lot of call plans give you inclusive minutes to mobiles nowadays, but what about everyone else? I had a look at some of BT's pricing and it can cost up to 11.3p per minute to call a mobile during the day from a BT landline. If I hadn't looked that up, I would have no idea how much it would cost (I don't know how much it would cost me from my home phone). If you're not sure how much it costs to call a number, it's not much of an incentive to call it.
Finally, people are more familiar with local numbers in general, especially older generations. Mobile phones are a relatively new technology and have only become so popular in the last decade or so. For the less tech savvy, calling a local number can be much more comfortable. Plus you also have the added benefit knowing that the majority of people are much more likely to call a business local to them, especially someone like a plumber or electrician.
So stop showing your mobile number everywhere and start advertising a Local Number. You could find it gets you more calls.