At our Orlando advertising agency, we believe that our relationships are critical to the success of our business. One of the most important ways to make or break your business is the successful management of your contacts. Your network is the most essential path to strong business development, helping you gain new clients or strategic partnerships that can help you increase your business’s bottom line. It’s hard to keep in touch with everyone, but luckily, the BIGEYE team presents the following 5 tips on maintaining your contacts – in an effort to help maximize your business development outreach strategy.
1. Use Templates
Do you have emails styles that you send on a regular basis, such as follow-ups for coffee or birthday greetings? Use templates to help save time. Lots of CRM (customer relationship management) tools offer templates, but for my money, my favorite is the free one that I can use right through my Gmail account. Set it up by going to “Settings”and clicking “Labs,”and enabling “Canned Responses.” You can still edit the email as needed whenever you want to send it. And don’t let the feature name fool you…you can use it for your outreach efforts, too.
2. Create an Email Marketing Strategy for your Brand
It seems intuitive that if you have thousands of contacts in your database, you should be able to easily reach them by sending a regular email to update them on information they may find useful. However, you might be surprised how often people tend to overlook this easy way to connect with old contacts and facilitate referrals. Sending emails anytime you have big news, sending quarterly emails with updates and sending emails that are simply collections of useful links are all terrific ways to use email marketing for your brand.
3. Host a Dinner Party
Email marketing is great, but as we all know, nothing beats face-to-face interaction. One of the best ways to get people talking, networking and building opportunities is through a good old-fashioned dinner party. People bond through food, and by carefully designing a guest list that brings people with similar interests together, you’re not only building your network but are also offering the opportunity for them to build theirs over cocktails and delicious food. Talk about a great value proposition! If you don’t think you have a prime location to host a dinner party, ask a friend, and go in on it together.
4. Continue the Conversation on Social Media
One of the reasons I love social media is because it allows me to connect with people I may not be in contact with via email on a regular basis. When an old friend comments on a Facebook post, it reminds me that I do, in fact, have a relationship with that person, and that the person is interested in what I’m up to as well. Even if it’s hard to find time for a coffee meeting with an old friend or colleague, you can at least keep up the conversation on social, by commenting or replying to their posts and remaining in their vision. I’ve reconnected with several influential contacts as a result of a simple Facebook post, which in turn have led to new client relationships.
5. Invest in a Contacts Management Tool
Recently, a friend told me about Contactually, a tool that helps people manage their contacts and ensures important contacts don’t fall off the radar. While real estate agents have become huge advocates of this tool due to the nature of their work, it also has great implications for people who are simply interested in maintaining contact with their personal connections as well. Contactually has built-in templates and will send regular reminders for you to follow up with contacts who may have slipped through the cracks.[quote]With built-in analytics, you can keep up with your progress on a daily basis.[/quote]
At BIGEYE, we work hard to develop and maintain relationships with important contacts that in turn can also assist our clients. If you’re looking for more ways to help grow your business, contact us to schedule a meeting!