May 12, 2010
Never Lose a Number Again: How to Keep Your Contacts in Order
The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” may not be entirely correct but it still does hold some weight in the modern business environment. You might be the smartest, most shrewd businessperson out there with the best prices and a killer product, but none of this matters if your sitting alone in your basement, unable to make sales.
Reach Mass Markets With a Planned Budget
We all know the power of getting your name out there through the wonders of marketing and advertising. Through traditional means like print, radio and TV or through the new fangled conduits like the Internet, social media and pay-per-click-advertising we can reach mass markets with some smart planning and a healthy budget.
But it’s not enough to simply get your product out there to the masses. We need to network; meeting suppliers, professionals that can assist us, potential employees, contemporaries, customers and even competitors can help us to grow and shape our businesses. Trade shows, luncheons, seminars, meetings, casual get-togethers and just about any other form of social interaction you can think of are all prime spots gather the contacts you need.
Pick a Card, Any Card…if You Can Find It
If you have ever been to a mass gathering with other business people you’re often left with a giant grab bag of business cards, brochures, nick knacks, pins and the ever-present stress ball. It’s tempting to just put the bag away or forget about all but the major stand outs but this isn’t making the most of your networking efforts.
Keeping your existing contacts in order and updated as well as integrating new ones into your system is key if you want to make the most of networking.
- First you have to decide upon a location to keep all of your contacts. This can either be physical or digital but make sure all of your contacts are kept there. In my opinion digital is preferred because you can easily make copies, cleanly change or update information and print out copies. Always make sure to keep a back up of your information no matter in what form you keep it.
- Next make sure you gather all of your contacts in the same place. This means your personal and professional contacts should all be in the same location. Use separate categories or tags though to differentiate them though for easier use. Make sure you review cards sent to you, business cards collected, addresses off mail sent to you and any other information you might need. You never can tell.
- Verify contact information the best you can and stay up on any changes that occur.
- Integrate new contacts as quickly as possible so you don’t end up with a back log or a pile of contacts waiting to be put into your contact location.
A Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) is a great way to not only keep contacts in a safe place but also integrate them into your daily routine. CRMs like Karma are great at helping you track prospects, making notes and making the most out of your contacts.