Running a business can sometimes feel lonely, but the number of people you talk to can quickly reach the upper hundreds or thousands if you’re doing enough networking. They’re not always interested in buying today, but that’s no reason to let the memory of meeting you fade.
How do you stay in touch with everyone, without being too pushy, while continuing to actually do the work you’re hired to do?
I’m partial to spreadsheets. They’re free, easy to customize, and don’t require an internet connection to maintain. Click here to access a pre-formatted Excel workbook for tracking your customer relationships. Customize it, or just study it to choose which columns you want to add to your established set-up.
For instance, I didn’t need all the extra sales-related worksheets, so I simply added one of the above worksheets into my tried-and-true billing spreadsheet. I can link my billing sheet to the new relationship sheet to track who is sending me how much money after what sorts of sales efforts (in-person networking, mailers, ads, etc.). There are also columns for noting which of my marketing materials I’ve sent to which clients, so I don’t accidentally send the same thing twice.
This year alone, a relationship I have with one single client has already covered the cost of registering for last year’s ATA conference (where we met). A relationship I have maintained with another client has already netted me over five times what I spent to send Christmas presents to all of my 2013 clients combined—he was that happy to have received such a personal note around the holidays. I wouldn’t have known this without my tracking system!
I’m not going to lie; I don’t update this spreadsheet every day, or even every week. It’s something I do in the slow periods to keep me roughly on track. One quick data sort, and I can see who I’ve been ignoring accidentally—and so who should get an email, card, or phone call from me soon. Does it sound fussy? Maybe just a bit. Does it work? Absolutely. And it’s one less thing to juggle in my head.
How do you keep track of all your clients, potential clients, and referrers? How do you figure out what sales, marketing, and other client-hunting efforts work for you?