At a networking event, during a business meeting, or even in the grocery store, we get business contacts. The contact could be sent by text, written on a napkin or copied on a post-it. There’s also that stack of business cards from years past. Organizing contacts is a priority for your business.
Customer information and vendors are important contacts for all small businesses. When we meet with or receive a call from a potential client, it’s important to capture this information right away. When we receive a recommendation for an outstanding vendor, we want to be able to keep this information until needed. You want to easily store and access contacts for your business.
There are lots of business cards we receive. Not all are important to keep. Make a note and write the date on your cards so you remember the reason you found this contact valuable. If it’s a recommended vendor, write the name of the person who recommended this service provider. It will make it much easier to know which cards to keep.
A call or email from a client shows a high level of interest in doing business together. Even if not ready right away to work together, you want to retain their contact information. When a client contacts me, I record their name, cell phone, business phone, email and snail mail address on paper first. As soon as possible I transfer this information to my smart phone and Outlook. If I receive an email, I add this information right away with just a few clicks. To me all clients who have contacted me directly are keepers. It sometimes may require a little phone tag or messages, but we connect and set a plan in motion.
It’s important to choose one consolidated spot for your information. There are lots of options, including Google, Outlook, Yahoo or a CRM (customer relationship management software.) Your decision may depend on your tech savvy-ness and the number of contacts you have.
- You can pair Gmail and Google docs for a CRM system.
- You can sync your Outlook contact and email account with your smart phone to have consistent access to your contacts. Remember to back up your Outlook regularly to keep up with your information.
- Yahoo offers an online contact manager you can use to store all your contact information about individuals and companies. It’s cloud based, so accessible anywhere.
- Create an Excel spreadsheet with your contact’s snail mail address, email address, business phone and cell phone.
- Download an iPhone app or android app on your smart phone to keep contacts.
Start with a good foundation for your contacts, but also use a solution that can expand as your business grows.
Consolidating all the data
You may have realized that you have several different places for contacts. Think of baby steps you can use to consolidate the data.
- Add contacts 10 at a time from business cards, post-its, or scraps of paper.
- Check other email inboxes and move contact information over.
- Immediately add a contact sent by text using your smart phone features.
- Search your inbox and use signature lines to add contacts.
- Add clients and vendors one at a time as you are contacted by email.
- Enter vendors at the time you receive their reference from the person recommending.
- Use a NeatDesk to add business cards quickly to your database.
Organized business contacts means more money for your business and less stress for you! Never miss an opportunity again by having your contacts at your finger tips. Take time this week to get started on organizing business contacts.