What's in a Name?
What do you do with all the contacts you make in your organisation? Do you:
Collect business cards and throw them in the bottom of your desk drawer hoping one day one of these people will ring and do business with you? Have any system for keeping information on your clients and prospects? Do you enter all their details into your database so that you can communicate with them in the future?
Do you enter all your clients into the database with information about what they've bought from you and conversations you've had with them? I'm astounded that so many business people keep no comprehensive records of their clients, general contacts and prospects.
Your database is a goldmine. It is the most important item in your business.
A great system will be able to do the following:
Generate a letter, fax or email directly from the program to the contact.
Record all contact details and any communication you have had with that person including phone conversations, meetings, emails, promotional information, and sales made.
Be able to select any particular group of people, ie. everyone in a specific area, all your "A" clients, prospects, strategic alliances. A reminder system for follow-ups.
Which Database Is Right For You?
Well, that depends on your organisation. Now there are various databases, eg Microsoft's Access and Lotus' Approach. However specific contact management software can offer far more features, including a "hotlist" to remind you when to follow up. These applications include:
I personally know very successful businesses that use ACT and Maximizer. At The Office Organiser we use Maximizer which we find very good.
Speak with successful people in your field and ask them what they use.
You may find that there are specific databases that have been designed
for your industry.
The key when choosing one of these systems is to have a look at their functions and get someone who knows all about the software to set it up and train you in its use.
You could also delegate/outsource the task of the initial keying in of data to another team member in your organisation or even a secretarial service or temp.
A special note for Salespeople
If you are an employee and your organisation has no database, I suggest you invest in one. It will be the wisest business investment you can make.
Most salespeople promise everything and unfortunately do not deliver. They rush from one appointment to another and forget to follow through on their promises.
If they had some way of keeping in touch with clients and prospects via using their database as an effective marketing and follow up tool, they would increase their sales dramatically.
About The Author
Lorraine Pirihi is Australia's Personal Productivity Specialist and Leading Life Coach. Her business The Office Organiser specialises in showing small business owners and managers, how to get organised at work so they can have a life! Lorraine is also a dynamic speaker and has produced many products including "How to Survive and Thrive at Work!"
To subscribe to her free ezine visit www.office-organiser.com.au
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