What about all those old prospects ...
A number of you may be aware my father had a hardware store. In that store in Western Sydney you could purchase everything from horse shoes
to kitchen cupboards. He would often keep a collection of articles and other items which he would go through some time later in his clean up way, I must have inherited this art of keep a bunch of
stuff thinking it would come in handy in the future.
Anyway every so often my dad would go through and clean out this collection and sort the pile into stuff to throw out and the pieces of
information he would keep and file, in his very unique method for later recollection. Over time he had built up a couple of filing cabinets of information, and in the 70;s this was a lot of paper. He
had it catalogued in such a way that when a customer asked about the item in only a couple of minutes he could recall where to purchase, and often who was the distribution company and when he last
had the rep visit his store.
Most of us do this on now on our computers. We collect names of prospects, articles where we might find new prospect names plus a whole
bunch of information we plan of getting to one day.
My dad was very successful in his store, he knew nearly all of his customers by first name, employed over 10 people in the store each
Saturday morning and had a recall and systems for keeping customers coming back because of the service he offered. If you wanted anything to do with hardware my dad would source it for you in double
quick time. This was mainly due to his information system and knowing just where he put it even though it might have been a couple of years earlier.
Often when deciding what to keep or throw out he would give each piece due consideration or if a customer might ask for it in the coming months, or even years because in
those days there was a reliance on the visiting sales rep to keep one up to speed. I don’t know how he knew but he did if he was going to be asked for it in the future.
So now in the 21st century
How many of us have our own tower of information buried in in-trays, in filing cabinets or in our computer databases? A pile of missed
opportunities because we didn’t follow up or stay in touch well enough or for a million other reasons, that so many potential opportunities can slip through our fingers.
Relationships really are one of the simplest things we can learn to do well in business. Yes, they take effort, but they don’t cost us
anything. We can spend thousands of dollars on marketing and advertising and branding that gets us nowhere. The statistics tell us that it’s 5 to 8 times cheaper to keep an existing client than
to try and market to new ones and yet, we continue to do this.
When all we need to do is learn to connect and build strong lasting relationships. To be consistent and stay in touch regularly. I urge you
to take a look through your pile of opportunities and turn it from mediocrity into excellence by picking up the phone and following up. By booking a time to catch up face to face and connect with
past clients and new ones. And then recording this into your database.
You might be surprised at the results ...