(By Paul Weyland) Like many of you, I almost fainted when I saw the newspaper classified section and the Yellow Books literally collapse before my eyes. Honestly, I never thought that would ever happen in my lifetime. But it did.
However, out of every tragedy, out of every conflagration, emerges opportunity for others. For us in broadcasting, that phoenix is the liberation of product and service categories, clients previously unavailable to us. And they’re standing there with their wallets in their hands, unsure of what to do next.
It’s true, in almost every market I visit I encounter a client who says, “What am I supposed to do with my old Yellow Pages budget?” Hmm, let’s see … Ah, well, I think I could help. A combination of broadcast advertising and Internet-based marketing should do the trick. And we can provide both.
Just imagine the product and service categories we now have access to. Here are a few, completely underrepresented on broadcast radio and television.
Accounting/bookkeeping services: Gross margin of profit 40-50 percent after the cost of labor. How many small businesses and home offices are there in your market? How many of those proprietors might be keeping receipts and other expenses in a bag or a box? Just think of the refunds they could be missing out on. Imagine the fines they could be incurring. Understand that some of these businesses could even be criminally liable. Why aren’t a few of these companies on the air, explaining rules and regulations to business owners that might be unaware?
Asphalt paving and sealing companies. Gross margins 60 percent after labor. How many businesses have parking lots that need repair? Think of the trip hazards and potential lawsuits from employees or customers. Potholes, alligatoring, deteriorating bumper curbs, exposed ankle-ripping rebar, etc. Considering agravel parking lot? I have three words, ladies: “high-heeled shoes.”
Massage therapy: 40-50 percent gross margin after cost of labor. For many busy people, massage is the best way to relax. Ladies, he has his gym budget, golfbudget, hunting budget, drinking budget — hey, where’s my massage budget?
Auto glass replacement: 60-70 percent gross margin. Do you have a crack in your windshield? Have you heard about the new law? The new law says if the crackin your windshield is bigger than a plumber’s crack, you have to get it fixed.
Alterations and tailoring: 50 percent gross margin. Instead of spending a fortune on new clothes, why not make the ones you already have fit again? People needto be reminded that pants, dresses, jackets can be made to fit comfortably again.
Notice we’re mostly still in the A’s alphabetically? Take a good look at the ridiculous number of product and service categories we haven’t even considered as potential clients for our stations. Let’s put our heads together and come up with ideas for underrepresented categories that would interest broadcast listeners and viewers.
Managers, here is a list right off the Internet of product categories. We haven’t even scratched the surface. Screen them and begin assigning them to sellers. www.superpages.com/yellowpages/categories-a/
Remember that once a client is fully convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that your plan for their success is better than their own, they’ll take your hand and let you lead — regardless of the medium you represent, regardless of your format or program, and regardless of your ratings or lack of them.
Paul Weyland helps broadcast stations interested in selling more long-term local direct business. Purchase his books at www.paulweyland.com. Bring him into your market to meet with your clients; reach out to Paul Weyland at 512.236.1222.