yellow page ads

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by trophytkr, Feb 7, 2002.

  1. trophytkr

    trophytkr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Hi guys, how do yellow page ads work for you for advertising. I have been reading about guys that use mailings and flyers on street corners to get the word out on their services but haven't see anyone mention yellow page ads. ::blob1:

    LAWNSINCT LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2

    Yellow pages can work well. Do something different helps like colors or reverse colors. If last year was really bad due to heat or drought or insects and lawns died you can try to target your ad to address this but it's real tricky. Start small and slowly get bigger and track how many calls come in etc.
    Also having an ad in rich ($) towns or towns which have more of a need for your services or developing towns can work well.
    As more and more people get Caller Id's telemarkiting will be less & less of a means to contact. hope this helps
  3. wrtenterprises

    wrtenterprises LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    My experiance with the yellow pgs. has been lack-luster at best. However, I have always been able to find enough work from the yellow pgs. to cover the yearly cost. It all boils down to how much money you are willing to spend, how many competitors are in your ad size, and if you have the ability to weed out all the price shoppers as to not waste your time chasing the $19.99 mow and blow......
  4. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    We just signed up for a "dollar" size ad in our local yellow pages. The book comes out in June 02', so we'll see how the ad does. The rep. we bought the ad from threw a few freebies in so we made out ok. I believe we are paying about $325.00/mo. for the ad. Some people say that ad is great... others say its useless, but I feel being a bigger company you need to have that exposure. :rolleyes:
  5. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    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.
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    I have mixed feelings about YP and some guys think they bring losers but... isn't someone who takes the time to use the YP somewhat qualifing themselves by doing some work?

    On the other hand the price shoppers just go down the list and dial without ever pre qualifying potential vendors or learning over the phone about what they want to purchase.

    One of the things I ask the YP caller is how many esimates are you getting. If theanswer is over 3 or 4 I ask how come so many estimates. Invariably the answer is I want the lowest possible price. Then I tell them we don't have that but thanks for calling.
  7. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Harold - Good point. Yellow pages may buy some credibility. Ultimately though I think it comes down to your target audience.

    Cost wise, I don't want to spend $200 or $300 a month ($2400 to $3600 annualy) when I can put out more directed efforts that meets our needs for about the same cost.

    Several years ago I quit delivering flyers since I thought we didn't want all the 'crap' calls that come from people looking for the lowest price. For whatever reason, few people are now delivering flyers in the neighborhoods we work (probably because it's work).

    I was pleasantly surprised this last year when on a whim we started delivering flyers (needed something for the guys to do that day and figured what the heck). We got a lot of phone calls from people who had moved into the area in the past 3 years, ready to do work on their landscape. They didn't know who to call. So the timing was good. We will continue with it until we don't see the return.

    Bottom line - people will buy when they're ready to buy. Someone not thinking about a job won't see the ad in the YP unless they look. But, on the other hand, when they are ready to buy you're there and they see your name/ad. It all depends on who your target audience is and what you're communicating to them. For some it will work, others not as well.
  8. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    It has alot to do with all the variables involved as far as what is worth the money and what is working. Every business is in a different stage of progression and establishment. Obviously the new guy should spend as much as he can afford and any avenue that may work, the established business can pick and choose a little more if he wants. I think to build your business you have to try a variety of different areas to advertise. even an established business with referrals coming to them may need to advertise in different areas also. I guess it all depends on your current workload and what you want to take on additionally.If you are looking to be huge, you will need to spend alot of money and will have to spend it in all areas and take the good percentages with the bad. If you advertise in a variety of areas and find one particular area to work best, I don't think you should merely advertise there. I think you still need to try some different areas as well. I guess we all have our own thoughts on this and what works for one certainly may not for another. Regardless, there are always price shoppers and weeding them out is part of the business.
  9. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    I always ask a new client "How did you hear about us?". Any referal, and/or person who saw our operation is most always going to be a new client:cool: Many people just thank me for returning their calls. YP ads will get people outside your target are, people looking for el cheapo too, but you can get enough good leads to warrant your ad. Screen them as much as possible over the phone and judge for yourself if its worth a looksee or bid. You should always at minimum have name and number in case they remember your company name and are looking for number to call.
  10. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    "One of the things I ask the YP caller is how many esimates are you getting. If theanswer is over 3 or 4 I ask how come so many estimates. Invariably the answer is I want the lowest possible price. Then I tell them we don't have that but thanks for calling. "

    I do the same exact thing when people call, you can weed them right out. The best though that I get are the people that call, and don't even leave their name or phone number, and want an estimate on like a tree removal, or a weekly maint. price.
    " Yeah, Hi, I would like an estimate on taking a tree down. The tree is right in the middle of the front lawn marked with tape. Address here is 123 Waste your Time Ln., you can leave a estimate in the box. Thanks"

    Just hit the delete button right away when I get those. ;)

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