Tag Archives: Business Contacts

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

 

 

 

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Business Appreciation Cards

In this day and age of technology t is very easy when in business to think that the only way to connect and communicate with our business contacts is via Social Media and E-Mail and not to use business appreciation cards. Don’t forget the good old fashioned greeting card which has been in existence since the 1800s is also a great way to stay in touch. Sometimes the old ways of communicating are the best, especially if you use cards Continue reading Business Appreciation Cards