Do you seem to start your career over and over every time you change companies or even careers? Stop. Keep your list.
As a small business owner or sales professional it’s important to keep a list of your previous, current and potential future clients that you have established relationships with over the years. If you keep a list of contacts, it’s easy to stay in touch no matter what your future may hold. Keep those relationships going with your list. When you change companies, move or just want to stay in touch if you keep a list now you can. Even if your company provides a Customer Relationship Management System I still highly recommend you keep your own list. When you work for a large company most likely they have designated marketing department and has more resources then you do to stay in touch with customers. They are staying in touch as a company not as an individual. They do not know your client like you do. When you stay in touch on your own, your client will work with you. Why? They already know and trust you as a person not a corporation.
There are many ways to keep a list of contacts. If you have the resources to pay for a professional CRM system on your own do that. If you can’t though don’t’ worry, I’m going to discuss a cheap and affordable way that anyone can make their own list today.
One often overlooked system to keep track of your network and keep your list is your current e-mail address book. If it’s Gmail, Outlook, or any other provider there is an address book. This address book has all the important information you need. Name, e-mail, phone number, mailing address and even a section to add notes. It’s important to spend some time each week to update your e-mail address book, add contacts and fill in missing information for the contacts as you gather it. Add notes use the address book professionally just because its free doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. E-mail address books have an option to export these contacts to excel or CVS format. This is the universal format to import contacts into a contact management or e-mail marketing program. When you keep up with the address book this contact information is valuable and now you have a list. This contact list then can be simply imported into to an e-mail marketing program. There are many free programs such as I-Contact or Mail Chimp. These programs can be used to create a marketing campaign or an announcement. Whatever message you want your list to know you can create. Next time you change companies, move or want to let your list know of your amazing new product it’s easy to stay in touch. I know this may sound to simple, but let me give you a personal example of how my list worked for me.
“There is a loan officer I worked with 4 years ago at a mortgage company in Phoenix. Since meeting this loan officer I have changed companies twice and moved locations 4 times. This loan officer has always been on my list. A few months back this loan officer received my e-mail regarding social media marketing, and my business. Little did I know that this loan officer is now a Sales Manager for a Mortgage Company here in Phoenix. This loan officer who is now a sales manager was looking for marketing help. She replied to my e-mail and now we are teaching social media classes together to her Realtor Partners.” If I didn’t have my list or stay in touch, this opportunity would have not happened.
This is a real life example of how my list worked for me recently. Do you have story of your list? I would love to hear it?