Sales people use CRM solutions (client relations management) to keep track of leads, to work on prospects, and to service customers. There are all kinds of software products that allow you to manage your sales process. However, another way you can use this technology is to make sure that you’re treating your relationships well, or at least that you’re checking in on some kind of reasonable frequency.
We all intend to stay in touch with people, but are we doing it? I know I’m not. So, one of my efforts in 2011 is to make sure that I connect a little more often with people outside of the social media channel. There are a few ways to do it.
Google Spreadsheet – Free/Easy
You can use Google Docs and just write down the list of folks you hope to connect with over the year, and then just keep jotting down in the columns when you do, what you talked about, etc.
But I’m lazy and that idea would take a lot of work and a lot of remembering.
BatchBook – Inexpensive – Easier
I use BatchBook, a CRM solution web app that’s inexpensive and that’s pretty simple to populate. One thing it has is the ability to sort by one or several kinds of “tags,” so that when I want to remember to ping Whitney Hoffman, it will say, “media, law, insidecircle, philly, podcamp, podcaster, blogger,” and a few other tags. When I plan to connect with people in Philadelphia, Whitney’s name will come right up.
See how nifty that can be?
No Matter How You Do It – Do It
Relationships are the lifeblood of a human business. If you’re not looking for ways to keep up connections with people you think matter, then they will deteriorate and fall away. Not only will you lose a few friends just due to the crush of it all, but you’ll lose some potential business relationships this way, as well. Keeping connections alive is a great deal of why we’re doing all this.
I have plenty of room for improvement. I’m going to do my best in 2011. How are you handling your own personal relationship management?