While we may live in the technological and digital world, we’ve become more and more disconnected to the personal approach in building business relationships. While we need to use technology to make ourselves more efficient and productive, it shouldn’t replace the human, personal touch to build better business relationships.
The question becomes how do you use technology and still be personal at the same time to build solid relationships in business? Your database is the one central hub that allows you to use technology as an efficient way to reach out at a personal level and communicate with those you’d like to stay connected to.
The challenge for most business professionals is how to use their database and organize their database to relate personally. Choosing a database system becomes a little confusing today, as there are many choices to select from. All systems have pros and cons associated with their ease of use, training, costs and application. The system you choose needs to allow you to do the following:
- Ability to enter basic contact information and track and sort via name, address, phone, city,state and email.
- Ability to enter and sort by the title and function of your key contacts and relationships.
- Ability to categorize your contacts according to specific types (client, prospect, referral source, distributor, contact, supplier, key relationships, connections of influence, etc.).
- Ability to segment your contacts and give your relationships a hierarchy of their importance to you and your business (best clients, hot prospects, most important referral sources, A-B-C-D,etc.)
- Ability to provide a field of information as to how you met the relationship or how the contact came to know you and was entered into the database.
- Ability to track and profile personal information and preferences to build and enhance the relationship (birthdays, spouse and family information, personal preferences, hot buttons, likes and dislikes).
- Ability to code, track and measure prospects through the sales channel and pipeline.
- Have a calendaring system to pinpoint follow up dates, follow through and action items.
- Ability to make notes on items of importance to build and connect with relationships over time.
- Ability to group and categorize contacts into other sections that allow you to customize your message to an array of groups and associations.
- Ability to set up recurring touch points to keep connected with contacts and relationships.
- Ability to keep track of referral partners and strategic alliances for referrals and connections.
- Ability to use an integrated email-send-system that complies with the CAN-SPAM Act for blasting out permission based email communication.
Whatever system you choose needs to help you relate and communicate in a systematic and organized fashion. I always tell my clients that you need to have a system in how you communicate, interact and engage with your contacts, but never let them know they are part of a system to staying in touch.
Added by Debra Simpson…check here for information on email services…..
Michelle Bergquist is the author of “How to Build a Million Dollar Database,” a business book that is quickly becoming the expert authority on how to build a database full of priceless connections and business relationships. As business consultant, national speaker and corporate trainer to companies and associations throughout the United States, Bergquist entertains and educates small groups, conference attendees and large corporate audiences. — Michelle can be reached at 800-438-6132.