It recently dawned on me — I’m a lot more than a New Business Developer and Account Supervisor. I’m the one person at BBR solely dedicated to maintaining strong relationships with every client we serve. Since that realization, I’ve given myself a third title — Client Relationship Manager.
In some cases, that means I personally cultivate a one-on-one relationship with a particular client. In other cases, I mentor staff to make sure they maintain strong relationships and are serving clients well. I also facilitate communication activities to stay in touch with each of our clients and stakeholders regarding the work we do for them, the services we offer and the value we deliver. In all cases, it is my strong desire to remain in touch and relevant to those we serve.
As Client Relationship Manager, I meet weekly with clients to discuss their marketing challenges. Our initial meetings always begin with one question, “Do you have a contact management database?” And if the answer is no, I ask what they are using to manage relationships. I’m continually amazed by the percentage of firms lacking real contact management systems to help effectively plan, track and manage client and prospect relationships. These firms have no physical addresses, email addresses or phone numbers for past clients, affiliates, influencers or prospects. Upon further probing, I often find that they do have some of this content — in stacks of business cards, on scrap pieces of paper or buried in old Excel files stored on a past salesperson’s computer. But one consolidated, functioning database? Nope.
Having a robust contact management system is a basic staple of marketing. It’s like having salt and pepper in the kitchen, soap in the bathroom, sheets on the bed. Put simply — it’s a necessity. It’s the secret to growing your own community centered on your business, like an extended neighborhood of friends, affiliates, vendors, influencers, past clients, present clients and prospects. These are the people you share all of your good news with, the folks that talk you up to their friends, the clients most likely to offer you business, the people who love you.
Communicating with this group through telephone calls, email, e-newsletters, letters, cards and direct mail is the way you share information about the services you offer, how you are growing, and who you are working with. It cultivates word-of-mouth exposure, and positions your brand in the minds of the people that matter. Your contact management system is built on the people who have the power and inclination to refer business to you and do business with you. Staying in touch is key to doing good work.
If you are interested in finding a system that works for your business, check out one of these great, affordable software solutions. Click here for a comparison of the top 10 leading contact management software applications.
Let me know what you select and how you like it. I’d love to hear from you. [email protected]