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Directory Assistance, May I Help You?

In the movie “The Jerk,” Steve Martin’s character goes insane with happiness when the new phone book arrives and he checks his listing.

“…I’m somebody now.  Millions of people look at this book every day.   This is the kind of spontaneous publicity — your name in print — that makes people…”

With print phone books slowly going the way of the dinosaur, we pause for one last time to remember the ritual of looking up your own listing.  Maybe you didn’t, but for many it was the first thing they did when the book arrived.    Perhaps you were one of the number that found an error that had to be corrected in subsequent directories.

In our industry, we’re actually listed in many, many directories.   They’re the “store finder” or “find a dealer” listings associated with our various suppliers’ websites.   But how many stores take the time to check to make sure they are listed correctly?   Or that multiple locations are listed where stock ships to a single receiving point?

This is an area where brick and mortar retailers have the opportunity to win back customers who are searching online.   Yes, people are using the internet to seek out products, but anyone who clicks on “find a retailer” is open to the possibility of making the purchase in person if a store is close at hand.

Take a few minutes in these critical shopping weeks to ensure that your suppliers have got your name, address, phone and e-mail listed correctly.  Many will also link to your website.

Here’s the classic Steve Martin bit in question:

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