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Would You Like Contact Management With That?
I'm always looking for ways to improve my offering and I've just completed testing of my new contact management module.
It's a question that plagues all business people. "What do I do with all of those business cards I collect from meetings and networking events?" For many, they go in a drawer never to been seen or heard from again, but if there's one thing networking guru Stefan Thomas has taught me, following up after a networking event is incredibly important.
"It's the best way to be remembered!"
Sending them an email with all of your contact details and a quick message that says "It was great to meet you" and "here's how I can help your own customers and clients should you wish to refer me" and "let's stay in touch so I can recommend you too" is a great way to build the foundations of a great business relationship.
In addition, if you have special offers and new products or services, it's always a great idea to email these contacts individually in case they're interested themselves or know of people who could be.
Previously, I've created a mailing list system for the sblogit.com network so each of my clients can ask me to send their blog post out by email to their own mailing list each week. However, with falling open rates across the board thanks to GDPR, I felt a new approach would be useful.
"So, I added a contact management module for all of my clients to use!"
Now, I must say that it's not a classic CRM system. It's not been designed to be that, and there are many products on the market designed for true customer relationship management.
What it is designed to be is a place to put the information from all of those business cards you get, to efficiently organise them and to easily make a referral when one of your own customers or clients needs a new product or service. It's rather simple to use ... and deliberately so.
Each new contact's record can have a 'stage' attached to it. In my own system, I have various stages like 'prospect' and 'client', but I also have a stage for business suppliers as well as household suppliers which include my account details rather than a specific person's name.
And each new contact's record can have a 'source' so you can see where all your business cards are coming from and maybe focus on those areas more often if you're getting business from them. As I'm a big 4Ner, I've got sources for each of the networking groups I attend.
"And then there are the pre-defined emails!"
For each contact, you can either click an icon to open a blank email to them, or if you have a range of pre-defined emails already set up, choose which one you want then click and send it.
By the way, there are certain pre-defined variables you can include in these emails, so, for example, you can say "Hey Steffi, It was great to meet you at 4N Milton Keynes Lunch!" if you enter "Hey #N#, it was great to meet you at #O#!". When you click the email, button, the #N# is replaced by the contact's first name and the #O# is replaced by the source (usually a networking event).
"Another little trick is defining
your client's birthdays!"
When you include them in their contact record, you can opt to show birthdays when you view the 'clients' or 'customers' stage. Regardless of the year they were born, it shows their next birthday, and if you're within 7 days of it, it'll be amber, and on the day itself, it will be red. All other times it shows as green. This means you've got plenty of time to send them a card.
My new contact manager is available free of charge for all my clients and I'm happy to offer them a setup and training session at Steffi HQ should they wish me to add it to their existing blogs and websites.
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