Contact management is a way of doing business
Contact management is more than just a list of names, phone numbers, and email addresses. It’s actually an approach, a mindset, and a way of doing business. It’s the commitment to learn about your contacts over time, build relationships with them, and keep in touch. A contact management system (or CRM) is the technology tool that lets you practice effective contact management.
In this article, I’ll address three things you might not know about contact management systems.
1. Microsoft Outlook Just Doesn’t Cut It
Outlook is a great email client, sure. But is it an effective contact management system or CRM? Not exactly. With Outlook, you can’t search and filter your contacts across multiple groups, easily send out personalized mass emails, view email analytics, and/ or automate your email marketing. For a busy business professional, Outlook has a lot of shortcomings.
If you’re refusing to pay for a CRM because you believe Outlook is sufficient, you may want to think again because a CRM will prove extremely valuable to your business. In fact, the return on investment (ROI) is tremendous.
Let’s say you’re a REALTOR®. In order to grow your business, you need to keep in touch with everyone in your database. You also need to stay organized and proactive.
Keeping in touch involves perhaps sending out a monthly real estate newsletter, setting your contacts up on drip email marketing campaigns, and scheduling phone calls and face to face meetings. Staying organized involves managing your listings and buyers from one place, viewing tasks and appointments related to a specific contact or listing, and following Listing and Closing Activity Plans (or Action Plans). All of this is hard or impossible to do with Microsoft Outlook alone.
2. Email Marketing is a Critical Component
Great contact management systems have powerful email marketing capabilities built-in. When people think of a CRM, they often think of names in a database and being able to filter and group those names.
But it’s much more than that. It’s the ability to send out beautiful monthly real estate newsletters via email, convert leads into customers with pre-designed, highly effective marketing campaigns, and generate awareness of your services by sending out Just Listed and Just Sold e-Cards and e-Flyers.
And one of the best things about it all is that you are not designing the newsletters, e-cards, e-flyers, and marketing campaigns. It’s all done for you, which means no time or extra cost commitment.
3. Your Only Tangible Asset
For many professionals, such as Realtors, their contacts database is their only tangible asset. Successful agents making six figures can sell a well-managed contacts database upon retirement for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you’re nurturing the clients and leads in your database and building strong relationships with them over time, you’ll get clients coming back to use your services time and again and referrals will flow your way. You can say goodbye to cold calling and prospecting all day.
If you’re serious about growing and managing your career properly, you’ll want to adopt a CRM into your business. It’ll help you get that “easy business” or “low-hanging fruit” – referrals and repeat transactions from past clients. If you weren’t well informed on what contact management systems are all about before reading this article, I hope you now have some food for thought.