In a blog post a few weeks ago, Chris Brogran admitted, that despite his best intentions, he was not staying in touch with people as well as he would like. He pledged to try to make his business more human in the year to come. His comments made me think about my own business.
Roundpeg has been around nine years, so it predates many of the popular social media tools. My relationship building routine, today relies heavily on social media, but has other legs as well. A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system has been a part of my business since the beginning. Starting with a data base I built myself in Access, along with their contact information, I tracked, where I met someone and key details about their business and personal life.
I added custom fields filled with information that was relevant to me and the details of every conversation. ( In the beginning I had a lot of spare time at Roundpeg.) Over the years I have tried a number of tools including Act and Outlook. Each had pros and cons, but today I use AddressTwo , developed by a good friend Nick Carter. I like the task features, and the ability to update via email or text. But most of all, I like it because it helps me strengthen Relationships.
From my perspective, the “R” is the most important part of a good CRM tool. I can put addresses in a spreadsheet. I can keep job records and communications in client files, but the integrated nature of a good CRM tool, allows me to pull it all together, and create a snapshot of the relationship I have with that person. In addition, the task feature, helps me remember to reconnect on a regular basis, and the history shows me how long it has been since we chatted.
I think too many people go to networking events collect business cards, dump people in their newsletter database and forget about them. That is just not enough to build a relationship. And as a matter of fact, these days, people get so many newsletters, adding someone to your list may actually have a negative effect.
To build relationships takes work. Staying in touch on social media is fun, but not enough. So this week, I am going to pull a list of people in my data base I haven’t chatted with in the last six months. I am going to give them a call. It may not necessarily lead to a business opportunity, but I find whenever I do that something fun occurs.
What about you? What will you do this week to strengthen your relationships?