I recently wrote an article about the three key elements of CRM or Customer Relationship Management. You can read it here. We normally hear the term CRM in the context of software. Today I will address the meaning behind the software.
I submit that the software is NEVER the real point.
The real point is staying in touch and completely CONNECTED to people. It’s about the RELATIONSHIP. Not the software. The software is simply a tool.
The bottom line is if you look closely at how your single biggest asset is managed, PEOPLE and RELATIONSHIPS, you will notice a few things if you’re like most business owners…
1. You don’t really commit to a system for managing relationships.
2. You lose touch with people who are important to you and your business.
3. No one is watching your list, keeping it up to date, properly managing the system and ensuring no one slips through the cracks.
The truth is that this list of people is critical to your business. This list includes the people who pay you and enable you to employ people and live the lifestyle you live. It includes the people who support you in doing what you do for your clients or customers.
So how do we more easily stay connected with people who count the most in business?
Here’s one very powerful suggestion… Commit to using a system every day and run reconnect campaigns by phone, email, text, etc.
Create a reconnect campaign that is based on making PHONE CALLS and face-to-face when appropriate, first. You can do it yourself, engage an assistant, hire someone new to your team or outsource it to us to do it all for you. (DONE FOR YOU is what we call it which means you don’t have do anything other than work with us to build the reconnect campaign.)
The key is that too many of us forget the POWER of making a phone call. We rely today too much on email, text and voice messaging. So digital. Or we’re just lazy and hide behind the excuse of being too busy. That’s always a good one.
We get too busy. But we’re never too busy for the stuff that means the most to us.
When we look at how we stay or don’t stay connected to our network of people, we simply don’t take or MAKE the time to STAY CONNECTED the way we need to.
Yes, marketing automation can help once you deploy a proper system. But you must be committed first. (If you don’t have a system, what are you thinking? Some of the best CRM systems can be free! Integrated systems like Infusionsoft pay for themselves! Better than free!)
You must be the champion of staying connected. This means, yes, I’m going to use the word, you must "sell." But only in the sense of selling your desire to stay connected, be of service, lend a helping hand to someone in business or life.
Most business owners don’t see themselves as sales professionals. Even worse, the abhor sales. They have this wicked and debilitating head trash that precludes from even conceiving of making a RELATIONSHIP-BASED follow up phone call. (When was the last time your CPA called to say "hello" and see how you’re doing?
But if you look at in the sense of selling from your heart, promoting YOU and what you stand for, serving people, then you get to look at a reconnect campaign or any marketing as a way of being of service. So then it’s not about selling any more. Glad we took care of this.
Here are some other items generally missing from the mix. Most business owners don’t have organized TASK LISTS they follow every day. Most business owners don’t have calls and ACTIVITY OR PIPELINE DASHBOARDS nor do they approach their business day like most real sales professionals. Most business owners also aren’t ACCOUNTABLE to anyone.
This means we lose touch. Data gets old. Email addresses change. People opt out. They move. They die. They change identities.We forget. They forget. Our lists become obsolete. Just look in the shoe boxes full of business cards collecting dust in your closet. How many years have you been collecting all those "people" but not doing much in the way of consistently showing up as a leader, educator, advocate, or champion for your cause and subject matter expertise?
And the same is true for you if you flip this around. How many people in your overall network have your most up-to-date contact information? They don’t have a solid system in place to follow up with you, either. Amazing but true.
So here’s one way to get the ball rolling. Again, you can do this yourself or we can do it for you.
1. Organize your list of everyone associated with the business. And your life if you want to consistently communicate business stuff to them. We/you will need an Excel worksheet saved as a CSV file. Or you/we can work within any CRM system you have.
2. Identify the people on the list you are willing to personally call with the intention of simply investing in the relationship, offering assistance, staying in touch or following up during the sales process if it’s a prospect. The bigger, main list will go to your assistant, if you have one. You will focus on your list which may entail you making 5 or more calls each day as part of the reconnect campaign. Commit to a number you can keep then raise it. You must "Tag" or segment your list so you know who is calling whom.
3. Decide what compelling reason you have to "reconnect" with everyone on this list and write a script. You must develop a compelling reason to reach out to people and not necessarily to sell them something. Remember, this is about relationships. You and your assistant will be working on the same path so while your script is essentially the same for the campaign as that of your assistant(s), but you will have your own way of presenting this to people you talk with. Your messaging or scripting will tie into what you will say on the phone, what anyone on your team will say on the phone, how emails will read and any other form of marketing communication you see fit to integrate.
3. Hire at least one, full-time person to call this list of people every day following the script and updating the contact’s personal information and notes relevant to the campaign. Our full-time sales assistants, virtual assistants and people to support you in these kinds of reconnect and nurture campaigns start out at about $2,500 a month through us. Or you can run the search ads, screen the replies, schedule interviews, hold interviews, make the offers, hire, train, fire, etc. (Either way you have to ask yourself how many new clients it would take to justify investing in a virtual assistant, a sales assistant, a marketing assistant, a web assistant, a copy assistant, etc. We have built a team of all of the above and we keep hiring more talented people. You can do it or leverage us. Yes, it often makes sense to get it DONE FOR YOU.)
4. Always run campaigns within your system. This means you create a calendar for content and how you’re going to reach out to people each day, week, and month. You must stay connected by staying connected. Sounds redundant because it is. You need to remember this. You need to follow a proven system to stay ahead of the CONTENT PUBLISHING CURVE. This requires planning every week, creating compelling content, distributing compelling content by email, video, snail mail, text, mobile, fax, etc. You must work with the intention to serve and help others in your network.
Consistency is the key here. Once you commit to raising the bar in staying connected, improving your education and marketing communications, beefing up your follow up, leveraging marketing automation tools, you should plan to stay COMMITTED!
Here’s the bottom line. Your NETWORK of people is directly tied to your NET WORTH on paper and in life.
Stay connected. It’s a commitment you choose to make or not make.
Use a system that works FOR you.
Invest. Learn. Adapt. Grow.
We always appreciate your comments, questions and suggestions here on the blog.
Here’s to your success! Cliff