From A Rep's Perspective

Mike Root

Going through my contact list

August 24, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great if every time the job status of someone on your contact list updated, your contact list automatically updated. Some could argue that’s what social media platforms are all about. Once a person changes a job they change their status on Linked In, and the whole world knows.

But for that to be effective, two things must happen. First, the person must actually go in and change their status. If they wait a year, what good does that do you in trying to keep in touch? And second, the salesperson who can use the information must actually know that the information has been changed and this prospect or customer has moved on. In other words you need to pay attention.

This morning I started going through my contact list manually. I had in mind a project for yearend that I wanted to identify likely prospects. But that simple little task turned into a four hour project. What I got caught up in is how out of date my database had become in just six months time.

People switched jobs, and their information either needs to be updated or removed from the list. Factories with no existing relationship can be eliminated. People who have retired no longer need to be on the list or at least not with old corporate info. And unfortunately those that are no longer working because of sickness or death can also be removed.

I spent considerable time making sure as much of the information was current as I could. If you are in sales and communication is important, taking the time to keep a good list is vital.

I found while working the list that there is one very important element no database company will be able to replicate. The ability for you the salesperson to actually have eyes on the list and think about what each contact means to you. As I reviewed my list I was able to eliminate several contacts because either their business model or mine had changed and what I offer is no longer relevant to them. LinkedIn or a virtual assistant working on Outlook will never be able to add the value to a list like a professional salesperson. You know who the prospects are, what they like to buy as well as those that are no longer a prime contact for you.

The really cool benefit of updating my list was seeing who was on the list that I had not spoken to for a while. I made notes to follow up as time permits and see if there is anything I can do to help them. Much like they have been out of my recent thoughts, I suspect without me reminding them who I am and what I offer, I am probably not top of mind for them either. They may be looking for the exact thing I am offering, but because I have not reached out to them in while they may not know I can help.

With summer winding down, now is a perfect time to take a look at you updated customer list. Check in with old and new contacts. See what they need and how you can help. It will be time well spent.

As always feel free to leave any positive comments below. Have a great Labor Day holiday. Hopefully it will be the start of a robust end of the year for furniture sales.

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