Sales and Marketing Training

It’s Time Your Sales Teams Stop Using Local Presence Deception

If you’ve never heard of local presence, it’s the strategy that many companies use to incorporate a regional presence to boost their overall brand’s trust and reliability. In a physical sense, local presence may involve setting up a brick-and-mortar store, office, or warehouse in a particular region, city, or neighborhood. This allows businesses to be physically present in the community they serve, and may help establish trust and familiarity with local customers.

In a virtual sense, local presence may refer to the use of localized marketing and advertising strategies, such as using local language, customizing content for a specific region, or utilizing social media platforms that are popular in a particular area.

Local Presence Deception

Local presence deception uses local phone numbers or local IP addresses to create the impression of being physically present in a specific location, even if the business is actually located elsewhere. It’s not just businesses that deploy this methodology, it’s also online scammers. In fact, my own mother was sadly deceived by a man she thought lived in the same community. He actually lived halfway around the globe and was utilizing her local area code with Google Voice to deceive her (and other victims).

The goal, of course, is to have a victim or unsavvy prospect answer the phone simply because they recognize the area code. And it appears to have been effective for quite some time…

People are nearly four times more likely to answer calls from local numbers. Only 7 percent said they’re likely to answer a call from an unknown caller with a toll-free area code—but that number leaps to 27.5 percent when the unknown caller is using a local area code.

SoftwareAdvice

While local presence can be an important factor in building brand recognition, establishing customer trust, and improving sales and revenue in a particular region or community, local presence deception achieves quite the opposite.

Why It’s Time To Ditch Local Presence Deception

As a marketer, it’s always strange to me that I’d have to actually debate someone on whether or not deception is a viable marketing strategy. It’s not, especially in this day and age. If the strategy of local presence is to establish customer trust… deception is the absolute destruction of it. Let’s discuss some additional reasons to end this strategy:

Reason 1: Sales Is About Trust

Much of what makes modern sales professionals successful is their ability to rapidly acquire the trust of their prospects. This quote is dead on:

Sales is about building relationships: either a meaningful long-term relationship that proves to be fruitful for many years, or a short-term transactional relationship where you’ve built enough rapport a customer is willing to give you money in exchange for goods. Both cases require a certain level of trust. Without it, the exchange of money (which is what you want) for the goods (that they want) will never take place.

Pouyan Salehi

If you have an amazing sales representative, the last thing you want to do is set them back before they even have a chance to build a rapport with the prospect.

Reason 2: You’re Putting Your Brand’s Reputation At Risk

We no longer live in a world where deceptive practices by companies go unheard. Both businesses and consumers alike already despise getting interrupted on their phones all day. And they discuss these findings in reviews, across social media, and in their industry communities.

Reason 3: You’re Not Fooling Anyone

The research continues that when the caller finds out that the solicitor is from out of state, they hang up about half the time. You just took a prospect that may have been viable and you angered them to the point of hanging up.

Sure, it may take a few more calls, an email, or even direct marketing to capture their attention… but it’s that better than destroying any chance of doing business with them in the future?

Reason 4: Sales Forces Are Remote

Consumers and businesses alike have grown accustomed to having online meetings and working with people across the globe. It’s not as much of an advantage to be down the block as in a different time zone as it once was.

  1. According to a report by Salesforce, 62% of salespeople were working remotely in 2020, up from 33% in 2019. This suggests that remote work has become more prevalent in the sales industry in recent years.
  2. A survey by LinkedIn found that 59% of sales professionals were working remotely in 2020, up from 28% in 2019. This indicates that remote work has become more common in the sales industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Another study by McKinsey & Company found that 20-25% of sales roles could be fully remote in the long term, while an additional 25-30% could be partially remote. This suggests that remote work will likely continue to be a significant part of the sales industry even after the pandemic subsides.

The fact is that remote sales are here to stay. Consumers and businesses alike will become accustomed to seeing different area codes pop up on their phones… and they may even answer them!

Reason 5: There’s No Data On Lost Sales

While local presence is consistently advertised as a feature to get more prospects to answer the phone, there’s no data on lost sales. In fact, you’ll never know! In fact, only 2% of survey recipients said they’d be more likely to do business while 41% clearly state they’d be less likely to do business.

sales impact local presence deception

It’s time that companies abandon local presence deception and protect their brands, their reputation, and safekeep the talent their sales representatives have for building trust.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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