TMI: Two Phone Numbers is Too Much

I’ve been talking a lot lately about personal branding, and it’s time for us to reconsider the way we use phone numbers on email signatures, business cards, and websites.

These days, why does anyone need two or more business phone numbers?

It’s too much information, but at least once a day I see a signature line or business card that has two or more phone numbers.  Here are some of my favorite examples:

Fairly common email signature:

John Smith

Director of Finance

Acme Inc.

Direct: 234-456-7890  x. 4321

Mobile: 234-111-0000

Fax:  914-921-2155

Fairly common business card:

Three phone numbers:

Two numbers, no labels:

Three phone numbers, two emails!

There is no reason a client, colleague, or loved one should have to waste time wondering which number to call, or worse yet, calling both.

Do they leave a message after the first one, or wait until they can’t reach you on the second one?  Should they leave messages on both?  Is it a bad idea to call your mobile phone during the day or your direct number during the evening?

Too many questions, too much information!

It is confusing, irritating, and problematic from a marketing standpoint also.  We’re throwing too much information at each other, and extra phone numbers only add clutter to your email, business card, or website.

Furthermore, we’re just giving ourselves one more voicemail to check.  It’s time to take a step back and reconsider what we’re doing.

I can only think of two scenarios, and both require just one phone number:

1) If you want to be available for your clients when they need you (recommended), share your mobile number.

2) If you want your clients to contact you during your office hours only, share your direct line.

Less is more.

Have a great night,



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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

4 comments on “TMI: Two Phone Numbers is Too Much”

  1. I never thought about this before and you are so right! In our quest to always be accessable, we are actually creating what amounts to a time waster for the person who’s trying to do all of that decyphering! Good Post!

  2. Thanks Cheri! This post got a fairly cold reception to some folks I shared it with.

    It’s a counter-intuitive concept, but one that makes sense in our TMI society. Less is more.

  3. Another solution, is to get a Google Voice number… Then put that number on ALL your correspondence, business cards, etc.

    As a single mom with a home based business, I’m always on the go. A land line or fax machine makes no sense to me since I access 90% of my data, emails and calls from my iPhone. But giving my mobile number out to *everyone* doesn’t make sense either since it’s the only phone I have & I’d like some measure of privacy, even if only initially.

    Google rings through to my mobile, captures voice mail if I can’t pick up, and then converts the messages to text which can be emailed and SMS’ed to my mobile as well. Admittedly, it doesn’t do conversion well, but it’s still a nice feature.

    Anyway, that’s been my solution. And so far it’s worked very well. I love having only one number to give out! It simplifies my work/home life & still keeps me connected. I know VOIP isn’t for everyone (yet), but it should at least be on our radar as an option.

  4. Cheryl, I like your strategy for dealing with that situation. Google voice is definitely an option. I also like some of the phone services that can forward numbers during certain times.

    Thanks for the comment Cheryl!

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