Chapter 6. Aiming Your Company at the Bottom of the Barrel

I REMEMBER THAT 25 years ago I loved leafing through three big books: Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Big Book of Amazing Facts, and the Yellow Pages. Maybe it was my lack of friends in third grade or avoidance of people commenting on my bulbous head, or just a general interest in things that made me want to go through them. I would sit there for hours.

Fast-forward to the present day. The encyclopedia has been replaced by Wikipedia, the big book is now called the Internet, and the Yellow Pages are called Google. Yet many businesses and phone directory sales reps continue to use these big hunks of paper and try to justify it. I've had this debate with many people about businesses using tools like the Yellow Pages. Most people say it is a great doorstop, booster seat, or a thing to beat people with when they don't pay up on a gambling debt. But let's look at the case that most people say justifies using them, "They work in some markets! People still use them! Like old folks, shuts in, and people who are still locked into AOL contracts!"

So, let's roll with that—people who still potentially use them. I have a few issues with this way of thinking.

  • You are aiming at the bottom of the barrel (the Hierarchy of Buying) – As you can see when you look at the hierarchy, even people who use the Yellow Pages on occasion will only go to them if they don't already have a service provider, they don't know anybody who could perform the service, ...

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