2007 Prediction; YP's Unleash The Sales Hounds

Print directory operators like Yellow Pages and Yellow Book will concentrate on the digital customer. With print Yellow Pages usage clearly flattening these giants have no other choice but to retrain their sales forces to push their web platforms. There are breadcrumbs found and whispers heard across the internet that this is already beginning. Personal confirmation came when I received a call from a YellowPages.com salesman.

This guy was polished and his pitch was convincing as you would expect. He found me from the free listing I submitted to the YellowPages.com directory. He could put me in the third spot from the top on searches for "Internet Marketing" and one or two other keyword phrases for under $50. per month for the county I live in. The same spot for the entire State of California would be $500. per month. He quoted me usage stats on my keywords and suggested that the phrase "Internet marketing" was queried 34,000 times to date in 2006 on their platform.

I asked him where would my ad be distributed and he told me "throughout the Internet" without providing much detail until I pressed him. I already knew they provided listings to Yahoo, AOL, Switchboard and Local.com and some others but he was intentionally vague other than admitting the relationship with Yahoo! Local. In truth the distribution of YellowPages.com is not that extensive.

Intentionally vague must be #1 on the YP sales training handbook. Until I asked I was to believe my sponsored ad would be seen on all the platforms YellowPages.com partners with. I knew better, I know what it takes to get top sponsored listings on all the platforms. He never lied, he just never explained the whole story.

How many people will fall for this? The majority I believe. Yellow Pages sales people are familiar and while you may not like their pressure tactics you know what you are getting. It's easy to verify your print Yellow Pages ad just by looking in the book.

Currently there are few to none people selling the idea of local search to the mom and pop merchant. Most web marketers are concentrating on larger companies. Consultation fees run $200. to $500. per hour and many want a $25,000 monthly spend to take you as a client.

The void will be filled by the YP sales forces. They are coming and they will be very convincing and unless mom and pop understand their options they will pay.

If you get hit up by a Yellow Pages sales person and want to bounce their pitch off someone feel free to shoot me an email.
Whatever they are quoting you for sponsored placement on their sites your money can be better spent by spreading it out on the multitude of local search engines and directories available.
I don't charge anything for conversation!

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