One of the main obstacles in my business was me, myself and I. I had to take a hard look at my weaknesses. I realized that I could network until my feet hurt but if I did not follow up and start closing those leads, my business would never increase. As a CEO, Chief Everything Officer, we wear many hats in our business. We are the secretary, customer service office, human resource department, book keeper, marketing specialist and the list goes on and on. We spend many days networking and passing out business cards but we never have a clear plan of action to follow up with the people we meet.
I realized I had a problem with follow up when I was searching for a clients’ contact information and noticed a pile of business cards on my desk. I am sure you know the big pile I am talking about. It has a big rubber band around it from networking events months and months ago. As I started going through the big pile of business cards I wanted to cry. One right after another, each card was a lead that asked for specific information and I had not taken the time to follow up with them. I had gotten so busy that I did not make it a priority.
If this is your story I am here to tell you that it takes a few times before you decide enough is enough. My solution was to create a plan. You have to have a clear plan to make sure you are following up with each and every lead. Each business card you get, each person you meet is a potential client. Take the time to make them a priority. There are a few inexpensive CRM (customer relationship management) systems out there that can assist you in keeping up with these potential clients. I have listed a few below that can help you automate, track and manage your leads. Start taking the time to “follow up” to increase your bottom-line.
1. Free CRMis great for contact and lead tracking, sales and contact management, sales
pipeline management and forecasting, customer service and business management.
2. Zoho.CRM is free with 3 users with most of the important features available. The free edition offers 100 MB online space.
3. Karma CRM is easy to use and stay on top of all your sales contacts, tasks and proposals. Karma also offers a mail chimp integration for mail chimp email marketing users.
4. Doorbell this CRM service allows you to track your leads centralize contacts and assign and monitor tasks. Low cost.
5. Nutshellallows you to drive leads with sales management. It also offers an iPhone app for you to take your CRM on the road.