As times get tougher keeping track of prospects and customers becomes increasingly important.
A good customer relationship management CRM system is vital. Many people think that this means a software package. It might … but it needn't.
CRM is actually a philosophy not a software system. It is all about keeping a record of prospects and customers that will help you build a working relationship with them and help you deal with them more effectively.
For very small businesses a simple paper system might suffice. For others a simple Excel spreadsheet might be the answer.
Once you have a lot of customers, or several staff interfacing with your customers then it may be the time to consider a dedicated CRM software system.
The first decision is to decide: –
What you need to achieve
Who is going to use it
What functions they will need
Where they will use it .. in office, on road, at home etc
What they will need today and in the future
The next decision is to choose a system based on the above, price, reliability, … and a host of technical considerations.
You might also need to run an autoresponder system such as that provided by Aweber, Mailchimp, Offfice AutoPilot or one of the other simialr systems .. but that is the subject of another post.
To learn more please feel free to contact us … and we will put you in contact with some real experts in CRM systems and solutions.
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Simplicity and clarity lead to good design .. which means that Less is More
This is very true in marketing. Often we just try too hard and keep adding to our adverts, posters, leaflets, websites etc …. when really we should be spending time simplifying them.
It was poet Robert Browning, when he wrote Andrea del Sarto in 1855, that originally penned the famous phrase, Less is More. Today this adage is truer than ever. Take for example what is probably the most well known webpage in the world.
The Google homepage.
It is so simple to the extent it is to all intents and purposes a white page with a search box in the middle. This is simplicity in the extreme. But it didn't happen by accident. It is the result of thousands of hours of testing that has determined what works best for Google's customers and, by extrapolation, for Google.
The same principle applies to posters and adverts. Posters require a maximum of 25 words in most cases … and will probably work better with fewer than ten words. Likewise adverts. I've just run a series of newspaper ads (yes, they still work) but I've limited them to six words per advert.
Of course Less is More often takes more effort than writing a lot. You have to decide on your message; craft the words to be concise and very effective; spend more time on the call to action. Making things simple is actually quite time consuming.
The pay back is that the simplicity of Less is More leaves the prospect in no illusion as to your message or what they need to do. The result is an improved response rate and improved ROI.
Finding new customers takes time and effort and yet we all need to find prospects, future customers and catch up with previous customers that have moved to new pastures. Here is a LinkedIn technique to find new customers and / or contacts.
This question was asked by a photographer client who wanted to find contacts in certain sectors based in and around Coventry.
There are only Three Ways to Grow a Business and they all revolve around customers. Finding new customers and prospects, or even relocating previous customers that have moved to new companies, is the hardest one of the three.
So here is a really easy way to prospect for new contacts. Use the superb search function on LinkedIn.
Below is an example search I've just made for the CEOs of education management companies in the Coventry area.
1. Step one is to sign onto LinkedIn (or join if you aren't already a member).
2. Open the Advanced Search function – it is in the top right hand corner next to the search box
The screengrab opposite is what you will then find.
3. Add some search criteria .. I've gone for CEO in education management within 35 miles of CV1 (Coventry)
4. Within a few moments up pops the results screen with a list of people.
In this case there are 63 results…. not bad for a few moments work.
From the screen grab you can see I already know this CEO .. her profile is marked as a first level connection. I can also see who we know in common which is useful where if we hadn't known one another and I wanted an introduction from a mutual friend.
If I didn't want to contact them through LinkedIn or email I can now obtain additional info such as their website address .. and hence postal address, telephone number and email. The opportunities are wide ranging.
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