Even the worst system is much better than not having a system at all.
How do you keep your contacts? A lot of people keep them in a mess. Part of it is on the smartphone. Part – on the old phone, which is now using your mother. Part – in business cards or notebooks. And part – on some pieces of paper all over the house. Guessed? When contacts are scattered, contacts may be lost.
Each of us has dozens, if not hundreds, of contacts. Every year the number of “touches” and acquaintances with different people are growing in arithmetic progression. With such a rhythm of life, you simply cannot hope for memory, and sometimes it is even dangerous.
So the question arises- what is the best way to organize business contacts? And there is no single answer. You can use a lot of different solutions and systems for it, and we will discuss them in this article.
Now, during quarantine, when most businesses are not fully operational, and most people have plenty of free time, it is the right moment to organize your contacts.
We want to outline some principles you need to follow in organizing your contacts.
Consolidation and centralization:
Begin the organizing of your contacts from centralization. It means that you need to collect all available contacts information in one place. It can be your smartphone’s contacts, spreadsheet, CRM (customer relationship management) systems, online services like Google Contacts, or special applications. The next step after centralization is the consolidation of contact information. You need to gather everything you know about contact in one section. Contact’s profile should contain social networks information, email address, phone numbers, notes, etc. This will help to reduce clutter.
If you are using a CRM system, there is a perfect solution of how to save all information from business cards to the CRM quickly. Mobile application Business Card Reader Multi CRM allows creating new contacts or leads from a large pile of paper business cards just in couple clicks. Using the camera of your smartphone, take a picture of a business card, and the app will automatically recognize all card’s information. Preview the results, enter additional notes or voice notes, and save the contact to the CRM. You can send the picture of the card to the CRM too. Business Card Reader Multi CRM supports more than 10 types of CRM systems and reads business cards in more than 20 languages.
Make a backup database of contacts every two weeks. If you accidentally deleted a contact, then you have a possibility to restore it immediately, and not to think about how to reconnect or whether it will end your relationship.
Imagine the situation: you have two similar names in your phone. One is your potential investor, another- your random barber. If you accidentally call your investor and ask him for a haircut, it can be the most uncomfortable situation. One of the biggest mistakes businessmen can make is to dial the wrong number. It can affect future relationships with the partner, and all caused by disorganization of contacts. To fix this problem, create different lists on your smartphone. You can classify business contacts under one label, social contacts under another, and family contacts under a separate label. This will help you to split contacts based on your relationship and degree of communication with them.
Take notes from communication:
Usually, you have different conversations every day. For businessmen, every one is important. If you have a busy schedule, it becomes challenging to remember everything you told someone. To work around this problem, you can either record your own phone calls or take notes. Taking notes will help you to keep track of your conversations, be attentive to details, help you in future discussions.
Mobile application Call Tracker Multi CRM was created specifically for this purpose. Everyone who uses CRM systems and the Call Tracker app has the possibility to save call logs to the CRM. You can do it right after the call or later from your call history. The application allows to track the duration of calls, to add comments or voice notes to every call, to create rules for tracking, which in general allows you to analyze the work process and the results of conversations. The function of the call recording is in development right now. By the way, the first month of use is free.
The rule in keeping notes is simple: you need to write down what is important and can be beneficial. For example, where you met the person, who introduced you, some distinctive features of a person, about his family, etc. Before the meeting, you can refresh the information, and your communication will develop more productively. When talking with a person, pay attention to his personal interests, family, etc., which shows your interest and tact. Good manners and attentiveness are currently a good competitive advantage.
Save the date:
When you need to make repetitive business-related calls after specific periods of time, keeping the last contact date and time of the conversation can help you to plan the future calls.
Of course, always add a birthday date of important contacts. Congratulate only on a personal call, not by SMS or e-mail. Remember yourself when you have a birthday: it’s nice to hear congratulations and not read them- completely different emotions. In business, only one rule can be distinguished: you need to know the measure and understand who you should call and who shouldn’t.
Protect your contacts:
Another important thing for the effective organization of your contacts is to ensure their safety. Never share the contact information of your business contacts. Your partners can start receiving unwanted calls and spam messages. If you don’t want to lose contacts, respect them. You can share the information if your partner personally agrees or if possible cooperation will benefit both parties.
So, summarizing all the above, in order to run a successful business, it is necessary to have a well-organized base of contacts. Update all your existing contact’s data, actualize information, delete unnecessary contacts. Keep your contacts in one place, categorize them, make important notes about people, and make sure you don’t have duplicate contacts. Protect your contacts and insure yourself by making a backup of your base.