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Phone Numbers can make Surprising Impressions

I’ve never been a fan of vanity numbers. 1-800-WHATEVER always raises my blood pressure when I have to figure out which number on the phone is a W, which is an H, and so on. I prefer something like this: Call 1-800-WHATEVER (1-800-942-8383).
Still, one thing you can’t deny is that people often remember the word better than the number. The man who got 1-800-FLOWERS is making a killing, both with this number and his Internet site. As are many others.
A few years back, when 888 numbers came out, I jumped at 1-888-TREY RYDER (1-888-873-9793). Still, to be effective, my prospects will have to remember how to spell my name.
Likely? Probably not. Even so, 1-888-TREY RYDER has a gee whiz value that I like. So even if it appeals to no one else, it appeals to me.
Several months ago, I called my US West phone rep and asked whether any “easy numbers” were available in my calling area. Easy numbers are those deemed by the phone company as easy to remember, which allows them to charge you extra money. Where I live, US West charges a $75 one-time fee to get one of these numbers. (Other phone companies across the U.S. probably have different fee schedules.)
I didn’t have many options, so I chose (520) 472-2700. I liked the 27 being the reverse of the 72, which I soon discovered apparently no one noticed but me. Even so, the number drew a fair amount of positive reaction because it ended in 00.
I recently called a local car rental company where the number is (520) 472-6000. My first thought was, I wonder who they knew to get that number!
Last November, I learned we had a new prefix in Payson, 468. I immediately e-mailed my phone rep and asked if he had any easy numbers available. He presented me with 14 terrific numbers, including 468-1111, 2222, 4444, 5555, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 6000.
This was like being in a candy store. Frankly, I wasn’t sure which to pick. So I asked my wife and she said the best number on the page was, obviously, 468-1000.
So I grabbed 468-1000 and 468-2000 for my fax.
Funny thing: Most of my prospects and clients will never use these numbers because they call on my toll-free lines instead. Still, they’re on my letterhead, and that’s what matters.
At $75 each, they cost me a one-time charge of $150. But from the comments I hear, that’s a cheap and significant boost to my image.
When choosing phone numbers I urge you to opt for an easy number. Even if it doesn’t mean much to you, the fact is people attach a fair amount of importance, prestige and substance to the person who has one. To a lesser extent, the same is true for vanity numbers where you have 1-888-Some Word.
It’s like offices. Would you rather hire the lawyer whose firm is in Suite #1473? Or the lawyer whose firm is in Suite #1000? The more substantial firm is obviously in Suite #1000. In fact, their office probably occupies the entire floor. And the large firm probably has a phone number that parallels their suite number, like 555-1000.
Now you can gain the appearance of substance without the cost of a large suite. If your phone company offers easy numbers, grab one — or a few. You’ll enhance your appearance of importance more than you might guess.
And in marketing, we look for a competitive edge anywhere we can find one.

Trey Ryder

Trey Ryder specializes in Education-Based Marketing for lawyers. He offers three free articles by e-mail: 11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make, Marketing Moves Most Lawyers Miss, and 13 Marketing Misconceptions That Cost Lawyers a Fortune. To receive these articles, send your name and e-mail address to trey@treyryder.com and ask for his free packet of marketing articles.

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Filed Under: Business ManagementFeatured Stories

About the Author: Trey Ryder specializes in Education-Based Marketing for lawyers. He offers three free articles by e-mail: 11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make, Marketing Moves Most Lawyers Miss, and 13 Marketing Misconceptions That Cost Lawyers a Fortune. To receive these articles, send your name and e-mail address to trey@treyryder.com and ask for his free packet of marketing articles.

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