Internet Yellow Pages were created by YP companies to recover revenue losses from the dying print directories. Unfortunately, for advertisers, Internet yellow pages receive only a very small percentage of all online searches and the costs can be staggering. Our internet yellow pages consulting can provide objective answers and help you to decide if internet yellow pages is right for you. If you are considering IYP, here are a few things you should know:
Most online advertising programs include various types of ads on the publishers website, and reseller services for Google Adwords. We believe that one-size-fits-all programs do not serve the best interest of the advertiser. In our opinion, internet advertising such as Yelp, YP Marketing Solutions, Yodle and Reach Local, are not cost effective online advertising solutions.
Does internet yellow pages advertising work?
Problems With Online Directory Advertising
First, any advertiser’s site that is not ranked high on page one of search results, for terms related to your business, probably is not going to generate much traffic . . . or buyers.
Second, if the advertiser’s site does have decent ranking how well can they engage visitors? How much does high visibility cost? Is the presentation enough to get prospects to have an interest in your business? Is your company represented in a field of many, thus giving you only a small part of their traffic?
Yellow Pages advertising typically has a rarely mentioned Auto-Renewal Clause written into the Terms & Conditions, and has very tightly written terms concerning How To Cancel Your Advertising. Choosing to not speak to or meet with a sales rep usually results in a binding auto renewal of your advertising – at new higher rates.
When cancelling your yellow pages advertising keep detailed records on your actions, including dates, times, person contacted and copies of all correspondence. We strongly advise calling the advertiser’s Customer Service Group to open a ticket that notifies the sales group of your demand to Cancel All Advertising and Not Renew Advertising. Relying on only verbal or written communications with sales reps or sales managers is NOT recommended. Save print outs of emails, and retain copies of signed papers. On the “total dollar amount line”, write the word “zero” and initial on both sides of it. DO NOT simply put a “0” because some reps have been known to not leave a copy with the customer, go to their car and change the “0.00” to something like “1,000.00”.
What You Need To Know – An Inside Look At Directory Advertising Sales Practices
Your Needs vs. Sales Rep Objectives
Advertising sales reps have to manage one objective with three types of situations. The objective is to increase the billing for an assigned book of business. This means that if they manage 50 customers which each pay $100 month, they are managing a book of business worth $5,000 monthly. They are expected to finish a sales campaign with a book of business with greater monthly billing. Here are the three situations they have to manage to hit their sales objectives, and keep their job:
Customers who cancel or reduce advertising. Ad spend reductions are a big problem for a rep because it puts them in a negative financial position. Reps will use everything they know to prevent you spending less money; buy a new. more expensive type of advertising, or spread your money out over multiple items (you get more visibility). A cancellation is really bad because of the total loss of revenue and loss of an advertiser (shrinking number of advertisers).
Customers who simply renew advertising at the same price. A straight renewal is okay but it does not give the sales rep “up money”. It’s a safe close on an account but it does not help them achieve their sales revenue quota. Sales reps need advertisers to spend more money so they can achieve their sales quotas.
Finding new customers. New customer sales are like gold because it is all “up money” meaning it offsets revenue losses from cancellations and reductions, and gets the rep closer to their revenue objectives. Sales reps typically push to sell big programs that boost their results (achieve objectives and increase commissions, bonuses, etc.), and these programs are quite often far more than an advertiser really needs.
A typical directory sales pitch
Learn how a “simple conversation” is actually walking you down a path
If you’ve dealt with yellow page reps you’ve probably heard this pitch, and it’s extremely deceptive:
Salesman: “Mr. Customer, what percentage of leads do you convert into customers?”
Prospect: “Probably about half of our leads turn into paying customers.”
Salesman: “Wow! That’s a great number. You really do a good job selling. Say, what’s the price of an average job?”
Prospect: “An average job? It’s probably about $250 or so.”
Salesman: “That’s a nice price. Let me show you something. (Goes into sales pitch about program). . . so, this program will generate 20-30 leads a month and costs only $1,000 per month. You said you convert about half of your leads into customers, so let’s say this means 10-15 jobs a month. You said your average price is $250 so that means you will make $2,500 to $3,750 every month off of a $1,000 ad program! And if we get you even more leads your advertising price does not go up. And the neat thing is you don’t have to do anything but handle the leads.” (salesman pushes to close contract).
The truth of the math is this: Let’s say your numbers of 50% close rate and average sale price of $250 is accurate. That’s well and fine but that $250 is not all profit. If your profit is 20% then each sale nets you $50. You then need to complete 20 jobs just to break even on your advertising! You can end up working more just to pay for the advertising!
Don’t get caught up in big numbers, graphs, charts and and well crafted sales pitches. Don’t buy on the first sales call – take time to think about it before you commit. Before you sign a contract for yellow pages advertising, or similar internet marketing programs, call us for FREE Internet Advertising Consulting. If you are in a contract we invite you to call us to learn how to transition out of it without harming your business.
We’re concerned with retaining your business through results, not in keeping a sales job by doing whatever it takes to make a sale.
You have BETTER OPTIONS to find business online. Before you sign a contract or renew your yellow pages advertising you should contact us to discuss better ways to find more customers online.
About us and this blog
We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.