Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tales from a former YP rep


Customers want to put the yellow page guys out of business, because we’re seen as the used car salesmen/women of the advertising business. Every yellow page salesperson comes in promising a better rate than the “other” guys and give away a lot of product to get people in the directory. Then when the calls don’t come in because no one goes to the yellow pages to find a candle shop, the customer is frustrated because they didn’t receive the 100 calls a month that would produce an average sale of $20, and their sales figures don’t reflect the $24,000 dollars in sales that you promised them this ad would produce.

And then the manager of the used car/yellow page company is screaming at his employees that they still need to sell $100,000 to make goal and that everyone needs to sell only $15,000 a week to reach this unrealistic goal. If you don’t reach the goal, then you don’t get any existing customers….you’re going to have to pay for your own gas….you’re not going to make any money…you’ll be written up. Just sell the candle shop the double truck and move on down the road to the car wash. It will work for them. Force the customer to buy more than they need...

Give me a break. So I got a real sales job…insurance. Is your family protected in case something happens to you tomorrow? Could your wife pay the bills, bury you and put food on the table. You need to purchase a million dollars worth of life insurance to leave your family covered in case of an emergency…

Sylvia McDaniel


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also a former YP rep - and a former YP sales manager. My experience was that the whole business is focused on only pushing your customer to spend more and more money - churning reps to make it happen is no big deal. Reps are indoctrinated that "customers lie" and to pay no attention just keep pushing until they cave in.

I have seen reps push big ads on clients in small books where there is little competition. Their managers praise them for "pitching big" . . .forget appropriate. I have seen managers turn their head to allow sales people to resell advertising to customers that did not pay their previous years billing. Reps write up deinquent customers on a new (cell) number and book the money. The managers make their bonus and the reps get commissions - legitimate advertisers and stockholders get hurt.

Training is always centered on how to position and push products - never on how (if) it helps customers. Coaching sessions teach reps how to move customers between products to save revenue such as customers cancelling print ads get pushed into spending money online.(again, focus on YP ad revenue instead of what works for the customer). The whole gig is a hustle. Sure, YP does work well for many businesses but generally speaking it is a scummy business run by unscrupulous managers.

Books don't get delivered as promised because distribution numbers are cut to save production costs or lazy delivery people fill dumpsters rather than do their job, etc.

I am glad to have moved out of their environment. And I don't imagine ever advising someone to but more than a listing in any YP book.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Wow, I'm in the YP industry and I am certainly glad that I do not work for whomever you did. We are not pushers, but are exactly "what is best for the customer".
Again, sorry to hear that you worked for that kind of YP company.
I love coming back to my customers year after year and have them tell me how much money that they have made off of my Ad or Ads.

12:23 AM  

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