I totally "SALEBLOCKED" a yellowpages salesman today...

by abbot Banned
56 replies
I don't know about you guys...but I absolutely HATE yellowbooks and anyone associated with them. I constantly find either myself or one of my team members arguing with them over the phone about domain ownership issues. Most of the time my clients end up paying a "cancellation fee" to take over ownership of THEIR domain...I simply can't stand yellowbooks...

Well...long story short...

Today I woke up very hung over and irritated. Only to get a call from one of my reps saying he wouldn't be able to take any meetings today because a family emergency had come up and he had to go out of state for a week.

Being that it was such a short notice, I could not have anyone cover his meetings today. So I climbed my ass out of bed and somehow made it to the shower and got ready.

I arrived at an appointment at 9:00AM. My meeting writeup simply said

"Meeting with (name) at (place of business) 9:00am - Currently building website but interested in SEO and SMM"

Normally we do preliminary research before meetings, however I was hung over and felt like "winging it" today.

SO...

I walk into this attourneys office, speak to the secratary and she sends me in a meeting room. When I walk in I see the two attournys sitting there with a gentleman in a suite and tie with his little tablet. I walked in, introduced myself and said "would you like me to wait outside while you finish?" They insisted that I sit down. They introduced me to their suite and tie man and said he's from the yellowbooks and they were just finishing up their meeting regarding a website.

I took a seat, still dizzy with the feeling that I was going to puke at any minute. He had what looked to be a contract sitting in front of him. As they continued talking I immediately knew that they WERE indeed having these idiots build their website. I let them continue to talk for about 10 minutes, contemplating weather or not I should risk this meeting and put him in the hot seat.

After 15 minutes passed I began to get pretty irritated, plus it was extremely hot in this room. So the "asshole" came out in me.

Just as they got to the contract and started talking numbers I abruptly interrupted (I could not just sit and watch them do this...That's how much I HATE yellowbooks). PLUS their setup installment was $1,200!!!! PLUS $275/mo "maintenance".

I said, "I'm really sorry, but are you seriously considering having these guys build you a website?" After a snarl from the salesman and odd looks from the attorneys, they replied "yes, we are...why?"

That was my key to completely destroy this guy. (I had prayed for this opportunity for years)

I won't go into what I said, because I babbled for a good 10 minutes on how much yellowbooks hinders businesses and completely rips them off.

I told them how over 50% of MY clients have done, or still do some type of business with yellowbooks and HATE them. I also offered to phone up my assistant and have her draft up a quick reference list to email me so they could actually CALL these business owners on the spot. If they had the time of course...they rejected to that.

At this point the salesman was PISSED. He fired back at me with "What exactly makes you an expert in this field? What can you offer that I can't?"

I told him that I could offer them solution that will actually get prospects to view their website, pick up the phone, and call them to do business.

I pulled out my laptop and googled "city" "featured on yp.com" I then explained how they don't build a website. They take your information and throw it into a crappy template that spits out a horrible looking "website". I handed the laptop to one of the attorneys and told them to start clicking on the different websites listed on google. As he did this, he said "they all look the same"

I said THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.

The salesman tried to rebut with shitty excuses for another 10 minutes as I put him over my lap and spanked him.

We covered how they don't design worth a shit
Their websites don't convert
Their websites pretty much ruin any opportunity to rank well on search engines
How they hold their clients domain names hostage
How their SEO packages are nothing but a bunch of crap that could easily be outsorced to fiverr.com (I even explained what Fiverr was lol)

I ended my rant by saying, "I'm sorry, but if you choose to sign a contract with these guys, I don't want to work with you. I feel that I would be a part of your upcoming nightmare on the internet. I just don't feel that it would be worth your investment TO ME if you have such a horrible baseline like a yellowpages website"

The attorneys looked at me, looked at the goof sitting across from me, and said "How about we keep your proposal and think things over.."

He packed his shit, shook their hands, looked at me like he wanted to murder my family, and left.

I ended up continuing my meeting, apologizing for "lashing out" and closed a deal 3X bigger than what he proposed

I know this was putting the sale at jepordy, and COULD have made me look unprofessional to certain people. But I didn't care...I have always ran my company with the mindset that I would much rather be aggressive, assertive, and maybe even a slight dick, and make my clients money rather than be a softie and fall into the category of "just another SEO guy".

In this case, I was thanked for my attitude. The one attorney made a point to say "I hired you because I can see you want what is best for your clients, most people would have never stood up for someone who is NOT paying them."

Anyway...I wanted to share this story, because it will probably never happen again. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit face to face with my arch enemy

"This story was crafted by trained professionals, Please do not attempt to recreate or reenact these stunts at home"
#saleblocked #salesman #today #totally #yellowpages
  • Profile picture of the author BrashImpact
    I am SO PISSED... I would give my Left Arm to have a Crack at Yellow Books web team salesman like that as well as the Display ads that are sold in the Phone Books.

    I mean WTH - How do you sell an Un-proven Un-Tested Display add for Oodles of money on your name. I could not imagine doing that to a client today, Businesses pay for one thing Only "Customers and Results"

    Thanks for the Share... I am so Jealous I might have to go Shopping for a Yellow Books Salesman 2morrow.

    Robert
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    • Profile picture of the author abbot
      Banned
      Originally Posted by BrashImpact View Post

      I am SO PISSED... I would give my Left Arm to have a Crack at Yellow Books web team salesman like that as well as the Display ads that are sold in the Phone Books.

      I mean WTH - How do you sell an Un-proven Un-Tested Display add for Oodles of money on your name. I could not imagine doing that to a client today, Businesses pay for one thing Only "Customers and Results"

      Thanks for the Share... I am so Jealous I might have to go Shopping for a Yellow Books Salesman 2morrow.

      Robert

      I couldn't believe it at first. Once I started bashing it was more of a personal matter rather than trying to prove my company to be best fit for the project.

      I think the attorney's sensed that and put 2+2 together. I was speaking from the heart, not the brain.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    This gets my vote for post of the week! Love it!

    Also good for you, not rescheduling the appointment and getting up and running it despite feeling that way! Way to spank the big bird!
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    • Profile picture of the author globalpro
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Way to spank the big bird!
      Too funny. That could become a new 'offliner' term.

      'Spankin' the big bird'.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Barrs
      Originally Posted by abbot View Post

      The salesman tried to rebut with shitty excuses for another 10 minutes as I put him over my lap and spanked him.
      Baaa haa haaaaa !! Best belly laugh I've had a for a long time!

      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      This gets my vote for post of the week! Love it!

      Also good for you, not rescheduling the appointment and getting up and running it despite feeling that way! Way to spank the big bird!
      Ditto
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      • Profile picture of the author ManGenius
        Haha Nice job! Must of been nice to see the YP rep get all flustered. Hopefully, someday I have the chance to make a fool out of a YP rep as well. It's amazing how many clients they actually have.
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        • Profile picture of the author Anthem40
          The yellowpage companies by the customer's domain themselves, with the business' initial permission. It makes it a giant PITA to get it back, because their model is to sell the domain name when done with it.

          For those that are curious, there are several products that these guys sell. The are good at it, they make tons of contacts and get in with a lot of businesses.

          Products:
          Dinosaur directory
          direct mail
          websites (1,5,10,20 pages - complete crap)
          mobile sites
          online directory
          reputation management
          SEM
          SEO
          groupon like services in certain markets

          I know there are a few companies who are working on expanding into business services as well. (payment processing, HR, etc)
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          95% of IM'ers have great relationships with clients who also advertise offline and with other people. Stop missing out on that cash and leverage into it. PM me if you are an established marketer and want to find out how.
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          • Profile picture of the author seofloyd
            Great post!!!

            I had a very similar experience recently with a competing local seo company. I joined a chamber of commerce and they had an seo company already, who totally sucked.
            At my first meeting I got to give a short presentation about my company. At the end of my presentation people asked questions...the rep from the other company asked me how many employees were in my company and did I work out of my home or a real office.....so THEY shot first...
            I opened up my laptop and quickly showed my website on the 1st page (usually #1) of Google for my keywords....then I simply asked....hmmmmm, I don't see YOUR website on ANY of these pages...would you hire a dentist with messed up teeth?
            P0wned....
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            SEO Enthusiast|Internet Marketer
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  • Profile picture of the author dave147
    Great Job, well done! It can get annoying when you see clients getting ripped off by other companies. It can get difficult to remain "professional" about it. Sometimes it just has to be said, and you certainly said it
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  • Profile picture of the author d1ey0u
    That's is a funny story! Glad to hear you told that business owner the truth.
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  • Profile picture of the author Maxwell Stinson
    That is awesome, in my opinion.

    I'm basically a guy who cares about results. I may not look and act like it from time to time but I seriously care about what happens in the end and how it affects our customers.

    It's amazing what you did. It comes to show that you yourself value quality of service. You're also pretty hilarious.
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  • Profile picture of the author FredJones
    Oh my goodness !! I don't think I am trained enough to recreate or reenact this stunt anywhere, home or away !!

    Originally Posted by abbot View Post

    "This story was crafted by trained professionals, Please do not attempt to recreate or reenact these stunts at home"
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    Lol.

    I'm going to chalk this up as a "classical ownage'.

    I've heard stories (in the genre of "horror") specifically the obscene overcharges that occur with yellowpages.

    But; grant me a moment to deliver good news.

    People often think this is bad news for them if they offer SEO, design, hosting or other marketing services.

    I believe it to be the contrary; just imagine if these people can charge an ungodly amount for such little in return, your service now seems like gold and you can feel good for actually providing something of value.

    I'm more "lawful evil" (Yeah I'm busting out Dungeons and Dragons talk) in that sense; I would have sat and watched the guy get taken, knowing that he's losing by not taking my offer instead. And, I would feel more sense of pride for my existing clients and would feel like my future clients are liberated.

    In this case, you were more "chaotic good" (like Robin Hood) and brazenly said how it was.



    Kudos to you; you're the wiser for your standpoint, and the wealthier.
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    • Profile picture of the author zimbizee
      You just made my day
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Way to go Abbot!

    You took control.

    Once you took control, the scale tipped in your favor.

    You kept control and closed the sale.

    That's how it's done!
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  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    LOL!

    Thanks for sharing this awesome real life example of being a kick ass service provider. You spoke up out of a sense of fairness and justice for those clients that were about to be suckered out of their money.

    Down goes Yellowbooks!!!

    I was thoroughly entertained by your story. Congratulations on landing a well deserved, lucrative contract.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I think you need to speak up nowadays and tell the prospect how messed up the competition is, if they are, by presenting facts, with resolve. I may be wrong, but I think you have to move people by showing that passion. I think you proved that.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Abbot: Thank goodness the Yellow pages guy was a fool.

      Anyone with a brain could have turned that interview to their advantage.
      You probably did have a better offer, and probably did have better services.

      But the prospects have no way of knowing that until they see results.

      The guy just wasn't prepared for competition.

      "What makes you an expert?" What a stupid question to ask. He gave you that business.

      Don't get me wrong, you did the best thing in the situation. But the other guy just laid there with his throat exposed. His defense was to stare at you angrily? What a child. He could have owned you, found out about what you were selling, and sold that too.

      A smart rep would have had a great rebuttal for everything you said. Every point you made could have been turned to his advantage.

      The lawyers putting you both in the same room, was going to be really bad for one of you. You were smarter. You won.

      The only reason David beat Goliath, is that Goliath wasn't paying attention.
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      • Profile picture of the author abbot
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Abbot: Thank goodness the Yellow pages guy was a fool.

        Anyone with a brain could have turned that interview to their advantage.
        You probably did have a better offer, and probably did have better services.

        But the prospects have no way of knowing that until they see results.

        The guy just wasn't prepared for competition.

        "What makes you an expert?" What a stupid question to ask. He gave you that business.

        Don't get me wrong, you did the best thing in the situation. But the other guy just laid there with his throat exposed. His defense was to stare at you angrily? What a child. He could have owned you, found out about what you were selling, and sold that too.

        A smart rep would have had a great rebuttal for everything you said. Every point you made could have been turned to his advantage.

        The lawyers putting you both in the same room, was going to be really bad for one of you. You were smarter. You won.

        The only reason David beat Goliath, is that Goliath wasn't paying attention.

        Hey I hear ya brother...

        Like I said though...it was personal. I really did not care if I signed a contract or not.

        I'm sure a smooth salesman could have made some rebuttals but I honestly don't think he would have a leg to stand on...

        These salesman are given material to sell, told how to sell it, and sell it. They are in a different mindset than I am. I make businesses money...lots of money. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. I know how to make them money, and make it fast.

        These reps simply sell...They are salesmen selling a commodity. Because that's what yellowbooks services are...a simple commodity. Anyone can learn a product, and learn how to sell it. But that does not mean that it will always work.

        In this case, that was my ammunition. I double, even triple businesses income. They sell them a commodity.

        That's part of the reason that I left an open invitation to the client. I was literally packing my bags as I made my offer. I was ready to leave. If it was not completely obvious to them by now...I had no interest in wasting my, or any of my teams time on them.

        This was more of a personal attack. I really didn't care if he tried running me over or not. I was not about to waste the time to argue. I simply made my opinionated points, and made them an offer.

        I think the rep didn't say all that much because he KNEW I was right...He KNOWS their services are crap. But people use them because of their name. AND as soon as someone opens a tele line with them they "throw it in the deal" They know this. Not a single salesman from yellowbooks could honestly sit down and say they think their websites are elegant. They KNOW they suck. But they are SALESMEN...It's all numbers. Why would they waste their time beating a dead horse with me when they could go on to another appt and close them?

        They know they offer shit. But it's not about what 'works' for them...it's about their commission.

        This is MY opinion at least...
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by abbot View Post

          Hey I hear ya brother...

          Like I said though...it was personal. I really did not care if I signed a contract or not.

          I'm sure a smooth salesman could have made some rebuttals but I honestly don't think he would have a leg to stand on...

          These salesman are given material to sell, told how to sell it, and sell it. They are in a different mindset than I am. I make businesses money...lots of money. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. I know how to make them money, and make it fast.

          These reps simply sell...They are salesmen selling a commodity. Because that's what yellowbooks services are...a simple commodity. Anyone can learn a product, and learn how to sell it. But that does not mean that it will always work.
          I agree. The reps simply are trained how to sell. I'l be up front here, and admit I don't know that much about what Yellowpages sells. I've never been in competition with one of their reps, except the offline print book.



          Originally Posted by abbot View Post

          That's part of the reason that I left an open invitation to the client. I was literally packing my bags as I made my offer. I was ready to leave. If it was not completely obvious to them by now...I had no interest in wasting my, or any of my teams time on them.
          That was probably the best thing you did. You positioned yourself as an expert. And packing to leave is a powerful move.


          Originally Posted by abbot View Post

          I think the rep didn't say all that much because he KNEW I was right...He KNOWS their services are crap. But people use them because of their name. AND as soon as someone opens a tele line with them they "throw it in the deal" They know this. Not a single salesman from yellowbooks could honestly sit down and say they think their websites are elegant. They KNOW they suck. They know they offer shit. ..
          No. They have Rah Rah meetings. They talk about how great the company is, and are true believers. All sales companies are like this. These guys are believers.
          The problem with being a believer. is that you never look beyond what you are selling. They don't know what other people offer. The rep never sat down and wrote out the hundreds of reasons someone should buy from him, and why they shouldn't buy from the other options....because the rep was never trained to consider other options.

          It's like every advertising rep I've ever met. They are trained to sell their thing. But they are never trained on how to advertise. The thought simply never crosses their mind.

          Bad for them. Good for you.

          Anyway, your thread has made me want to know more about the exact online offers Yellowpages has, and their costs. Very handy information to have.

          Good chatting with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    Wow great thread, made my day. Good on you for speaking the truth and keeping them from making a dumb mistake. Every time I see a YP website I want to puke. I had no idea what they charged for them, and after learning that I really am blown away at how many people have a YP website.
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    The moral of this story is that mobile websites are hot commodities and businesses will pay almost any price to nearly anyone who can have them built right the first time, and manage them for them.

    In this example, the original poster, who demonstrates himself to be a drunken illiterate who can't even spell "suit," managed to get a meeting with busy people and close a sale.

    You can too.
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    • Profile picture of the author abbot
      Banned
      Originally Posted by beeswarn View Post

      The moral of this story is that mobile websites are hot commodities and businesses will pay almost any price to nearly anyone who can have them built right the first time, and manage them for them.

      In this example, the original poster, who demonstrates himself to be a drunken illiterate who can't even spell "suit," managed to get a meeting with busy people and close a sale.

      You can too.

      First of all, there was NEVER a MENTION of mobile websites in this entire post...

      Perhaps you should actually read the post before commenting?

      Second...please explain to me how you think I demonstrate myself to be a drunken illiterate at all here.

      You are seriosly comparing my ability to close sales to a typo?

      PUHLEEESSEEE Get a life...
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by abbot View Post

        First of all, there was NEVER a MENTION of mobile websites in this entire post...

        Perhaps you should actually read the post before commenting?

        Second...please explain to me how you think I demonstrate myself to be a drunken illiterate at all here.

        You are seriosly comparing my ability to close sales to a typo?

        PUHLEEESSEEE Get a life...
        I assumed he was joking. If he was...Funny. If he wasn't...not funny.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    There's nothing in this thread about mobile websites...
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I think the moral of Abbots story here is that passion speaks louder than words.
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    • Profile picture of the author abbot
      Banned
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      I think the moral of Abbots story here is that passion speaks louder than words.
      Whether it's phone conversations, face to face, or presenting; The 'vibe' you give off can trigger people in ways that words can't.

      What's the difference between a good presentation and a bad presentation? The emotions shown by the presenter. Even if the information being given is pure GOLD, people will fall asleep if the presenter can't connect with them emotionally.

      I believe in using emotion, passion, and positive vibes to TRIGGER peoples emotions. Then simply use the words to 'speak their language' depending on which emotion is being triggered.

      That's partially the reason I posted this. Yellowbooks salesman are excellent at what they do, without a doubt. They literally sell dog shit wrapped nicely. I was just trying to convey that point to the client.
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  • Profile picture of the author tac88
    That is so funny I got one too the other day! I was at one of my offline clients and in walks yellow book ! I have my client on first page of Google for all of his keywords and in walks this guy trying to sell him SEO and some poor excuse for a ad. I straight spanked him and he left all upset . So know I am targeting anyone with a full page yellow book ad.
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    • Profile picture of the author Madam X
      Originally Posted by tac88 View Post

      That is so funny I got one too the other day! I was at one of my offline clients and in walks yellow book ! I have my client on first page of Google for all of his keywords and in walks this guy trying to sell him SEO and some poor excuse for a ad. I straight spanked him and he left all upset . So know I am targeting anyone with a full page yellow book ad.
      I have an attorney client that I've set up with my website with MY phone number on it. I have everything tape recorded. I listen to the 800-number recordings & if they're from a Salesman - I BLOCK the number. Yes, they can & do call from a different number sometimes.

      It's a simple matter for me to block numbers & I don't mind doing it. Every salesman calling my attorney gets blocked. All my guy has to say to the salesman on the phone is "Would you call me next week? I'm busy now."

      Madam X
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  • Profile picture of the author stone2010
    One of the best posts I've read in the WF since I have been a member I have to say... Good for you plain and simple.. Those attorneys saw a Lion against a Sheep and who do you rather have on your side? easy answer... way to go and stand up to the salesman.. congratulations you deserved that deal!
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  • Profile picture of the author wajahath
    Great way to settle scores.... they have shitty product and service.

    Well Done!
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  • Profile picture of the author esuresh
    Wow that was great... thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Abbott,
    Great story. Attorneys are the right market to be aggressive with - especially if they
    do litigation. They are trained to be competitors/warriors/advocates for their client's rights and respect a good show.

    dan
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    • Profile picture of the author Danny Archer
      Classic, Brilliant.... They drive me nuts, in the UK they constantly call up clients and tell them they are in partnership with Google and have a back door to get you on page one!

      Glad to hear you saved someone from their overpriced BS

      Well done!
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      • Profile picture of the author karenloye
        Originally Posted by Danny Archer View Post

        Classic, Brilliant.... They drive me nuts, in the UK they constantly call up clients and tell them they are in partnership with Google and have a back door to get you on page one!

        Glad to hear you saved someone from their overpriced BS

        Well done!
        They use this line in the U.S. too. One of my clients called me last week after her Yellow Pages rep pitched her on some online/offline combination package that supposedly would get them "very high on Google because of our (YP) very special relationship with them (Google)." She called to ask my opinion. I simply said "RUN." She did....and saved herself and her company a whole lot of wasted dollars and headaches.
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  • Profile picture of the author ckbank
    Originally Posted by abbot View Post

    I don't know about you guys...but I absolutely HATE yellowbooks and anyone associated with them. I constantly find either myself or one of my team members arguing with them over the phone about domain ownership issues. Most of the time my clients end up paying a "cancellation fee" to take over ownership of THEIR domain...I simply can't stand yellowbooks...

    Well...long story short...

    Today I woke up very hung over and irritated. Only to get a call from one of my reps saying he wouldn't be able to take any meetings today because a family emergency had come up and he had to go out of state for a week.

    Being that it was such a short notice, I could not have anyone cover his meetings today. So I climbed my ass out of bed and somehow made it to the shower and got ready.

    I arrived at an appointment at 9:00AM. My meeting writeup simply said

    "Meeting with (name) at (place of business) 9:00am - Currently building website but interested in SEO and SMM"

    Normally we do preliminary research before meetings, however I was hung over and felt like "winging it" today.

    SO...

    I walk into this attourneys office, speak to the secratary and she sends me in a meeting room. When I walk in I see the two attournys sitting there with a gentleman in a suite and tie with his little tablet. I walked in, introduced myself and said "would you like me to wait outside while you finish?" They insisted that I sit down. They introduced me to their suite and tie man and said he's from the yellowbooks and they were just finishing up their meeting regarding a website.

    I took a seat, still dizzy with the feeling that I was going to puke at any minute. He had what looked to be a contract sitting in front of him. As they continued talking I immediately knew that they WERE indeed having these idiots build their website. I let them continue to talk for about 10 minutes, contemplating weather or not I should risk this meeting and put him in the hot seat.

    After 15 minutes passed I began to get pretty irritated, plus it was extremely hot in this room. So the "asshole" came out in me.

    Just as they got to the contract and started talking numbers I abruptly interrupted (I could not just sit and watch them do this...That's how much I HATE yellowbooks). PLUS their setup installment was $1,200!!!! PLUS $275/mo "maintenance".

    I said, "I'm really sorry, but are you seriously considering having these guys build you a website?" After a snarl from the salesman and odd looks from the attorneys, they replied "yes, we are...why?"

    That was my key to completely destroy this guy. (I had prayed for this opportunity for years)

    I won't go into what I said, because I babbled for a good 10 minutes on how much yellowbooks hinders businesses and completely rips them off.

    I told them how over 50% of MY clients have done, or still do some type of business with yellowbooks and HATE them. I also offered to phone up my assistant and have her draft up a quick reference list to email me so they could actually CALL these business owners on the spot. If they had the time of course...they rejected to that.

    At this point the salesman was PISSED. He fired back at me with "What exactly makes you an expert in this field? What can you offer that I can't?"

    I told him that I could offer them solution that will actually get prospects to view their website, pick up the phone, and call them to do business.

    I pulled out my laptop and googled "city" "featured on yp.com" I then explained how they don't build a website. They take your information and throw it into a crappy template that spits out a horrible looking "website". I handed the laptop to one of the attorneys and told them to start clicking on the different websites listed on google. As he did this, he said "they all look the same"

    I said THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.

    The salesman tried to rebut with shitty excuses for another 10 minutes as I put him over my lap and spanked him.

    We covered how they don't design worth a shit
    Their websites don't convert
    Their websites pretty much ruin any opportunity to rank well on search engines
    How they hold their clients domain names hostage
    How their SEO packages are nothing but a bunch of crap that could easily be outsorced to fiverr.com (I even explained what Fiverr was lol)

    I ended my rant by saying, "I'm sorry, but if you choose to sign a contract with these guys, I don't want to work with you. I feel that I would be a part of your upcoming nightmare on the internet. I just don't feel that it would be worth your investment TO ME if you have such a horrible baseline like a yellowpages website"

    The attorneys looked at me, looked at the goof sitting across from me, and said "How about we keep your proposal and think things over.."

    He packed his shit, shook their hands, looked at me like he wanted to murder my family, and left.

    I ended up continuing my meeting, apologizing for "lashing out" and closed a deal 3X bigger than what he proposed

    I know this was putting the sale at jepordy, and COULD have made me look unprofessional to certain people. But I didn't care...I have always ran my company with the mindset that I would much rather be aggressive, assertive, and maybe even a slight dick, and make my clients money rather than be a softie and fall into the category of "just another SEO guy".

    In this case, I was thanked for my attitude. The one attorney made a point to say "I hired you because I can see you want what is best for your clients, most people would have never stood up for someone who is NOT paying them."

    Anyway...I wanted to share this story, because it will probably never happen again. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit face to face with my arch enemy

    "This story was crafted by trained professionals, Please do not attempt to recreate or reenact these stunts at home"
    Holy crap. Whoever wrote this has serious storytelling skills.
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    Brilliant show old chap!

    That was the way to do it...seek AND destroy - which this time worked out in your favor, good for you.

    It must've felt AWESOME to be so in your face (because you knew your Sh^t).

    Keep the good stories coming this way
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    Yellowbook sells boilerplate mobile websites and rudimentary search engine optimization for desktop sites in my market. They offer the same things in your market.

    Yes, I did point out that your initial post demonstrates you to be a drunken illiterate.

    No, I did not compare your ability to close a sale to a typo.
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    I just googled "city" "featured on yp.com" with my city in the first slot and came up with 515 results! This is sick. Can anyone tell me what these businesses are paying to have their crappy websites done and hosted every month by YP?
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  • Profile picture of the author Madam X
    Originally Posted by abbot View Post

    I don't know about you guys...but I absolutely HATE yellowbooks and anyone associated with them. I constantly find either myself or one of my team members arguing with them over the phone about domain ownership issues. Most of the time my clients end up paying a "cancellation fee" to take over ownership of THEIR domain...I simply can't stand yellowbooks...

    Well...long story short...

    Today I woke up very hung over and irritated. Only to get a call from one of my reps saying he wouldn't be able to take any meetings today because a family emergency had come up and he had to go out of state for a week.

    Being that it was such a short notice, I could not have anyone cover his meetings today. So I climbed my ass out of bed and somehow made it to the shower and got ready.

    I arrived at an appointment at 9:00AM. My meeting writeup simply said

    "Meeting with (name) at (place of business) 9:00am - Currently building website but interested in SEO and SMM"

    Normally we do preliminary research before meetings, however I was hung over and felt like "winging it" today.

    SO...

    I walk into this attourneys office, speak to the secratary and she sends me in a meeting room. When I walk in I see the two attournys sitting there with a gentleman in a suite and tie with his little tablet. I walked in, introduced myself and said "would you like me to wait outside while you finish?" They insisted that I sit down. They introduced me to their suite and tie man and said he's from the yellowbooks and they were just finishing up their meeting regarding a website.

    I took a seat, still dizzy with the feeling that I was going to puke at any minute. He had what looked to be a contract sitting in front of him. As they continued talking I immediately knew that they WERE indeed having these idiots build their website. I let them continue to talk for about 10 minutes, contemplating weather or not I should risk this meeting and put him in the hot seat.

    After 15 minutes passed I began to get pretty irritated, plus it was extremely hot in this room. So the "asshole" came out in me.

    Just as they got to the contract and started talking numbers I abruptly interrupted (I could not just sit and watch them do this...That's how much I HATE yellowbooks). PLUS their setup installment was $1,200!!!! PLUS $275/mo "maintenance".

    I said, "I'm really sorry, but are you seriously considering having these guys build you a website?" After a snarl from the salesman and odd looks from the attorneys, they replied "yes, we are...why?"

    That was my key to completely destroy this guy. (I had prayed for this opportunity for years)

    I won't go into what I said, because I babbled for a good 10 minutes on how much yellowbooks hinders businesses and completely rips them off.

    I told them how over 50% of MY clients have done, or still do some type of business with yellowbooks and HATE them. I also offered to phone up my assistant and have her draft up a quick reference list to email me so they could actually CALL these business owners on the spot. If they had the time of course...they rejected to that.

    At this point the salesman was PISSED. He fired back at me with "What exactly makes you an expert in this field? What can you offer that I can't?"

    I told him that I could offer them solution that will actually get prospects to view their website, pick up the phone, and call them to do business.

    I pulled out my laptop and googled "city" "featured on yp.com" I then explained how they don't build a website. They take your information and throw it into a crappy template that spits out a horrible looking "website". I handed the laptop to one of the attorneys and told them to start clicking on the different websites listed on google. As he did this, he said "they all look the same"

    I said THAT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.

    The salesman tried to rebut with shitty excuses for another 10 minutes as I put him over my lap and spanked him.

    We covered how they don't design worth a shit
    Their websites don't convert
    Their websites pretty much ruin any opportunity to rank well on search engines
    How they hold their clients domain names hostage
    How their SEO packages are nothing but a bunch of crap that could easily be outsorced to fiverr.com (I even explained what Fiverr was lol)

    I ended my rant by saying, "I'm sorry, but if you choose to sign a contract with these guys, I don't want to work with you. I feel that I would be a part of your upcoming nightmare on the internet. I just don't feel that it would be worth your investment TO ME if you have such a horrible baseline like a yellowpages website"

    The attorneys looked at me, looked at the goof sitting across from me, and said "How about we keep your proposal and think things over.."

    He packed his shit, shook their hands, looked at me like he wanted to murder my family, and left.

    I ended up continuing my meeting, apologizing for "lashing out" and closed a deal 3X bigger than what he proposed

    I know this was putting the sale at jepordy, and COULD have made me look unprofessional to certain people. But I didn't care...I have always ran my company with the mindset that I would much rather be aggressive, assertive, and maybe even a slight dick, and make my clients money rather than be a softie and fall into the category of "just another SEO guy".

    In this case, I was thanked for my attitude. The one attorney made a point to say "I hired you because I can see you want what is best for your clients, most people would have never stood up for someone who is NOT paying them."

    Anyway...I wanted to share this story, because it will probably never happen again. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit face to face with my arch enemy

    "This story was crafted by trained professionals, Please do not attempt to recreate or reenact these stunts at home"
    Okay - I have to say that I love you. You are my hero.
    Madam X
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    I've dealt with Yellow Pages and some of the other equally swarmy companies offering web pages, the worst part to me is having to fight for my clients domain name. Does anyone have any tips on how to make getting the domain name back an easier process?
    Signature



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    • Profile picture of the author abbot
      Banned
      Originally Posted by digichik View Post

      I've dealt with Yellow Pages and some of the other equally swarmy companies offering web pages, the worst part to me is having to fight for my clients domain name. Does anyone have any tips on how to make getting the domain name back an easier process?
      There is no "easy way". The clients have to pay the cancellation fee. Prepare them for that upfront.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
    Supurb story; nice job! To me the moral of the story might be to tell the truth and let the chips fall. I have always thought it was odd to read sales advice (I've seen it in a few books and articles), that says "never knock the competition; it makes you look unprofessional". If the competition sucks, it's your duty to knock it.
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    • Profile picture of the author DarrenRM
      Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

      Supurb story; nice job! To me the moral of the story might be to tell the truth and let the chips fall. I have always thought it was odd to read sales advice (I've seen it in a few books and articles), that says "never knock the competition; it makes you look unprofessional". If the competition sucks, it's your duty to knock it.
      I totally disagree here. It's not about knocking others off their perch. You should show you're the better company, product, service, whatever, and allow the prospect to join the dots and come to the realisation.

      The reason you hear "never badmouth your competitors" is less to do with business and more to do with your character. I would not want to work with someone who rants about others, because the chances are, when my back is turned, they'll say similar things about me.

      I am not friends with people who gossip about mutual friends for example, because it's bad form. End of. There's no way I want that sort of attitude finding its way into my business relationships.

      Sometimes I casually chat to my customers and have some banter, but I stay away from conversational territory that makes me look bad.

      This thread is interesting and I enjoyed the anecdote because I relate to it somewhat. Yellow Pages suck and overcharge their clients. They take advantage and we all know it. I try and take the high road if possible. In this case, the OP was having a bad day and let rip - he got the sale. Fair enough. But I see that as the exception not the rule.

      Just my opinion. Don't think I'm some kind of pushover in business. I've told a few people to f*ck off before, I get frustrated and angry but that's because I sometimes find myself doing business their way instead of mine.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    What's the big lesson here for newbies?

    It's taking action.

    Yellow pages takes action and asks good money for it, and can get it. Crappy product, very favorable(maybe unfair) contract terms, but they take action and close deals. Not with incredible talent, but sales slugs, mediocre product, but probably a simple straightforward presentation that covers the basics, then have a contract laid out ready to sign. Make it easy for the prospect to sign up. No mumbo jumbo.

    Just think what you could do if you had better service, a better product, and you just took a little action?

    It's incredible what you can accomplish just be getting out of bed every day and showing up.

    IMers should be thankful for YP in a way, they are reaching many businesses, creating web awareness for many businesses who may have been resistant to IM/website services before. They are creating a decent price point for the marketplace as well. Think of them as your farm team
    Signature

    In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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  • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
    OHHHHH SNAP
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  • Profile picture of the author jayspann
    I've been one of those Dbag YP salesmen back in the day...

    That was way before the got their hands in web or doing video.

    You can take a lesson from them for what its worth... it's sad to say but those guys do very well. Not because the have a good product but because the sell and sell a LOT.

    We had people in the office billing more then 100K each month just in ad space. I was doing a LOT LESS because I didn't believe the product but thats a different story.

    The moral is if you guys aren't billing big numbers each month you need to market and sell harder and worry less about "what" you are selling.

    A funny and slightly related topic... when I started my "agency" about a year in we tried Joe Polish's Yellow Page "WARNING" ad that pointed to a free recorded message... and we got 2-3 calls per day on average.

    So the YP can still work for some people, in certain markets...

    PS death to the Yellow Pages!
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    • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
      Originally Posted by jayspann View Post

      .... those guys do very well. Not because the have a good product but because the sell and sell a LOT.

      The moral is if you guys aren't billing big numbers each month you need to market and sell harder and worry less about "what" you are selling.
      Right on, Jayspann, TAKE ACTION AND SELL MORE.
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  • Profile picture of the author bwh1
    Well that must have been going down the throat like honey.

    But actually we have to be thankful that YP exist.

    Who else you could spit at and what if there weren't clients around which you can pamper and help to get rid of their lousy service.

    There is a opportunity in each situation, depending on how you look at it.

    G.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      I remember years ago I was at a 2 week training course
      with a potential client and I spoke to the owner of the
      event location (a kind of resort) on the first day of the
      training.

      I made a few suggestions and he blew me off like I was
      an idiot who knew nothing.

      Within a week his biggest client (who was running the
      course) was my marketing client.

      10 days in I was asked to sit in with the marketing team
      from the resort as they spoke to my new client.

      They didn't look too happy when they saw me there and
      they were even less happy when I started asking them
      some pointed questions about all the "marketing help"
      they were giving my client (they had not helped them
      get a single person to join their training course...ever.)

      I made it really obvious that all their great ideas and
      opportunities were totally self serving without ever
      having to say anything mean.

      Within 6 months my client had found somewhere else
      to run his training.

      It's a nice feeling to stand up for businesses who are
      getting ripped off.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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  • Profile picture of the author Annapowe
    Wow great thread thanks for the sharing
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    • Profile picture of the author Entertize
      Way to go Abbott!
      This has to be the most awesome post I've read on here! Very inspiring as well. And I don't think you're a drunken illiterate and I think you did a hell of a job!
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  • Profile picture of the author stone2010
    Revisiting this thread.. Wanted to say I stole a client from Reach Local by asking the client a simple question... Ask Reach Local to describe what they are doing for you? and I told the client exactly what they were going to say and BINGO they said it LOL. Next day client called me, we talked picked up a check and campaign started!
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  • Profile picture of the author srodoks
    There's nothing in this thread about mobile websites...
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  • Profile picture of the author Tjpiper
    Nice one! There is no better feeling in the world than to open someone's eyes to the crappy reality of what they are being sold, then help solve their problem. You were able to come to the rescue for what could have been a lot of wasted money and lots of frustration! The best part is that you had something of real value to offer that you didn't have to make any excuses for.

    Keep up the good work! And congrat's to shutting down the big guys!
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