The Out of Office Play: How Texting Led to a 100% Appointment Set Rate

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The Landline is dead! That’s B.S. but I’ll be the first to admit the Landline isn’t as effective as the Mobile phone. In fact, I know it’s not as effective. In a recent study performed by XANT Labs we asked 463 busy decision makers how likely they were to respond to a Landline versus a Mobile phone call. Mobile phones beat landlines by 24% in response rate. That’s all good but how does that translate to sales? Can you really start using mobile phones as part of the sales process? According to our research, 59% of sales people say they are using the mobile phone when prospecting so I think the answer is YES. The question remains, what are the best ways to use mobile and how do you get mobile numbers?

I sat down with a few scrappy business development reps and posed the question. “Hey dudes, (there was a handful guys in this group so the “dudes” introduction seemed appropriate), what’s the most innovative way you’ve used the mobile phone in prospecting?” The group, for the most part, was quiet but I caught two reps looking at each other smiling as if they were hiding something.  One of the reps looked and me and started to speak up.

Rep: “Over the 4th of July weekend we started to get a lot of “out of office” emails and voice messages. Interestingly, a lot of people gave their mobile phone number on their ‘out of office’ messages so we started to gather those up and over a few days we were able to gather a surprising number of mobile phone numbers.”  

This is where the conversation got interesting. . .

Me: “So, you and a few others started gathering up mobile phone numbers when people told you they were out of office and what did you end up doing with that information?”

Rep: “We texted them.”

Me: “You did what? You sent a text to someone you never had contact with?”

Rep: “We knew them. They just didn’t know us . . .very well, but they did give us permission to call or text them. We got “out of office” notifications that said if we needed to reach them, we should use their mobile phone so we did.

 Me: Interesting! Can you show me an example?

 Example One:

 “Hey Shawn,

My name is (Rep) from (Company XYZ). I got your mobile number from your out of office and I wanted to send you a text about this cutting-edge research we have about (XYZ) strategies. It’s important enough that I thought you’d want to hear about it. When are you back in town?

Example Two:









So what  happened with these texts? Well, it’s still early and maybe I’m jumping the gun by posting this but the initial results are small but strong. Of the mobile phone numbers gathered and of the text messages sent, the team has a 100% response rate (meaning everybody has responded) and a 100% appointment set rate (meaning everybody agreed to a conversation). Cool, right? Inappropriate, maybe?

The question is, is this TCPA compliant? Many of you know and have followed the TCPA rulings over the years but what many of you may of you don’t know is that the TCPA rulings include text messages. Was this team crossing the line or were they being different?

What say ye?  

Want to learn more about texting and other forms of communication? Check out our Evolution of Communication Research Report free for 24 hours using the coupon code: communication


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