Because the area we choose to work in is very small (going for market penetration/saturation), the yellow pages would mean that we would get calls outside of our service areas, or areas I choose not to work in.
We do get calls from people who saw our phone number listed in the yellow pages, as any business number will get listed. I find that most callers are either price shopping or do no know what they want. In other words, they are not qualified or prequalified as compared to a referral or someone who actually saw you working in the neighborhood.
I have however received calls from the yellow pages from people that live in our area, saw our exchange and called us specifically because we're in the same area as them and they feel they might get better service from a 'local' contractor.
Bottom line for me, I'm skeptical on any call I get from the yellow pages since I don't know if I'm going out on a wild goose chase of a sales call. I'll spend more time with them on the phone and ask a lot of questions... such as, "How long have you lived in your hosue?" "Have you ever worked with a landscape contractor before?" If so, "Who?" "For how long?" "Why are you not calling them if you had a relationship with them before?"
Answers to these questions tell me if they're serious. I tend to ask some of these questions off of flyer calls - those that were referred to me, I might only ask how long they've lived in their house, as many of my questions will have already been answered. Depends on what type of service they want, how serious they appear, and how much knowledge they have as to what questions I'll ask.
Lawn Lad, Inc.