Many of you are familiar with Jeffrey Gitomer, the sales guru who puts out the weekly online newsletter “Sales Caffeine” (subscribe here) as well as sales seminars and other instructional products/services. In this week’s newsletter he offered a very simple story, and obviously some sales pointers, which are very applicable to the yellow page industry.
The short version of the story is that Gitomer needed a rush order of buttons for an upcoming conference. After the compulsory Google search he clicked on the two larger, more well-known companies only to find their websites totally useless in helping him complete as order. Instead, he went to a third site which had no customer ratings or reviews (kind of like just having a regular listing in the printed Yellow Pages). Because their website contained all the key RASCIL factors (remember that from your sales training days?), and they demonstrated a high level of customer service, he was able to give them the business, and the opportunity to mock the other bigger players in the space.
So how you may ask, does this apply to the yellow page industry? Thanks for asking.
First, if you’re going to be online (or in print, or on my mobile phone), great. But you still need to have all of those RASCIL factors covered in your site/in your ad SO CUSTOMERS CAN ACTUAL CONNECT TO YOU.
Gitomer has a great suggestion: “…Go to your website right now and try to place a $1000 order. Can you do it? If I need to talk to you, how easy is it to access a phone number or email address that goes directly to a person? Is your phone answered by a live human being? Or are you, “trying to serve me better by selecting from the following nine options, which have recently changed”? …”
So what are those RASCIL factors? Let’s review:
Reliability: Many people who see an ad in the print or online Yellow Pages
have probably never heard of you before. Appropriate information might include:
- Years in business;
- Size of the business;
- Family and/or locally owned
- Licensed, bonded, insured
- Guarantees or warrantees offered
- Association, Chamber memberships
- Special training and certifications
- XYZ always in stock
Authorized products and services: If you look across all advertising media, millions are spent promoting brand names. And buyers are looking for those special brands. Tell them which brand names your business is authorized to sell, service, or repair.
Special Features: What makes you different the competition? Author Barry Maher notes the following in his sales seminars –
“..The first question I ask a Yellow Pages advertiser is, “Why should someone call you instead of one of those other ads?” Often that gets me a blank stare, but eventually they come up with three to five things, the most important reasons why someone should do business with them instead of the competition.
The single most amazing discovered I’ve made in 20 years of working with Yellow Pages advertisers is that those three to five points are almost never in their Yellow Pages ads. Sometimes only one or two are missing. Often all five are….”
So why should someone call your ad instead of one of your competitors’?
Completeness of service: Think about it, Yellow Pages shoppers are looking at ads for what reason? Because they are looking for information (ok “ads) which offer a full range of relevant products and services to solve the need they have. Now. Locally. Advertisers should have anything that’s a significant part of their business in their ads, including but not limited to:
- A working telephone number they can be reached at;
- Hours of operation;
- Credit cards accepted;
- Additional services that make you more appealing, e.g. evening appointments, no extra charge for weekends or holidays, free estimates/consultations, we help you with your insurance
claim, valet parking, etc. etc.
Illustrations. What draws your eye to a certain ad on a busy page? It’s the picture(s)! Is that picture worth a thousand words? If not, find one that is. And please make it big enough so I understand exactly what it is you are trying to sell me.
Location: Dah!. We need to find you Mr. Business Owner, and I most likely haven’t been to your business before, or in some time. Tell me you are at the corner of Main and Pine streets, or just behind Walmart. If it’s more complicated than that, include a map/map link. As for your phone number, make sure it’s large enough so that no matter when potential customers decide they’ve read enough and they’re ready to call, they can spot it immediately. Is
your website address (for a print ad obviously), email, and other key contacts
It’s not rocket science but those RASCIL factors really do make a difference no matter whether the ad is in print, online, or mobile form…