When my wife and I decided our electric bills were too high and we were going to install solar panels on the roof of our home, I wasn’t sure where to start researching. I found out pretty fast that financing options ranged from no money down with 25+ year leasing, to outright purchasing at nearly $30,000. I did some Internet research and talked to some neighbors and eventually made a decision; it was a long process that included me leaving my name and phone number on a few vender websites.
About two months after the system was installed, our home phone started ringing off the hook. The callers all wanted to sell me solar systems for our roof. Wow. I. Was. Frustrated.
The experience made me think about telemarketing in general, especially once I started to receive a few telemarketing calls on my cell phone, and I’m pretty careful about who and how I share my cell number. I started asking myself what telemarketing would be like, if it could be reinvented by consumers?
• Time is Money. Just about everyone is paid for their time these days; we already know we live in the Information Age and a Service Economy. If a telemarketer is going to take my time, shouldn’t I get some payment or reward in exchange for my attention?
• Privacy. I love my smartphone, but I hate giving out my cell number for fear of getting more unsolicited telemarketing calls on it, interrupting me and wasting my time. I’d like to speak to vendors and ask specific questions, without worrying about them calling me back unless I invite them to follow-up with me.
• Convenience. Telemarketers of course call when it is convenient for them, not for me. If I were to re-invent telemarketing, I want the telemarketer to call when it was convenient for me. I’d like to schedule a call easily for a time I was available and could think about what questions were most important for me to have answered. But I don’t want to research the right person to call, or rummage through a phone tree to leave a message. I want to easily make an appointment and have a knowledgeable person call me and answer my unique questions.
I couldn’t find a service like this. So I invented it. It’s called Optincall. Consumers register for free and have advertisers call them by appointment, to get their unique questions answered. We connect the call without providing a name or number to the advertiser, so the consumer who receives the call can choose whether or not to share their contact information. And consumers are rewarded for each call they accept, whether or not they end up making a purchase. Also, you create a unique Caller ID, so when the phone rings, you’ll know whether it’s a friend, Optincall, or some unwanted caller. Check us out when you want to research a product or service. You’ll make better use of your smartphone and your time, while getting paid for research you were already planning to undertake. And you won’t have to worry about getting an earful of harassing calls because you filled out forms on the Internet.