The Yellow Pages Today April workshop featured a divergent view of how best to sell the White Page product line. While some differences exist, due in part to the products offered in the core White Pages product such as those published in Germany, most companies agreed that White Pages needs its own unique sales approach and marketing focus. The real difference lies in the publisher’s view of White Pages as a major revenue component, a supplemental revenue component or a complement to the core Yellow Pages product. For those with a view of White Pages as a revenue driver, major product development and sales training have focused specifically on the unique aspects of what White Pages offers advertisers and the product sets that are particularly attractive.
Vincent Thibaut, print product manager for Truvo Belgium, pointed out that White Pages is often overlooked as a vehicle for attracting new business. As consumers are given recommendations of businesses or products or are exposed to them on other media, they often turn to White Pages online or in print to get the contact information. Thibaut also supported the idea that salespeople need to outline the unique benefits of White Pages to ensure advertisers clearly understand what they are buying.
Sensis has taken a renewed interest in building its White Pages product that has centered on retraining and refocusing White Pages salespeople on the value of the product, since it is a different sales proposition that is less reliant upon size and position. The renewed approach seems to be paying off, delivering 10 percent growth in the first half of 2008.