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How to Use a Profitable, Client-Getting 900 Number in Your Business
by Kevin Nunley. http://www.DrNunley.com.
Looking for a new way to connect with customers and prospects? A new way to extend your service and make more profits? Try your own 900 number.
900 numbers have become a billion dollar industry. They can be a remarkable source of income and a great way to extend your expert knowledge to even more people. With a little inside information you can tap into the 900 number phenomenon to get your share of the tele-info pie.
Who They Reach
They are an excellent way to sell information or entertainment. Many people, especially those under the age of 30, are now accustomed to getting the information they need quickly from new types of media. In large numbers, they call 900 numbers that provide them with up-to-the-minute information on a subject that is always changing. This can include anything from weather, to sports scores, to traffic problems.
The 900 number movement started in the early 90s. Like most new forms of media, it got its share of hucksters and bad press in the beginning. Things have changed. 900 numbers are no longer just for heavy-breathers and get-rich-quickers. 900 services are now a respectable option for all kinds of businesses and professionals.
One of the longest running and most successful 900 businesses is Tele-Lawyer (900-Tele-Law) where, for $3 per minute, you can get legal advice on a variety of standard issues.
Come to think of it, that's far faster and cheaper than the hundreds my attorney charges for a quick phone consultation!
What Kind of Service to Offer?
With 12% of Americans now calling 900 numbers (the same percentage, by the way, who surf the net) there is a big variety in the kinds of people you can reach. When starting your 900 number, the most important question is what kind of service to offer.
Entertainment and information seem to work the best. One woman I talk with recently has parlayed her training in Psychology into a lucrative fortune telling number. It's a blend of entertainment and information that is irresistible for many.
Prospects respond best to numbers that offer specific information that is too time consuming to get from other sources.
Convenience is key. It might be possible to get the information from the public library or from a newspaper, but the 900 line is much easier and more immediate.
Marketing Your 900 Number
Marketing is another key factor. Without consistent marketing, no one will know about your service. Unfortunately, the cost can put you in the poor house. Many new 900 number entrepreneurs start by running classifieds in the daily paper. The cost can ad up in a hurry, so forget about trying to reach everyone.
The trick, as with marketing any product or service, is to carefully target a niche audience that you can reach on a consistent basis through an affordable form of media. Don't expect your marketing to work the first time you use it. Marketing builds results through repeated uses. Most prospects won't consider buying until they've seen or heard your ad several times.
As a 900 number beginner, your best bet is to use a service bureau. Your phone company provides this service and can give you information on costs and how to get started. With their "premium billing," the phone company handles collections for you.
This can be a huge burden off your shoulders. People are far more likely to pay their 900 bill when it appears on their phone invoice along with their other calls. The typical service bureau fee is 10%.
As a 900 number entrepreneur you are not tied to an office, or even your own hometown. You can update and monitor your 900 business from anywhere in the world! There's no reason why you couldn't run much of the day-to-day details from your fishing boat or other job.
Some people find it is best to forget about making their 900 service a big profit center by itself. Instead, they focus on how the number can add to their other business by providing immediate information to customers and prospects.
One expert in self-publishing got so many calls from would-be writers that he eventually installed a 900 number and charged inquirers a nominal fee. Another consultant, not sure she could provide satisfactory information to everyone who called, discontinued her 900 service and simply took a credit card over the phone from those she helped. A copywriter had an extra line put into his home and installed an answering machine with a five minute mini-seminar on a new topic each month. He included the number in all his advertising.
Whichever approach you take, the telephone is an important and extremely powerful part of our daily lives. Don't miss out on its ability to make profits and work marketing wonders for your business.
About the Author
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses and organizations. Read all his money-saving marketing tips at http://DrNunley.com/. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-249-9519.
Tags: Sales and Marketing