What about the Phone Book?

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I had an interesting conversation the other day with my mother. Now Denise (mom, to myself) was telling her girlfriend about this or that in regard to the many things I’ve always got on my plate.  She tends to speak highly of her children, no matter if it's warranted or not, to her friends; her friends tend to do the same. This somehow fulfills some need they have as lifelong friends and recent retirees….”My kid does this, this and this.  Oh, and this.” I tend to get a chuckle from this, having no reason to contest my mother’s high opinion of her only son….Stay with me here, I’m getting to the topic at hand.

During the aforementioned conversation, my mother’s friend asked if I had a listing in the phonebook. Denise, probably having no idea what the true answer was, likely said something to the effect, “Oh he has listings in all of them..” Well, if she did say that she’d be wrong. Dead wrong. And it might actually be the first time that I know of.  She told me about this conversation, most likely because she looked me up in her most recent Yellow Pages®, and I wasn’t there. 

The truth is, I never have been. Not even in their online listings. The reason I guess is that I started out with little to no money (it may have been a poor plan but, its worked so far) and grasped quickly onto anything/where I could list my business for free. I fielded dozens of calls from multiple phone directories, most promising top listings and high traffic volumes directly related to my $1K plus campaign with them.  The phone call is usually cut short when I ask them how their listing will compare to my free Google page, or how will their “cross-platform-marketing campaign” will get in front of only those customers I am looking for? We tend to stop there; right about the time they realize I have no need for their “services.”

My mother was almost combatant when I told her I don’t list my plumbing and heating business in the phone book. She had questions like “How do people find you?” or “You should, there are at least 10 pages of listings in my area.” To that I replied, “I know there are at least 10 pages of listings mom, but my customers find me the same way all those other companies do, by referral or the internet.” To this she replied: “Not everyone has one of those smart phones or the internet you know…”

I was raised to respect my elders but, this time I had to get one last word in on the subject.  After all, she did come to me with the question. I simply responded with this: “No mom, you don’t have one of those “smart phones” but just about everyone else does. My phone has been ringing for years without the costly listings and I’m not about to go backward, let the other guys do it.”

I guess the next time she sits down with her friend she’ll have some great explanation of why “He doesn’t bother with that archaic mode of promotion….He’s on the internet and that’s the best place to be…”  I love her, even if her Scandinavian roots have her holding me upon a pedestal I probably don’t deserve.

So, are you still using the phonebook? If so, why?  If not, what are you doing to get your business phone to ring?

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