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Direct Marketing - The "See Our Ad in the Yellow Pages" Trap

If you meet a prospect on the street, and s/he is interested in buying from you, would you (a) steer the person directly into your office/store to make the sale or (b) recommend the person go and visit every one of your competitors before coming back to see you? Hint: this is not a trick question.
Anyone with a shred of common sense and minimal selling skills will either make the sale while still on the street or put blinders on the prospect while the two of you make a beeline to your office.
But there are some fools out there that insist on using this tagline at the end of their television and radio ads -- "See our ad in your local Yellow Pages".
And while you're there, Mr.
Smart Consumer, why don't you look at everyone else's ad and call them instead of me.
Would you believe supposedly bright business owners pay their ad agencies to dream up these business killers? It would make a whole lot more sense, if you have to direct someone to the phone book for your number, to recommend they go to the white pages where they'll find your number and where they won't find your competitors' numbers staring out at them.
Or create a catchy "vanity" telephone number that the listener can remember without looking in the phone book.
The only time I have ever seen a worthwhile ad that referred customers to the yellow pages was for a pizza parlor.
Their offer went like this -- "bring in our competitors' ads from the yellow pages and we'll give you $2 off a large pizza.
" Sounds similar to the above, but they succeeded in getting their customers to rip out their competitors' numbers from the phone book, so the next time they went looking for a pizza parlor, the only one remaining in the book was this pizza parlor's ad.
Sneaky and underhanded, but smart.
But unless the pizza gimmick will work for you, play it safe and refer your prospects to the white pages where you'll be the main attraction.

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