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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 12:47 pm

Yellow Pages?

OK, The Yellow pages rep is bugging me on a daily basis now. What experience do you all have with YP advertising. Does it bring any work in?
Our local YP has about 7 pages of signmakers (although there are only 2-3 signmakers in my town) The reason I'm dithering about placing an advert is that I've only recently started out on my own with virtually no budget for advertising and I don't want to waste money on something that'll be a waste of time. Does it work?
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:02 pm

Hi Big G.
In my opinion, you would be far ahead to spend a few bucks
on vinyl and letter your own vehicle. Make it look cool.
That way, no matter where you go, you're advertising.
I tried a yellow pages ad. You know what it got me?
(annoying voice) "How much do you charge for a set of magnetics?
Oh? I can get them for $39.95 at Kinko's!"

To me, there is nothing worse than being pestered by a price-shopper.
It is almost as bad as the Yellow Book rep!
In addition, the $$ you spent on the ad only lasts a year
and then it's back on the merry-go-round again. Just my 2 cents.
I personally never got a single job from the yellow pages.
But if you still plan to do it, change your name to
A#1 Aardvark Signs so you're first in the list.
Love-JILL
ps...you can also "tart up" your shop a bit
(had to find a place to write that, saw it the other day
in here & about wet my pants laughing) :wink:
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:25 pm

I’m going to give my YP add a miss this year.

I think I could count the number of jobs gained from the ad on one hand, and the profit from those will barely have paid for it.

I think shoppers for signs in YP come in two types:

1) The most common. Tyre kickers, just annoying everyone to get the cheapest price.

2) Those that are easily impressed with size. They look for the biggest and boldest advert and are convinced that that company must be the bee’s knees.
.5% of your annual turnover may only buy a 15mm box ad. Whereas .5% for a large company may give them a coloured half page. So unless you’re of a reasonable size and can afford it, you little ad won’t compete for this type of customers.


If you don’t have a shop front it has to be down to your vehicle as Jill says, and word of mouth.


Alan
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:59 pm

They used to do a free line entry if you have a business line with BT
but I don't know if that still applies

Since I work from home it is vital for me to make my presence aware to the local businesses, otherwise they will not see me.

When the bulk of my work was traditional signwriting I would get loads of work from people passing by who would see me signwriting. But now I do more work from home and therefore I am not seen as before.

It is expensive I guess, but in the long run it keeps the new customers coming.

Our work is slightly different then say a builder who has an enquiry. The job that he may land might be a contract that will see him through a few weeks or even months! The job we could get from a call might be just half a days work. So I think its important to keep the ball rolling until you build up a reasonably good clientel.

I understand you can do a bit of bartering (chat.) with these YP guys although they don't let on that you can

John
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:45 pm

Yellow Pages

We've just paid YP £250 for a single colour display ad under Designers - Graphic.

Already loads of sign firms advertising, so we just have a listing there.

Today paid Thomson Directories £250 for the same display ad under Signs & Nameplates, cos there's only one other display ad in that section.

Mind you , The lovely Thomson rep started out at £600 before we managed to batter her down.
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:59 pm

So its worth bartering for

or as fluidedge would have it, if the bartering fails start battering :lol:

The lovely Thomson rep started out at £600 before we managed to batter her down.


John
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 6:09 pm

This topic has come up before and always interests me no end as I used to sell Yellow Pages, Local radio, national papers etc., etc.,

Should you use Yellow Pages.

YES


100% absolutely, if it's the only thing you do it WILL bring you business. Now whether it's the sort of business you want is another matter but I'd rather have someone pitching me for a price than the phone never ringing. Do more calls mean more business? No, but more calls mean you can afford to select the better paying jobs and remember every small job could lead to more work.


I have an 8cm square and whilst it doesn't do wonders it does work and pay for itself and you know the YP salesmans best close..............?

'Your company is reccomended by a customer of yours. In an ideal world he'll write down your name and number and pass it on, in reality he'll say......'there up on the Robjohns estate......look em up in Yellow Pages!'


A nice van..........they just catch your name and half a number...........they'll look you up in Yellow Pages!'


With the onset of the web it's response may be diluted and it hurts me to see £100 going out on advertising every month...but it works!
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 6:25 pm

No one has mentioned the ordinary BT phone book that now comes with business names.

Any views on that (?) (?)


Alan
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:46 pm

I have found I get a better response from Thomson Local.

It’s a smaller area, but I’ve had many more enquiries to my advert, turns out that YP are going to start splitting their directories from next year, so Thomson must be doing somthing right and as they say "you gotta be in it to win it"

Simon
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:43 pm

Bus Backs?

Anyone with any experience of advertising on the back of buses? Is it cost effective?
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 9:48 pm

yes fluidedge, i print for the backs of buses, and got the chance of printing a set of 24 for myself, done a deal with the guy for printing others.
anyway it was the best form of advertising i have ever done!

it might seem expensive, but in the long run your phone won't stop ringing. i would highly recommend it :P :P

nik
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:25 pm

In my first year with Yellow pages, we got a 50 % discount on list price, because we were a "new business". It has brought in work for us, however, price shoppers and maniacs are frequent callers.

It can just take one call and you could land yourself a big order that could pay for the ad, or alternativly, a good customer who could give you years of repeat business.

I would reccomend it, especially if your just starting up.

steve
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:47 pm

Last year I did my usual YP ad and also a Thompson Local one. I've been sceptical of the effectivness Thompson for some years and they offered me a 0800 monitored number for my ad. The results were from a 2" square ad about an average of 1 call per month !!
Needless to say, I won't be advertising in there again. The YP however I have about double the size and in full colour (costs ~£1300+vat) and this brings in a good steady stream of new leads. A lot of them from reasonable sized business's too and I am sure that this ad pays for itself several times over in the year.
I have never advertised in any "business specific" directories although I would consider it as I like to do the sort of jobs that I tend to get from larger companies. It would be interesting to know if anyone else has had any success with this type of ad.

Nigel
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Post Thu Jan 29, 2004 10:48 pm

Yellow pages works!
We are a small company (3 of us) and we spend £6500 every year with yellow pages and although recommendation & repeat work is probably 75% of our workload you still have to get the work from somwhere to start the repeat work. Today i quoted for a £10,000+ job from City Yellow Pages and although I know there are probably 10 others quoting for it at least we are in with a chance. The reason why there are so many sign companies in the Yellow Pages must speak for itself. I also received my copy of the Thompson Local today and there is not a single sign company with more than a single line advert in it. When we first started the company in 2000 we missed the yellow pages for that year so we spend nearly £2000 in 3 Thompson directories to get one £50 vinyl job and one £175 signwriting job. All of our advertising budget goes into YP & Yell.com now with a simple easily read design and freephone number. Try it it does work! :D
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:09 am

Anyone with any experience of advertising on the back of buses? Is it cost effective?

Yes.............and NO! I wouldn't touch it. It's above the line advertising that you have to do in a big way to be of any real use. 24 Buses is a lot of buses and I guess a lot of cost?



Thomsons Local is a much weaker and hence cheaper version of Yellow pages. I have a Yellow Pages manual somewhere giving you 20 reasons not to use it and they are valid! My experience is that it works for 1 in 10 people dependent very much on their location.

turns out that YP are going to start splitting their directories from next year



YP have been splitting their Directories for some years. The reason being that the books were quite simply becoming physically too big in some areas. Also as towns develop so do the number of businesses (including sign companies) and that reduces the likelihood of people phoning outside of their immediate location. It's also a sales money spinner, offering cheaper ads in smaller less expensive to produce books with the opportunity of a cross sell into the old area at higher cost!

Slightly off the topic but if you've been watching The Property people on BBC 2, very upbeat, head up their xxxxxx salespeople it reminds me so much of my days at YP.

Briefly: 3 week Training course for 42 people. I came second (I went on the beer the night before the exam :roll: ) The first week 2 people were sacked, one for a hangover, the other for falling alseep during the MD's speech! :lol: :lol: Week 2 and one guy had an accident in his company car, another got the keys and done a runner with his brand new motor! :lol: :roll: Week 3 and the course tutor was found naked romping in the hotel conference room with one of the pupils, was thrown out and banned so he couldn't come to the passing out ceremony the next day!!

...........and after 6 weeks there were only 6 of us still left :-?

Happy dayz!
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:32 am

I advertise in both Yellow Pages and Thomson. In my particular circumstances, the problem with yellow pages is that I am based on the periphery of the area covered by the Edinburgh and Lothians Directory. To be honest, Edinburgh and East Lothian are too far to justify travelling to when there is plenty of work more localy. I would welcome a Yellow pages that was smaller and more focused on my particular locality. Thomson on the other hand have just (within the last two years) brought out a directory centred on the area where I am based, but being less well known is less used. I don't get many enquiries from these but believe I have to be in them in order to be easily found by my existing customers.

One of the downsides of these directories as already mentioned is that you get the occasional "maniac" phoning up. It's not always possible to spot a "maniac" straight away as they dress and talk just like the rest of us. But they are out there and can waste an awful lot of your time. A good example of this is when a "maniac" phones up and books an appointment for you to call around and measure up to quote for a new shop sign. When you arrive the shop is closed and shuttered up and the "maniac" doesn't bother to turn up itself at the expected time of the appointment :roll:

I can recount dozens of other genuine examples but don't wish to bore anyone with the details, just be aware that there are many time wasters and half wits out there with nothing better to do with their time than phone up small business with fictitious and half witted enquiries. The more you advertise, the more cranks you are likely to come across :(
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:44 am

Lol...... :lol:
many time wasters and half wits out there with nothing better to do with their time than phone up small business with fictitious and half witted enquiries
:lol:

I'd love to see your customer services training manual Phil. I know what you mean though.

Although I've spouted on about YP my best ads are in small local Parish style magazines, £20 a quarter and leave em running til you drop dead and end up in the Local Funerals section!
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 2:47 am

I advertise in yellow pages and although I begrudge the money and think they are ripping me off with what they charge feel that a business needs to be in it.
Martin is right when he says that someone will mention your name but not have your number and people quite often dont take a number off the side of the van but remember the name.
When they are looking for your number YP is normally one of the first places people will look.
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:39 am

:D Yellow Pages works for us, we only have a basic ad in the book but it brings in at least 1 call per day, which usually almost turns into a job. We scored our largest client through YP. But then again I suppose a lot of it is down to the area you are based?

If you are advertising for the first time with them, they will give you a 50% discount on your first years advertising. They also do a repayment scheme to spread the payments, which we do, we pay for our advertising monthly by direct debit.

We have been informed that next year YP is being split into smaller areas & the cost of the ads will be reduced to accomodate those that still want to cover a few areas, so it wil still cost the same if you want to cover the areas that you previously have.

:D Carrie
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:43 am

Slighty off topic here, but still related to the YP. I had a guy in my shop yesterday doing some work for me. We got onto the subject of where he bought his signage, and hey presto, I got some more work :D Anyway, he started talking about how he hates advertising, but its a necessary evil and all that. I mentioned the fact that for one tiny YP advert costing £500, I could do a design on his van that would last a couple of years for the same money. I think I hit a nerve. :wink:

No sooner than I'd finished my little sales push, he ordered (with the previso that the design was 'original' ). He understood the comparison I'd made and then didn't flinch at my price for doing his van. An eye-opener for me as a sales technique!

As far as advertising in the YP with my own business, the rep would have more chance selling a can of de-icer to an Arab! I don't mean to be negative about another business like this but the YP really winds me up. They charge say £160 for an advertisement, but convieniently forget to mention the design costs and other related costs. I dislike dishonesty in business at the best of times, its a real shame that a company that large don't have reps who believe in the honest sell. Humble opinion here, tell the customer the price with no hidden costs. If they don't like the price, let them go elsewhere or barter like crazy. Everyone has to earn a living obviously, but my dislike is when large companies bleed small companies dry with the mask of "We'll help you" :evil:

Sorry for going totally off topic here again, but yesterday I was informed that a local signage company to me had a unique sales technique based on the 'the wife' rule. "I want to take the wife to.... " or "To be honest, my wife.... ", which is all well and good as this patter gets him the work. Unfortunately this gentleman can not spell and mustn't have access to a spellchecker as the majority of his work is mispelt quite strangely ( the first example I heard of was his substitute of the word 'house' for the word 'home', sounds trivial, but it mattered a great deal to his customer). Subsequently he gets about as much repeat business as the French Military Liason officer to the Iraq Armed Forces! :o

As you can probably tell, yesterday was indeed a day of learning for me :wink: I better get to the shop and learn some more.

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 2:05 pm

Dewi, I feel that your "sales push" was quite valid.
The first person who ever mentioned that same notion to me was my good friend from Quebec, Pierre Tardif. He said the same thing you did about the YP cost & time of ad vs. the cost of long-term vehicle lettering & signs. (except he has a french-canadian accent & not a UK one...I love both! :wink: )
One of his famous quotes to customers who whine about the cost of signage is "You will make more money from this sign than I ever will!"
Love- JILL
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:34 pm

I don't mean to be negative about another business like this but the YP really winds me up. They charge say £160 for an advertisement, but convieniently forget to mention the design costs and other related costs.


Did you ask? :-?

I never had any add on costs because I supplied my own artwork!

I fully understand why YP is seen as pricey but believe me you cannot fill a book full of advertising year in and year out if it doesn't work!

Why are we not discussing the 'Directory of Top Notch Sign Companies'
the 'Local Book of Business Contacts'?? because YP has the marketplace and we all know that don't we?? :o

By the way I'm not on commission, :D I hated it when I worked there and it's changed no end. I never fitted their sales mould but I'll argue til I'm blue in the face that you've got to have a very strong case not to use it if your in a service/supply industry such as ours.
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:45 pm

Love the quote Jill, how about this one too - You think a good signs costs you money? just think how much a bad sign will cost you.
Just being hassled by the Yellow pages rep not sure what Im going to do yet im in a slightly different position to most with my location being the only real sign maker in the area.

Nigel
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:46 pm

Doing your own YP art is dead easy.
I have done art for YP ads for many customers aswell as they find YP a pain to deal with. As the rep. doesn't always pass on all the info or the designer has his own ideas.

If you have Corel Draw supplying an EPS on disk for ya YP ad is a piece of pi**. :wink:


My first 3 reps only wanted to sell & show me there laptop.

I have trained my latest rep he was with me long enough to collect a disk and me to sign the paperwork. :lol:

My best rep was a young woman from Thompsons she was spot on and new her stuff re advertising. She passed on some usefull info to me which has helped me many times when creating artwork for my litho print clients.

Tim.
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Post Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:58 pm

Sounds like you have a bit of a low opinion of the YP Dewi :wink:
I don't know if you just had a bad sales person or two ? To be fair, I have not had a gripe with them apart from a phone no. misprint which they made and the prices.
My rep used to come round and chat about what types of business I wanted to target and then go away and do his own design ideas for me. I never asked him to, and never used any of his ideas either but it was nice that he wanted to try and help...and no he didn't always come back with a full page colour ad for me either !
I always do my own design for any advert, as the general standard of their own design is pretty poor. Especially in an industry where your image is soo important as far as how customers perceive your business.

You have hit on a good way of selling van graphics though, I often compare the cost of other forms of ads to vans and nobody can doubt the effectivness of this. Plus it makes the business look far more of a professional outfit if they don't turn up in a plain white transit !

Like Jills quote "You will make more money from this sign than I ever will!" I must remember that one to use myself :D

Like it or not though, I think the YP is a necessary expense for most business's like ours. I only hope they don't start fighting to be on the 1st page along with the likes of the plumbers, window companies etc or I might have to change my name to "...................1aaaaaaaaa Creative Sign Services" or somthing stupid :wink:

Nigel
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Post Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:16 pm

Just had to vent my spleeen sorry.

I would just like to thank Yell.....for delivering my new Yellow Pages....
& F**king up my advert.....I even supply my own artwork....and your idiots decide to alter it.
And change the co name I am indexed under so I am at the end of the section on a diff page with only 1 other co.

Anyway......DD is cancelled.......take me to court....

O and to cap it all.....
I see new incorrect advert Wed pm, ring Yell Thursday am..........Then wait for it, this is the best bit.....
Get a sales rep Thursday pm trying to sell me advertising in the Business pages.

So he now knows a few new words......... (chat.)

OK spleen vented.....only have to wait a year if Im still here to resolve the situation.


THANK YOU YELL (:)
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Post Thu Feb 12, 2004 8:59 pm

Word of warning.............

Try and keep it low key.

Why?

As an ex YP salesman...........part of the sales kit is made of letters of complaint by irritated customers threatening to sue. The best was a full page Insurance company story that went in the local and some national papers. The heading.........

'Leaving ad out of Yellow Pages could mean bankruptcy for XYZ Insurance Firm'

In other words you couldn't find a better testimonial if you'd held a gun to the guys head. There is a company so reliant on their YP ads for success that not going in the book would seriously affect their business.
Last edited by Martin C on Fri Feb 13, 2004 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Thu Feb 12, 2004 10:27 pm

we spend 2k a year on yellow pages. I`d prefer to spend less, but feel its well worth it. (if you turn over 200k a year its only 1% of your turnover)

we have adverts in the following sections

T Shirt printing.
Embroidery.
Signage.
Promotional items.

It`s a nessecary evil. You have to advertise to get your name about. Word of mouth is great, but not as fast as YP.

I do get abit sick of the reps trying to get me to advertise in other sections/areas/business pages/internet. etc etc. But I tell them as soon as they work in the door what i want to advertise in and what I do not require. I`ve got the art work ready and waiting for them. Takes 10 minutes max to sort out my years advertising with them. ( time is money)

We just have a black & white advert. Does any one full colour ads?? Have they seen an upturn in business because of it??

Vivid.
How did they mess up your ad? didn`t you see proof of the ad first?
This is one thing that worries me, if they mess up(or I do)

I advetise in a mag every month. Changed my artwork to include new products 3 months ago. Then for some reason they printed the old advert. i wasn`t very happy. Got a refund, it was no big deal as the following month things were put right. But if it happed in YP it would be disasterous


One thing that bugs me about yellow pages. Does every house hold and business get a new one every year??

I ask this, because when we moved to our shop, phone numbers changed etc. We timed every thing to co-inside with the new yellow pages (ours comes out in March) but we were still having to divert the old phone number to the new one for 2 years, due to people still using the old phone number in an old YP.

So either some people just throw away the new yellow pages when they get it and carry on using the old version. Which is bad for new businesses.

Or they never get a new copy. Which is bad for new busisnesses.... (hot)
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 8:59 am

Dewi....

That is a useful sales technique that I have been using for years, except that I use the example of advertising in the local newspaper.

Tell them that £200 spent with you and they will be visible for years, or at least for as long as they keep the van. Then point out that £200 spent with the local paper will be wrapped around somebodys chips tomorrow night. That makes them think. :D
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

Becky

Cut vinyl is an add on to my existing business supplying litho print & artwork etc.

So I know how to do artwork for YP infact I have at least 8 Co's in my book that I supply the art for.

Anyway I sign in October hand over disc and hard copy. Get post on 11 November - stated add conf & status proof to follow.

I got no proof even after chasing twice.

Advert published......11 Pages in section under Print & Litho in my book...last year due to sales rep I had an "A" placed infront of Co name there suggestion....now I am back listed under V. for Very last advert.
I also dont put a house no on (work from home) had to stop idiot walk ins etc. for can you do me 2 photocopies of this... :roll:

But YP have put house No. in.

Apparently they could not open the digital file......So rep never asked me for new art...(sh*t we do have email now)....he said re produce from hard copy. Well they did but not exactly.

There online splurge states.....

"Disk supplied artwork will either be published as supplied or rejected.
Our Artwork Studio will not edit the content of supplied advertisements. If amendments are required, a further disk must be submitted".

it just makes me want to YELL........ (:)
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:43 am

Thanks John! I like that one :D

Vivid, have you kept records of the times and dates you requested the proofs? If so, demand some compensation as the advert will be detrimental to your business with regards to customers/clients appearing at your doorstep when you stated specifically that your address was NOT to be published.

Martin C. I didn't ask the YP for discount on art charges etc. because it was one of my customers who placed the actual advert, I only heard about it after the event. Because I do a certain amount of work for customers relating to press advertisements I hear alot of horror stories. Admittedly they are usually in relation to the blue variety of phone book, but YP gets more than its fair share. What 'gets my goat' as it were is the fact that I have to sometimes justify my artwork charges, even though that is the mainstay of what the client is paying for, my artwork!

In the case of YP I personally believe they should work to a certain code, if this is broken, the advert is free. I am aware you'll probably have worked to a certain code whilst in YP's employment Martin, but how many times have you twisted someones arm, or neglected to mention something to get that end of week sale? :wink: I'm not suggesting you would have done this with the intention of doing the customers out, but as a salesman you must have had targets and its human nature to improvise and adapt, targets get met, your paycheck in the post, la la la la la :wink:

I am quite harsh in my views on companies like the YPs. I wholeheartedly agree that they provide an invaluable service to alot of business who would otherwise have no trade. I also agree that sometimes we the customer sometimes make mistakes, but at the end of the day, YP isn't paying us, we're paying them. I'm just of the opinion that a business of YPs size and capabilties, they should have sufficient checking procedures to ensure that mistakes are not as frequent as they obviously are. And if any execs from YP are reading this, send Vivid some cash back, its good customer realtions! :D

Btw Becky, you sound as if you've got the perfect way to deal with them. I've saved the key points from your post for when the reps appear at my door :wink:

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:01 pm

Vivid.
I understand how you must feel, I`d be pulling my hair out in frustration if it happened to me.
Something similer happened to van hire company in my area last year. YP must have put in the wrong phone number. The company in question did a lot of advertising on the local radio to try to compensate for the mistake. Perhaps they got the bill sent to YP.

Dewi.
When I workeed for someone else. I wouldn`t say boo to a ghoose. Now I`m Self Employed I`ve had to change. I`m the main production worker here. (its just my self and the mrs) so if I`m not producing, I`m not earning. So I`ve no time for all the reps/timewasters etc.

So if I have to see a rep, I have to make it short and sweet. None of trying to get me to buy/change over to their products bul sh*t. I just say leave the info with me and I`ll ring you if I`m intrested.

You find you`ll get more than your fair share to time wasters with the general public. Last week the mrs spent 11/2hrs with a customer giving him all prices for varous things. Not heard a bean from him yet.
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:15 pm

Got 35% discount in final offer over the phone.

Also to reps are not suppose to allow co's to put letters or symbols infront of of co name to bring forward in the listings....but they do.
Customers services said half there problems would be resolved if reps stopped people amending co names to move there position in the listings.
Typical Customers service just blame reps....thas easy......well mine was crap but thas there resposibilty not mine.

Wish I pushed for 50% there first offer was 10%......like yeh... (:)

Well Im off to hire a rep....... :wink:
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 6:12 pm

I was also told by a rep, that you need your address in the advert, but I`ve seen plenty with out it..
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:17 pm

I was told that too Becky, so I put my address in the ad which I didn't want to do as I work from home - touch wood, I havn't had anyone I know of make their first point of contact by calling round !
As far as not allowing advertisers to put abreviations/punctuation in front of their company names....I can see literally hundreds in my local YP, some of which run in a line all the way round the outside of the whole advert box ! takes the p*ss a bit I think :-?

I had a couple of errors from the YP over the years, but the only real answer is to make sure you get a proof in time to make alterations if they have messed up. I have failed to do this every year and on occasion lived to regret it. Having said that they did compensate me on those occasions.

Nigell
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:42 pm

The biggest co*k up they ever did with me was to not put the damn adverts in!

We had two ad's one in signmakers one in T-shirt printers, all the art work was done from the previous year, and was going to be exactly the same. We had signed the dotted line to say yes please put us in the next edition.
The next thing a whopping bill came in followed by the new yellow pages with no adverts in!!

I called them up to say they had billed us but we didn't have any adverts in the new edition and then spent the next 30 minutes with the guy on the other end of the phone "whats your company name?" "what headings are you under?" "I can't find it" - "That's because were not in it, but your billing is for it" - "whats the company name?" "and you say you should be under what headings?" "I still can't find it" (chat.) (:) :evil:
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Post Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:27 pm

I've actually provided a bromide before, only for them to STILL get the phone number wrong.

I got a proof from them today with the word 'vehicle' spelt wrong. When I asked the rep if they had heard of spell checkers she said it must be a real word and the spell checker hadn't picked it up. So if anybody can tell me what 'vechile' means I'd appreciate it.

(If it's a real word I'll look a bit stupid)
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Post Sat Feb 14, 2004 12:30 am

A fair bit for an ex rep to get his teeth into :evil: :D

Martin, but how many times have you twisted someones arm, or neglected to mention something to get that end of week sale?


That's a leading question Dewi. If you mean have I ever mislead a customer then yes, and NO! What I mean is, if I told you that the A-list (weekly entertainments supplement) which I worked on for the Mirror would reach 2 million people in South east England who would see your advertisement am I lying?? The fact that 2 milion copies are distributed does not mean that 2 million people will read it, or see it. But that's no different to you saying everyone will see your van with the new graphics. The fact is they won't, most won't care and your hoping that the graphics will pick up enough business to compete with Yellow Pages with no proof that that's the case. Improvisation to hit a target.....? I can say that I've never taken a customers money without a solid case to back up the sale. Advertising is speculative and most people don't monitor where the response comes from so it's a double edged sword if your a salesman!


So if I have to see a rep, I have to make it short and sweet.


Nothing wrong with that Becky, it's the people who put signs up saying No Reps seen without an appointment that are last to hear what their competitors are up to. Don't forget that these are the people who have a better idea of how the markets performing in your area than you ever will. Great if you don't need that info but I confess to re-visiting a guy who'd told me to xxxx off when he was holding a closing down sale. I'd originally been to see him to see if he wanted to advertise his kitchen showroom, knowing that he had a competitor moving in 100 yards down the road. He may not have advertised but at least he would have known what hit him.....hey, he could have tarted up his signage!! :P
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Post Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:56 pm

My tack with people trying to flog advertising is to tell them that, yes, I would love an ad in their publication. However, we only pay on results so if they stick it in for free I will happily pay them a percentage of the business it brings in.

It's amazing how quickly they turn this offer down, and I then say that if they have so little confidence in their advertising then why should I beleive them.
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Post Sat Feb 14, 2004 3:45 pm

I'd have taken that offer John, on the basis that you signwrote my van free of charge and if it brought me more business I'd pay for it!:D I've been put in that position before..........ooh er missus............and when the customer says he monitors all of his calls, I'd ask for the response pad, the leads book, which obviously don't exist!! It's round about then I get told to xxxxxxxx!!!!!!!


Which comes down to the main problem with advertising. No one has an effective method for judging response.

Did the single T-shirt Yellow Pages customer, which was seen by his mates who bought 12 for a Stag weekend, where one of the lads worked for a larger company who needed 200 shirts for a special event pay for your advert. Or did you get one measly little order from it? :-?

This is one of the most critical outgoings any company has but the tag 'marketing budget' or 'necessary evil' somehow makes people think that it's an area that needn't be looked at in depth.
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Post Sat Feb 14, 2004 6:01 pm

Sorry about that Martin :-? I was in a rush getting stuff ready to go away for a Valentines Night (yep, a night early, I'm a cheapskate :wink: ), I didn't mean that to sound quite like that. I was meaning that generally the pressure on a sales rep is quite high to reach a certain target and often this pressure leads to some unusual sales tactics. I didn't mean to insinuate you were dishonest with a customer to gain sales in any way, just a rushed post that wasn't worded correctly. Hope I haven't caused offence, if so, unintended :(

As I said before, the YP does provide a vauable service that alot of business can not do without, its only the service I take issue with. Because the reps are YP point-of-sale, they bare the brunt of the rants and raves, but company policy should take a few chunky sized bites in the backside also.

I'd be very interested in what realistic alternatives there are to the YP. I have to be honest, I have no intention at this time to advertise with them and unless the business demands it, I doubt I ever will. If I was in insurance I'd have no choice, in a service industry that required it fair play, but less than 2 months from the conception of the idea of a sign business, I have a full order book. If, and its a definate if, every customer orders go through as arranged, I've got a backlog of work before I even open the doors of the shop, so I'm presuming at the moment that word-of-mouth will go a fair way in lining my pockets for a while. I've also taken on board alot from certain gents here on the internet side of the business, which I've spent a while looking into. Again an if, the internet side should be profitable if I follow the advice I've been given.

As I've said in other posts, I'm always making mistakes, getting things wrong and generally manufacturing my own varieties of pigs ears but I think I learn more from this than not. Without the YP, will I succeed or fail, I'll be a monkey's uncle if I know! Be a good laugh finding out though :D

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:27 am

Vivid dont worry your not the only one had their advert mucked up by yellow pages, I have had my add mucked up in fact this has happened two years running, I should have been more careful this year, but time seamed to whiz by and when I thought about it it was to late. The first I knew the flipping YP was being delivered, as with some of the others I was told that an address had to be put in.
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Post Sun Feb 15, 2004 2:31 am

No offence taken Dewi :cool:

I worked at YP for a few months, long enough to know that it works well for people and long enough to know that it takes a strange animal to be able to sell it. I absolutely hated it as a job and wasn't cut out to do exactly what you say, which is to hit, hourly, daily, weekly targets at all costs. Many of my colleagues would have sold their granny to make an extra buck so I know where you are coming from.

I always vowed that if I ever started a business of my own that I would go into YP. That's how much I believed in it even though I detested every evangelical, apple giving, xxx creeping americanised whooping minute of it! Not for the times when business is good but for the re-assurance that someone might just call me when times are bad. That's not very scientifically worked out but set against the other alternative which is to panic advertise when it does go quiet I'm happier doing it that way.

It's good that your busy without YP. I've picked up a 12' banner 3 vehicles and 10 t's to do from YP last week alone! My problem is I'm too busy as well, and don't know when I'll get round to doing them!! :D
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Post Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:05 pm

The new BT phonebook is due out in our area in May and will not only contain the usual domestic numbers, along with an alphabetical list of businesses, but will now have a yellow section much like YP. I’m going to ditch YP in favour of an ad in this new book.
The big difference with this book is that it covers a much smaller area and will be less cluttered with businesses from 30 or more miles away. Because I work mainly within the local area, this new directory should prove a much better proposition than the vast YP.


Alan

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