Google “click-to-call”

I can’t say I expected this … a new service from Google that connects advertisers and buyers via the phone.

We’re testing a new product that gives you a free and fast way to speak directly to the advertiser you found on a Google search results page – over the phone.

Here’s how it works: When you click the phone icon, you can enter your phone number. Once you click ‘Connect For Free,’ Google calls the number you provided. When you pick up, you hear ringing on the other end as Google connects you to the other party. Then, chat away on our dime.

We won’t share your telephone number with anyone, including the advertiser. When you’re connected with the advertiser, your number is blocked so the advertiser can’t see it. In addition, we’ll delete the number from our servers after a short period of time.


[ update ]

I just threw this on my blog during a coffee break at work, but now that I’m back home, the thing that strikes me as really brilliant about Google click-to-call is that it provides a whole new way for the industry previously known as telemarketing to grow into something entirely different, new, and better.

Telemarketing will accomplish essentially the same purpose – sell stuff – but much more efficiently, because prospects will be pre-qualified. In fact, they’ll qualify themselves.

(OK, so that’s the rose-tinted glasses version. The reality will be somewhat less.)

However, there is no question in my mind that this is the future of telemarketing … just when that industry is entering it’s toughest days with the introduction of the national do-not-call registry in the US.

Saw it first here.