Books, Bibles and Fast-Talkers

Every community has 'em. Fast talkers who roll into town with a clever idea to sell to people in business.

Many times the ideas are clever and cute but you should weigh the ups and downs of every offer before you dig out the checkbook. Most of these in-town-for-a-day people want their cash up front.

Some of the common flim-flams are:

Coupon Books

They offer to put you in a giant coupon book to be sold for the needy charity or Lions Club. Books are sold on the phone for $29 and delivered by the Boy Scouts. Watch out for errors and missing expirations once the operation has moved to another town.

Telephone Book Covers

They wrap around the book and the callers see your ad every time they reach for the book. Might be OK if you own the wrecker service, locksmith or funeral home, but run the other way if you have a grocery, Mickey Dees, or bank.

City Maps

Your ad goes somewhere around the edge of the map. You might get pitched by several companies. Some look better than others, most are very pricey. Pick up maps like these when you see them and decide if you'd do business with anyone on the map because of the ad. Distribution is the selling point. Placement is the bug-a-boo. What if your ad is on the back and the reader only looks at the front? Don't be fooled by the promise of radio ads proclaiming free maps and mentioning your name.

Bibles for Newlyweds

I wish I had thought of this one 30 years ago. I would be clipping coupons instead of writing about it.

The fast talker promises to send a Bible to all newlyweds in the county (the names and addresses of the happy couples are public record at the courthouse). Four to six sales at about $500 each and they mail a one dollar Bible 4th class, a peel and stick label stuck inside with the name of the "sponsors" in inkjet color.

They can easily sell a town a day at 3 large and make one trip a quarter to visit the courthouse for names. Work it for two months on a route and eat cake the other 10. A great moneymaker for the Bible people, a dud for advertising effectiveness. But like kids in school and American Flags, this emotion sells well in every community.

There are hundreds of advertising "opportunities" out there. Your job as a business owner is to separate the effective from the cute and clever.

For more about advertising, get my article "Your Billboard is Showing" MailTo:[email protected]

©2005 BIG Mike McDaniel All Rights Reserved [email protected] BIG Mike is a Professional Speaker and Small Business Consultant with over 30 years experience, http://BIGIdeasGroup.com

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