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An apology to Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer and Yellow PagesRecently, Jeffrey Gitomer, a famous sales trainer, author, and speaker posted the above photo on his Facebook fan page with the caption . . .

People are filling their recycling bins with these books. I wonder why they aren’t using them. How do you access information? gitomer

The post elicited over 50 responses (I was the 50th to comment).  Now that I re-read his comment, I should not have jumped to the conclusion that he was condemning the Yellow Pages, rather that he was wondering why people were putting them directly into the recycle bin without using them.

Here was my response . . .

Just because SOME Gitomer books remain unsold does not mean that ALL Gitomer books are useless.

You’re looking at the over printing and over delivery, not at the directories in hands of consumers….


I’m in the YP industry, publishing community directories in 300 smallish towns in the Midwest.

Let’s do the math . . .

A full page ad in the HomePages costs around $1,000 per year for a directory that is mailed to 17,500 local families and businesses (everyone in town).

It takes an investment of about 20 minutes of the business owner’s time once per year.

One or two roof repairs, dental patients, plumbing customers, transmission repairs, Realtor listings, funerals, landscaping clients more than pays for the ad for a whole year.

Granted, an ad on Craigslist is free, but do you trust that person to wire your house alarm?

Yellow Pages advertising delivers a TON of LEADS for the money.

Jeffrey, I’m sorry I flew off the handle.  You were making an observation, not criticizing.

Naysayers claim that Yellow Pages is a dying industry.

I suppose lead pencils and eye glasses are unnecessary compared to the technological advances of digital ink, contact lenses and Lasik surgery, too.  But that doesn’t mean that pencils and eye glasses aren’t highly appreciated by the people who use them.

I sleep really well at night knowing that I’m helping tens of thousands of local businesses reach customers in a cost effective, energy efficient manner.

Other than delivering to a tiny (but vocal) minority who prefer not to receive the directories, Yellow Pages is unobtrusive.

Yellow Pages ads have ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE compared to billboards, radio, television, direct mail, spam, magazine, and newspaper ads.

That is that people only see Yellow Pages ads when they’re looking to solve a problem with a local company.

If there is no need, the ads remain unused, not bothering anyone.

When there is a need, the ad is invaluable.

Thanks for reminding me, Jeffrey.

  1. Brad FischerNovember 23,09

    Hi Dick,

    I think your response was right on target. I have been in the yellow pages industry for over 12 years and have hundreds of stories about how yellow pages are still connecting buyers and sellers as well or better then other media.

    I think perception is reality and the fact that yellow pages are only used when needed, which is the most important time in the buying cycle people don’t think they are being used as much. Sure, i use my computer every day to look up information. When I want a good place to find good local information for businesses that provide services and products the yellow pages is still and will be a viable place to go.

    Thanks again for your comments!!

  2. Cheryl SteinNovember 24,09

    Thanks Commando! I like to say, “EVERYBODY (?) uses the internet??

  3. jeffreyNovember 25,09

    Dick,

    I appreciate and accept your apology.

    I wasn’t offended by your comment. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It seems as though the majority of people are using online services and hopefully people like yourself who have influence at Yellow Pages can make a difference in that conversion.

    Best regards,
    Jeffrey Gitomer

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