Every community has ’em. Fast talkers who roll
into town with a clever idea to sell to people in
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
Some of the common flim-flams are:
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
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.
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
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.