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Whew! You've just opened your new business, your ads are working, the web site is up, and the signage is done. But, wait! What about a listing in the phone book? Yes, people still use the phone book, but they're more apt to call directory assistance from their cell phone when they're motoring down the road.
Are you listed? Better call 411 and find out, Oh, and better call from your friend's cell phone directory, too, as they have another service, and don't forget to call Cingular, nope AT&T bought them out ... get the picture? If you aren't listed in every directory you don't exist to a bunch of consumers who are trying to do business with you. You need to fix that!
Back in the day it was basically automatic -- there was one phone company and they put your business in the book. It's not so fast and easy today. In a perfect world they're supposed to all work together and populate on another's books and databases, but that's not happening.
This whole problem came to light when a close friend tried to get his home number OFF the phone list of all the directories since they were all giving his home number out for the Meijer Thrifty Acres store. He got 20 calls a day for months on end and could not make them stop. He even put a message on an answering machine that said "Hi, this is not Meijer's ..." My friend made dozens of attempts to correct the situation. He eventually located all the directories with his name in it and notified them.
So, with that in mind, to help you get your company listed I've compiled a comprehensive list of places to call, email or submit your business so you can get your business listed in the Phone Book.
Here's an interesting tidbit, nearly 50% of all internet searches are for business phone numbers or addresses. So if you are not listed in all of the major search engines you really don't exist. For a comprehensive list of places to list your business visit: http://www.locallytype.com/pages/submit.htm This is a terrific resource for getting your business listed.
One more thing. There are many independent Yellow Pages publishers throughout the country. Be sure to contact the major phone company in your local area to get listed. They are usually the most complete and up-to-date resource since they are mandated by the FCC to maintain that information. You can then go to the website of your phone company and see who they have contracted with to provide their yellow pages, and make the connection.
For instance, if you live in Florida, depending on your area, you may have either AT&T, Sprint or Verizon phone service. All three provide their own yellow pages. If you go to the phone company website, it will give you all the contact information for that area.
Do it now and "get listed."
Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications ( www.westwindcos.com ), a public relations and marketing firm which specializes in marketing authors. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, ESPN, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. To discuss how Westwind Communications helps its clients get all the publicity they deserve and more visit www.westwindcos.com/book or call 734-667-2090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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