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A Comprehensive Guide to the Do-Not-Call Registry

Guide to the National Do-Not-Call Registry

Unwanted sales calls and texts are a common source of frustration for consumers. In fact, they are consistently among the top complaints consumers register with the FCC every year.

The National Do-Not-Call Registry aims to protect consumers from these unwanted phone solicitations. While it has been around for over a decade, many still don’t entirely understand how it works or what it can do.

That includes consumers, of course, as well as businesses, many of which want to comply and seek to understand the scope and nuances of the regulations.

So today,  we’re providing a comprehensive guide to the Do-Not-Call Registry that should benefit both consumers and businesses alike.

How the Do-Not-Call Registry Came to Be

Although the idea behind the Do-Not-Call Registry, also referred to as the Do-Not-Call List, is simple enough, it took years to come to fruition.

Consistent consumer complaints spurred Congress to sign the Telephone Consumer Protection ACT (TCPA) in 1991. The TCPA outlined new restrictions on sales calls and the use of automated dialers and voicemail recordings. It also suggested the creation of a database of consumer phone numbers that shouldn’t receive unsolicited sales calls.

While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) adopted the TCPA guidelines, they chose not to move forward with the establishment of the phone number database.

That changed on June 27, 2003, when the FTC finally set up the Do-Not-Call Registry. Consumers could now register their phone number, and after 31 days unsolicited calls to that number were prohibited and punishable with a fine.

Within just 4 days, over 10 million phone numbers had been registered. By the registry’s seventh birthday (2010) that number had topped 200 million.

What Types of Calls Does the Registry Prohibit?

It’s important to understand what types of calls the registry prohibits.

The Do-Not-Call Registry applies to 1) unsolicited 2) sales calls to 3) personal phone numbers.

1) Let’s first cover the “unsolicited” aspect.

If you and the company have an “existing relationship”, a call is not considered unsolicited. This relationship exists if you have purchased, rented, or leased the businesses goods or services, or if any other financial transaction has taken place in the last 18 months. Or, if you have requested information, a price quote, or submitted an application in the last 3 months.

However, once you request that a company stop calling you, they are required to stop.

2) The next distinction is that the call must be a “sales” call. The following types of calls are not considered sales calls, and are therefore still allowed even if your number is on the registry:

  • Debt collection
  • Solicitations for charity
  • Political calls
  • Information calls
  • Surveys

3) Finally, prohibited calls only apply to personal / residential phone numbers.

Even though you can register a business phone number on the Do-Not-Call Registry, this doesn’t prohibit unsolicited sales calls. If you have a business, you should keep this in mind before you use the same phone number for personal and business use.

How to Sign Up – Online or By Phone

Signing up for the National Do-Not-Call Registry is quick and easy.

To sign up online, go to https://www.donotcall.gov/ and proceed through the registration process. The FTC will ask for your email address, however it is only used for confirmation and is not stored or associated with your phone number.

To sign up by phone, call 1-888-382-1222. With this method, there’s no confirmation email, but you need to call from the phone number you wish to register.

Your phone number should be registered the following day, and within 31 days most sales calls should cease.

What To Do if You Continue to Get Unwanted Calls

Remember that the registry only prohibits certain kinds of calls.

If you believe you are still receiving prohibited calls, start by confirming that your number is registered.

The FTC recommends not interacting with illegal sales calls or robocalls.

  • Do not press a number to be taken off a list
  • Do not try to speak to a person to be taken off a list

Both will likely lead to more calls as you’ve verified that you have a working number. Instead, just hang up and file a complaint.

If you get repeated calls from the same phone number, you may be able to set up call blocking with your provider. Be sure to check if there is a fee for this service.

How to File a Complaint

The process for filing a complaint about a sales call is similar to registering your number.

You can go to https://www.donotcall.gov/ and click the “Report it to the FTC” link. After that, you just provide some basic information on the illegal call.

Alternatively, you can call 1-888-382-1222.

When Re-Registration Is Necessary

What’s convenient about the Do-Not-Call Registry is that phone numbers in the database never expire. Once you register, you’re good to go.

The exception is for phone numbers that get disconnected. Once a number’s disconnected and given to a new person, it’s automatically taken off the registry.

If you’re in a situation where your number got disconnected and reconnected, there’s a chance it could get removed. You can double-check on https://www.donotcall.gov/ or by calling 1-888-382-1222, and then re-register if you need to.

Is the Do Not Call Registry Effective?

Signing up for the registry is certainly better than nothing. Most legitimate companies in the United States will check the registry and avoid your number if it’s listed there. In addition to understanding that people who don’t wish to be called are unlikely to be very good prospects, they also don’t want to expose themselves to potentially hefty fines – which can exceed $40,000 per offense

Unfortunately, some technology has made it simple and cheap for scammers – oftentimes outside of the US – to blast out robocalls with pre-recorded messages. Often they do so with a fake caller ID (also known as Caller ID spoofing).

You can report these calls, and the FTC does its best to shut down these and other offending organizations, but it’s not easy.

The FTC generally gets about 250,000 to 300,000 complaints monthly. Since phone companies don’t hang on to call records forever, the FTC needs to get to a complaint before the phone company gets rid of that specific call data. And with fake caller IDs, it can take five or more subpoenas to find out what company was behind the call.

That said, the FTC hosts competitions with monetary prizes to help drive robocall killing innovations. Companies including Apple and Google have teamed up as part of an FCC task force to help fight the problem as well. So progress is being made.

Bottom line? The Do-Not-Call Registry will stop plenty of calls you don’t want from coming your way. But it’s not a magic bullet or an infallible solution.

What Sellers, Businesses, and Telemarketers Can Do to Comply

It’s important for businesses to comply with Do-Not-Call regulations in order to avoid fines, angry customers, and bad publicity.

Here are some steps and precautions companies should take:

  1. Register to the National Do-Not-Call Registry to access numbers that should be scrubbed from lead lists.
  2. Be aware of state lists and laws as well, as these may be different.
  3. Maintain your own do-not-call (DNC) list. If a customer with an existing relationship asks to be removed from your list, you must comply.
  4. Only make cold calls between 8am and 9pm. You must also identify yourself and the company you are calling from.

Summary

The National Do-Not-Call Registry is a useful tool to help prevent unsolicited sales calls. While it’s not perfect, it only takes a couple minutes to sign up, and then you can report companies that call you without your permission.

To recap, here’s what you need to know about the Do-Not-Call Registry:

  • It’s a national database of numbers that don’t want sales calls that was launched in 2003
  • The only calls that are prohibited by the database are unsolicited sales calls to personal phone numbers.
  • You can sign up online or by phone.
  • You can also file complaints online or by phone, and violators can face costly fines from the FTC.
  • Once you sign up, you’re on the list indefinitely unless you request to have your number taken off or your number gets disconnected.
  • The Do-Not-Call Registry is useful, but it has its limitations and scammers can often get around it.
  • There are many precautions businesses can take to comply.

More Helpful Links

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The Salesperson’s Guide to a Healthy Sleep Routine

Salesperson's Guide to a Healthy Sleep Routine

While your nighttime routine probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you consider factors that affect your sales numbers, it’s much more important than you may realize.

Getting sufficient, high-quality sleep isn’t just critical for overall health, it’s vital for performance as well. Sleep impacts everything from focus, to mood, to productivity, to mental agility.

In other words, good sleep habits can make you a more effective salesperson.

That’s why today, we’ll explain a sleep routine that can help you can get a perfect night’s rest.

1. Set Up Your Bedroom for Sleep

If your bedroom is partially illuminated from street lights outside or it’s too warm, you could find it harder to fall asleep. Or, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, or too early.

A proper bedroom setup requires that the room is at a comfortable temperature and it’s as dark as you can get it. Black-out curtains can help with this.

2. Prepare for Your Next Morning in Advance

You don’t want to be kept up because you’re going over the next morning in your head. Figure out what your morning routine will be well before you go to bed to avoid this.

Anything you can get done the day or night before is well worth doing. Not only can it help you sleep, but it will make your morning more relaxed as well.

3. Avoid Eating or Drinking Too Close to Bed

Give yourself at least an hour between any eating and drinking and the time you go to bed. This way, you won’t be in the middle of digesting when you hit the hay. Obviously, you should cut off your caffeine intake much earlier.

4. Have a Consistent Sleep Schedule

It’s always easier to sleep when your body is used to a schedule. Aim to go to bed at the same time every night. Eventually, your body will adapt to it and you’ll be falling asleep the moment your head hits the pillow.

5. Shut Down the Electronics

Electronic devices keep your mind racing and focused on stress-inducing things. Plus, the “blue light” they give off is proven to disrupt sleep. At least an hour before bed, turn off the computer, TV, smartphone and anything else you use. Give your mind some time to relax.

6. Get Your Mind Off Work

Work is one of those things that always seems to keep the mind moving when you’re trying to drift off to sleep. This is especially true for salespeople, who tend to have a lot of conversations to replay in their mind each night.

For at least an hour before bed, and especially once you’ve turned in for the night, forbid yourself from entertaining work and sales-related thoughts. When a thought enters, let it go… and see what’s still worth thinking about the next morning.

7. Do Something that Relaxes Your Mind

Figure out what you can do that will have your mind nice and calm for bed. Reading is a popular choice, as is writing or drawing in a notebook. Meditation is also a great option, as it encourages you to focus your mind on your body or breath, rather than the day behind or in front of you.

8. Avoid Watching the Clock

Once you go to sleep, don’t look at the clock over and over. Turn it away from your bed so that you aren’t worrying about how long you’ve been awake.

9. Don’t Force It

Worrying about sleep is a great way to derail sleep. So don’t force it. If you find  you’re getting nowhere, return to a before-bed activity. Do this for 10-20 minutes or until you feel drowsy, and then try going to sleep.

Wrapping Up the Salesperson’s Guide to a Healthy Sleep Routine

A great nighttime routine will improve your sleep pattern and have you ready to perform at your best the next day. To recap, here are the nine steps to a perfect night’s sleep:

  • Make sure your bedroom is comfortable and dark.
  • Have a plan for when you get up in the morning.
  • Stop eating and drinking for at least one hour before bed.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Stop using any electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
  • Don’t let yourself entertain work thoughts near bedtime.
  • Find an activity that calms you down and gets you ready to sleep.
  • Keep your eyes off the clock.
  • Go back to that relaxing activity if you’re tossing and turning.
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6 Motivational Videos to Kickstart Your Sales Team

Motivational videos for sales teams

While good salespeople are highly motivated to begin with, it never hurts to have an extra dose of inspiration to start the day.

If you like giving speeches, you may be able to rally the troops yourself.

But whether or not you’re the public speaking type, it’s smart to have some motivational videos in your back pocket.

It’s also a nice habit to get your sales team into, so they can seek out other motivational sales videos, inspiring sales quotes, or podcasts that resonate with them.

With that, here are six motivational videos that will have your sales team ready to rock.

1. Always Be Closing from “Glengarry Glen Ross”

Perhaps the most classic sales speech of all time, this could get you excited about selling anything.

Alec Baldwin’s speech in “Glengarry Glen Ross” is about as direct and blunt as it gets. Break this one out whenever your team needs a hardnosed pep talk.

2. Kodak Carousel from “Mad Men”


Don Draper had plenty of unforgettable speeches over the course of “Mad Men.”

This speech, about the Kodak Carousel, perfectly describes creating an emotional connection between people and products. And emotions, after all, are how people make their buying decisions.

3. Denzel Washington’s Commencement Speech

Denzel Washington’s natural charisma makes him a magnetic presence on both the screen and in real life.

Here, in a University of Pennsylvania commencement speech, he tells graduates to “fall forward.” Using some brilliant examples, Denzel explains how failure is not something to fear. Rather, it’s something to embrace and rise from. There are few more valuable lessons for sales professionals.

4. Make Positivity Louder by Gary Vaynerchuk

One of the most valuable traits a salesperson can have is a positive mindset. Positivity impacts your willingness to learn, your ability to connect with others, and your ability to bounce back or push through adversity.

In this video, Gary Vaynerchuk delivers an inspirational (and sometimes direct) speech about quashing negativity and staying positive, no matter what.

5. 5 Steps to Reinvent Yourself by Dave Perrotta

Every salesperson, from the top performer to those with lower numbers, experiences plateaus. It’s that feeling where you think you’re stuck in one place, unable to move forward.

These five steps to reinvention by Dave Perrotta provide a simple, actionable template to improving any aspect of your life.

6. How Successful People Think, from Video Advice

This rousing video explains how successful people think and go after goals. Featuring stars like Serena Williams and Usain Bolt, the video shares simple concepts with far-reaching impact. It’s a short video that’s big on motivational content.

Wrapping Up 6 Motivational Videos to Kickstart Your Sales Team…

In just a few minutes, the right motivational video can have your sales team fired up for a great day. To recap, here are six of the best motivational videos to show your sales team:

  • The Always Be Closing scene from “Glengarry Glen Ross” is equal parts funny, abrasive and motivational.
  • Don Draper’s Kodak Carousel speech is a poignant look at the importance of emotion in sales.
  • Denzel Washington explained how to use adversity to your advantage in his commencement speech.
  • Gary Vee covers why positivity is so crucial in Make Positivity Louder.
  • In 5 Steps to Reinvent Yourself, Dave Perrotta describes the best way to make a change in your life.
  • “How Successful People Think” features peak athletes sharing what it takes to succeed – no matter what your goal.
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7 Books that Will Change the Way You Work

7 Books that Will Change the Way You Work

A great book can change your perspective and help you take the next step with your career. But there are a near-endless number of books claiming to do this, and many of them fall short.

Today, we’re going to help you find the books that are worth your valuable time.

Some of them are very specifically about business and professional success. Others tread closer to personal and interpersonal growth. All of them will help you navigate your way to a more successful and enjoyable career.

With that, here are seven books that will change the way you work, for the better…

1. EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches

EntreLeadership Book

Written by Dave Ramsey, this book explains how the entrepreneur built a massive brand. Leadership is so critical to that goal, and there’s a lot that goes into leading effectively. This guide is extremely helpful as it not only guides on how to lead well, but also explains why it’s so important to do so.

2. Designing Your Life

Designing Your Life Book

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans wrote this manual on how to improve your life through design thinking. Instead of staying stuck in the same rut or completely overhauling your life, this method involves considering what you enjoy already and designing your life to have more of that.

3. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

What Got You Here Won't Get You There Book

We often achieve a certain degree of success despite our bad habits. Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter wrote this book on fixing counterproductive habits, so that you can get out of your own way, and move up in your career path.

4. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The Power of Now Book

You probably recognized the title of this classic by Eckhart Tolle, but if you haven’t read it yet, it’s a fantastic guide to living more in the present moment. It’s especially important to read if you carry around a lot of baggage from the past or find yourself  continually thinking, and worrying, about the future.

5. The Magic of Thinking Big

The Magic of Thinking Big, Book

A common problem people have in life is setting their sights far too low. When you do this by setting small, easily reachable goals, you won’t challenge yourself enough to grow. That means you’ll fail to reach your full potential. This book by David J. Schwartz explains how you can train yourself to think bigger, and the amazing things that can happen as a result.

6. Pivot

Pivot, Book

The only thing you can be sure about with your career is that you’ll go through plenty of changes. This book by Jenny Blake provides an in-depth look at exactly how to handle career changes, whether it’s a minor shift in role or responsibility, or something completely new.

7. Smarter Faster Better

Smarter Faster Better

It’s natural to look at highly productive or creative people and wonder how they do it. In this book, Charles Duhigg uses real-life examples to show what’s really behind productivity and creativity. These aren’t traits you’re born with, and once you know the thinking that creates them, you’ll be able to accomplish more in less time.

Wrapping Up 7 Books that Will Change the Way You Work…

Certain career books are packed with valuable insights that can lead to bigger opportunities and higher satisfaction. Here are seven that live up to that promise, and can help you improve your professional life:

  • “EntreLeadership” has two decades’ worth of business lessons from Dave Ramsey.
  • “Designing Your Life” shows you how to make your life better with design thinking.
  • “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” helps you replace counterproductive habits.
  • “The Power of Now” teaches you to live in the moment.
  • “The Magic of Thinking Big” will have you setting bigger goals.
  • “Pivot” is a guide to handling career changes.
  • “Smarter Faster Better” can take your productivity to new heights.
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5 Unique (and Fun) Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team

Unique and fun ways to motivate your sales team

Great salespeople are naturally competitive and driven. Still, it’s challenging for anyone to stay fully motivated day in and day out.

When you’re running a business, it’s important to keep motivation high for your sales team and ensure that off days are few and far between.

Setting goals and encouraging salespeople are common motivational tactics, but because they’re used so often, they usually don’t make a huge impact.

That’s why today, we’re bringing you five unique (and fun) ways to motivate your sales team…

sales leaderboard feature
Pictured: PhoneBurner’s real-time and self-updating sales “Leaderboard” feature is a great tool for daily sales motivation, or to use with the techniques below.

1. Do One-Hour “Sprints”

When salespeople have daily targets to meet, it can start to feel like a grind towards the end of the day. Try giving them hourly targets instead so that they can work hard on their goal for the hour, and then have any leftover time to relax and regroup.

2. Hold a Company-Wide March-Madness Style Tournament

A great way to get your employees into a competitive and productive spirit is involving the entire company in a March-Madness style tournament (in the spirit of the popular NCAA March Madness tournament). Make sure you set up a scoring system that’s fair for everyone. You can have everyone competing solo or pit team against team.

If you opt with a March-Madness style tournament, you can create a bracket pitting teams or individuals against each other. Whoever makes the most sales that day advances to the next round. You can then have prizes for different rounds of the tournament – for example, the final four and the championship.

This is a fun and topical way to add fun and friendly competition to the work environment.

3. Try a One-Day Sales Contest

A one-day sales contest is as simple as it gets. Whoever gets the most conversions that day is the winner (depending on your business, you may decide on a different scoring system). These really come in handy when your sales team has been feeling burnt out lately and needs a boost.

4. Hand Out Prizes

Recognition is great, but let’s be honest – no one gets amped up over a pat on the back. Prizes are the perfect way to motivate your sales team during contests. One fun option that doesn’t require you to keep buying new prizes is to get a championship belt like they have in professional wrestling. Or even easier, a trophy. Every day or week, the top performer gets to hold the award until someone dethrones them.

If you do want to add a lucrative prize, consider doing something like a fun trip to a vacation destination, or a cool new electronic (like a laptop). Gift cards, or restaurant gift certificates are always a good option as well.

5. Celebrate Successes with a Party

When your sales team has been working hard and made you proud, throw a party to celebrate. You could take everybody out somewhere fun or get food and drinks at the office. To make it more fun for your employees, consider letting them invite their significant others.

Wrapping Up 5 Unique Ways to Motivate Your Sales Team…

Every sales manager wants to get more out of sales reps. That’s why a big part of  leading a sales team is keeping reps properly motivated, focused, and productive. To recap, here are five unique, fun and effective ways to give your sales team more motivation:

  • Set targets for your employees by the hour.
  • Get the whole company involved in a tournament.
  • Fight burnout with a one-day sales contest.
  • Give employees prizes for meeting goals.
  • Throw the occasional party when your team does well.

What’s the best sales motivation technique you’ve seen or been a part of?