Category Archives: Relationship Marketing

Harvesting contact details for your business

How good are you at harvesting contact details for your business?

staying in touch
Ensure you stay in touch!

Often business owners miss the relevance of collecting useful data but this is something that is really important, especially if you want to build a relationship with your contacts in order to obtain future referrals and repeat business.

Often we, all too often, collect business cards at networking events, or similar meetings, only to find that when we return to the office that the e-mail address or postal address, that we need, is missing from the business card. How annoying is this!

Something which is really easy, in overcoming this, is to have a supply of small printed cards which incorporate all the information you need to stay in touch personally with your contacts, as per the example below:

contact harvesting
I Need Your Address!

 

 

 

 

 

When you meet someone that you know you definitely want to keep in touch with, pass them your information card and ask them to complete it telling them that you like to keep in touch with people you meet at networking events personally.  You will find that your new prospect will be more than happy to oblige in providing you with these details.

It maybe that you have the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of your existing business connections but not their postal address or date of birth, which is needed if you intend to send them birthday and/or Christmas cards.  If this is the case, you could send them the following e-mail or text to re-connect with them and get them to provide you with their details as follows:

Hi ____

I hope you are keeping well.

Keeping in touch with my customers, on a personal level, is really important to me.  In an effort to do a better job staying in touch with you, I’d like to update your postal address in my records.   By the way, here’s my contact information if you should need me at any time…

[Enter your details here including full postal address and telephone number(s)]

I also like to send birthday cards to my business contacts, so please also let me have a note of your birthday.  Mine is …………….

Can you please send the same information back to me about you so we can keep in touch? Thank you so much.

 With warm regards

[Your Name]

If you would like the template to print the address information cards please send me an e-mail and I will be more than happy to provide this for you in order for you to print these off.

Another way that you could collect this information is by creating a Google+ Form and then directing your business contacts to the link for completion.

I hope you have found this post useful in giving you a few ideas of how you can obtain all the information you need to connect with your contacts on a more personal level.  If you’ve found this useful please do comment below.

Until next time,

Nicky @NickyClaydon.

Importance of organising contacts

 

The easiest way of organising contacts, in order that you can use the data effectively (besides your customer contact information), is by recording them using either a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, an Access Database or something like Act! By entering your contacts in an Excel spreadsheet, for example, this then gives you the flexibility to quickly transfer the information into applications such as Mail Chimp, SentOutCards, etc., relatively quickly so that you can send e-mail campaigns and the like.

You need a relatively small amount of information with regard to each contact. Namely: name, date of birth, address fields, telephone number(s) and e-mail address. If you are a collector of business cards, who simply puts the cards in the corner of your office, this is the perfect way to capture the information of all the people you meet so that you can stay in touch with them, on a regular basis, in the future. Sitting in a pile, this information just really isn’t working for you and makes it pointless taking the card in the first place if you are not going to do something with this information!

organising contacts
Organise Your Contacts Now!

If you are reading this and thinking you simply do not have the time to enter all this information then, perhaps, it is time for you to take the ‘bull by the horns’ and hire a Virtual Office Assistant (VA). If you haven’t come across this term before, a VA is someone who is, generally, self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical and/or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from their own home office or some are happy to go to your place of work. They are not an employee and typically have more than one client.

There are many benefits of hiring a VA:

  • You pay them only for the actual time they spend working on your business.
  • They are usually highly trained so need very little supervision.
  • They tend to work from their own home, using their own equipment/utilities so it saves your business the cost of providing these things.
  • As they work on a self-employed basis the responsibility of paying any tax or NI falls upon the VA.
  • They free-up you time to concentrate on more important aspects of your business rather than paperwork.
  • Save you money as you only pay for the hours they work for you

What they can do to help:

  • Event planning
  • Assist with marketing/publicity
  • Help with your website and search engine optimization (SEO) – if skilled to this
  • Typing, editing and proofreading, on your behalf
  • Organising contacts/updating your database
  • Carry-out your bookkeeping/billing requirements
  • Make appointments/manage your diary

When choosing a VA, it is a good idea to ask around and find one by personal recommendation so that you have a testimonial of their working practices.

Remember, once you have entered all your data, or got your VA to do it on your behalf, you also need to ensure that you back this data up in order to protect it if one of your cloud-based systems should fail.

I hope this post has made you stop and think and helped you in realising the importance of capturing your data in order to grow your business.

Until next time,

Nicky @NickyClaydon

 

 

 

 .

5 of the best CRM systems for Relationship Marketers

There are many tools for managing relationships and we all have our favourites – here are 5 of the best CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems that are perfect for relationship marketers!

CRM
Which CRM

1. Capsule CRM

  • FREE
  • Simple – six core capabilities (managing relationships, sales pipeline, organises e-mail, saves contact histories, performs task management and complete customization)
  • Effective
  • Integrates with other popular web applications such as Google apps and more
  • Legendary 60 second start

The brilliant thing about Capsule CRM is that it enables you to manage your emails, so your inbox will never be a mess again, you will know who to email and when to get in touch.

Capsule CRM has a great price – free! However if you want premium integrations including Xero, FreshBooks, MailChimp, Wufoo & more you will pay a small fee of around £5 ($8) per month.

2. Infusionsoft

  • Easy to use
  • Comprehensive set of CRM tools
  • Automated features
  • Lots of additional extras like: e-mail marketing, billing and project management

Compared to others it is expensive and has a mandatory kickstarter coaching package (which isn’t cheap), but there are case studies of people reporting 310% increase in profit to growing revenue by 832%.  Although a little more expensive that other CRMs in the market place, you may consider it a really worthwhile investment, especially based upon other reviews, given by people using the Infusionsoft system, who sing Infusionsoft’s praises.

3.  Salesforce

  • $25 per user per month
  • Wide range of features
  • All-in-one cloud based CRM software for small business
  • Endless possibilities for expanding its core functionalities
  • Offers third-party integrations in a wide range of categories
  • Comprehensive customer service support

Salesforce is very popular due to all the additional features and extremely affordable for ‘one-man-band’ businesses.   However, pricing may be an issue for some small businesses as it is limited to 5 users at around £16 ($25) per user per month and if you want to upgrade to unlimited users it will cost about £42 ($65) per user per month.

4. Zoho CRM

  • FREE
  • Monthly or yearly pay-as-you go with no contracts
  • Wide range of features
  • Tutorials, webinars and community forum
  • Add 10 extra users at no extra cost

With Zoho you do have the limitation that there is no telephone support – this is only available if you have a paid account – but with all the additional features you are getting this may be easy to overlook.

And last, but not least:

5.  SendOutCards

  • FREE
  • No contracts, pay-as-you or monthly budget account (which can be cancelled at any time without penalty)
  • Use for direct marketing by sending real physical greetings cards from your phone, laptop or pc without the need to visit a post office – all done for you
  • No minimums or maximums when using it for direct mail
  • Easily import contacts via excel from other CRMs, sort into groups and send real physical cards via a campaign in minutes
  • No contracts, pay-as-you-go and monthly budget accounts which start from around £6.50 p.m. (the monthly accounts can be cancelled at any time without penalty)
  • Excellent customer service support via e-mail, phone/skype or via their on-line chat line

This gives you a brief overview of each system mentioned but if you click on the link for each one you can gain a further insight from each of the company’s websites.  There are many more but these are some of the most favoured in the marketplace today.  You might like to transfer your customer contacts to a virtual system like this or combine it with a manual system too.  Whatever you decide to do, ensure you get a CRM system in place for your business, as soon as possible, if you haven’t done so already.

I hope you find this review helpful and if you have any comments I would love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Nicky @NickyClaydon

 .

How to follow-up with your contacts manually!

The majority of people are really poor at follow-up and, as a result, they end-up doing considerably less business than they ultimately could.

follow-up
How often do you follow-up?

Did you know that the 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact and that only 10% of sales people make more than 3 contacts? Do you make contact more than 3 times?

The main reason people do not follow-up with their business contacts is often due to having a poor follow-up system or NO SYSTEM AT ALL!

Not everyone wants to use a system that is computer based, and there are lots of different ways you can have a manual system to follow-up and keep in touch with your prospects and customers. A lot of people are surprised to find that it takes very little time to set-up and put a manual system in place. The main benefit of having a manual system is that you can pick it up and take it with you, wherever you go, without relying on the need to have internet access.

Often people are much more productive if they have a visual reminder in front of them too, in order to keep in touch, rather than having to access their computer or mobile.

The system I would recommend to adopt, if you want to have a manual system, is to take an A4 ring binder and buy two sets of file dividers. One set with the days of the month (numbered 1-31) and one set with the months of the year. You then need a simple customer information sheet which you complete every time you meet a new prospect or secure a new customer. Once you have made contact, if they are not ready to buy now, you ascertain when would be a good time to call them back and then place them in the appropriate section of the file. Make sure that you harvest as much personal information as you can, when you are initially talking to them, as the more personal information you can glean helps you to relationship market with them in the future.  At the beginning of each month you then bring forward the follow-up sheets from the monthly section and file them in the relevant daily contact sections and continue this process on a daily/monthly basis throughout the year.

There are also other forms of this system you can use such as the A5 box system with A5 cards with you using the same type of dividers for the box system as you would the A4 file system.

By using this type of system, if done in a methodical way, you will ensure that you never forget to follow-up with a contact again. This can, of course, be used in conjunction with a computer based system if you so wish. The choice is yours. However, this manual system is all you really need for an effective follow-up strategy.

Is this something you feel would be really useful for you to utilise in your business?  I hope these tips have helped.  Please comment below if you need any further help of advice.

Until next time,

Nicky @NickyClaydon.

30 Day Relationship Marketing Challenge for Business

 

Challenge Definition:  Something that by its character or nature serves as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.

Relationship Marketing
Build Better Business Relationships

So what is the 30 Day Relationship Marketing Challenge for Business all about?

By building stronger relationships and making your customers feel appreciated you will ensure that they become your customers, not for just a one-off sale, but for life. They will consistently send their friends and family to you – referrals that cost you nothing!   The easiest and least expensive customers come from referrals and repeat business.  Most business owners and professionals miss this and spend too much time and money battling for new “cold” prospects.

Remember, the top reason customers stop doing business with you is often due to perceived indifference and feeling taken for granted. If your customers don’t hear from you how they will know you are with the same company or that the company is still in business!  The Challenge will ensure that you keep in touch with your business connections, on a regular basis, so this does not happen.

People do business with people they know, like and trust… and REMEMBER – if they don’t remember you it doesn’t matter how much they know, like and trust you!

Relationship Marketing
Unlock The Secret

 The biggest secret:

  • People want to know that you are thinking of them without always selling them something! This is the heart of relationship/appreciation marketing.
  • Keep in contact with your customers WITHOUT mention of your latest sale, offer or product and watch your relationships grow and your referrals double!
  • People often wonder how top salesmen achieve such high sales figures. It is due to many of them having this type of follow-up system in place.

How you can benefit from this Challenge:

  • If you’re running a small business from home this can sometimes be quite a solitary experience. You will benefit from connecting with other business owners/professionals forming new friendships, in niches that you might not previously have come across, which can be extremely educational and interesting.
  • When you put a good follow-up strategy in place it becomes second nature and becomes part of your daily working routine.
  • When you start receiving positive feed-back from business contacts that you have re-connected with you will get a complete ‘buzz’ out of it.
  • Through connecting with other business owners you will be able to network, support and share what their experiences are, throughout the Challenge, with helpful insights into what works well and what doesn’t work so well for them, in their businesses.
  • You will gain more repeat business and referrals all of which are FREE!
  • By concentrating more on forging stronger relationships, with your existing clients, you may find yourself in the position of not having the need to continually go out looking for new business.

Who’s this Challenge NOT for:

  • Those who aren’t prepared to seriously analyse the current actions they are taking in their business to keep in touch with their contacts, and be prepared to make a change, if appropriate.
  • Those who aren’t prepared to dedicate some time to fostering good business relationships over the next 12 months. There is no short-term fix, customer relationships are built over time.
  • If you don’t like being accountable in group situations and don’t like sharing your successes/failures, then this really isn’t for you.
  • If you believe that every contact you make with a customer needs to be sales related, i.e. plugging your latest product.

You’ve read all the pros and cons of The Challenge and you’re still interested in taking  just 30 minutes out of your day, for the next 30 days, to transform your business by keeping in touch with those who need to hear from you – all for FREE – join here:

.