Maximize Your Time and Communications with Technology
Remember playing Go Fish? Sometimes networking events are a little like playing Go Fish with business cards. You leave the meeting with a stack of cards representing connections that might turn into clients, partners, coaches or catalysts. Back at the office, they are placed in the Drawer of Good Intentions, joining all the other cards you’ve collected.
The vault of unrealized potential falls victim to your demanding schedule. All the fruitful conversations that lead to loyal collaborations and transformative relationships remain locked up and isolated from the opportunity to become new business referrals and long-term clients.
We get it – you’re busy, life happens, and some days, time and energy are rare commodities when the pace of business picks up. What can you do?
Use Templates to Optimize your Business Card Library
It sounds cold, but automating the way you manage your business relationships can streamline the process and the right systems can free up your time for the important things in life. The key is to create documents and turn them into templates you can use to set up automated communications. This method conveys your message in a timely and efficient way without antiquated and cumbersome manual tasks.
Won’t that look like a Form Letter? No. Well, it won’t if you follow some simple guidelines we have for you. The idea is to create a common communication model that you can customize before sending out your next email. For example, when you first meet someone, send them a “Nice to meet you” message referencing a networking meeting or event you attended. A month later, you follow up with a “Thought you’d be interested in seeing this” message that references a news article relevant to their business.
Using templates reduces the amount of time you invest in building relationships with your new (and older) connections. Templates provide a blueprint but to guard against the form letter mentality you will acknowledge a unique facet of the conversation you had with each person.
Use Automation to Optimize your Communications
Executed properly, technology transforms time-consuming manual tasks into seamless, automated professional communications with your clients. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system allows you to efficiently capture information (like a business card), integrate it into your contact database and send a personalized introduction to someone you just met. Is it just a dream? No, it’s something you can do with the right strategy and tools to get it done. Sync a business card scanning app to your CRM, select a routine for that contact, and automated, personalized and consistent emails are a reality.
Personalization is Critical to Success
Remember, the essence of relationship-building is personal. Your messages should sound genuine, reflecting your brand’s personality while maintaining the context of your interaction with each person. Here are our best tips for using technology to maintain your relationships:
- Include specific details from your conversation to show that you were engaged and remember what they said.
- Refer to something you noticed on their business card to show that you are interested in what they do. Do some research and relate it to their industry or role.
- Ask a question to show that you are interested in continuing the conversation with them. Make a helpful suggestion or offer a coffee meeting to learn more about them.
Here are some pitfalls you’ll want to avoid:
- Don’t go overboard. If you send too many messages, they may become annoyed and ignore you altogether. When people feel bombarded, they hit the delete button.
- Don’t use generic messages. Even though you’re using templates and automated messages, personalize them so they see individualized comments or information.
- Don’t use technology as a substitute for building relationships. Automation helps you manage communications more efficiently, but it doesn’t replace your personal touch.
It’s Not a Contest – But You Can Win!
Your objective is not to see how many business cards you can collect, rather you are building a network of contacts that have the potential to grow into valuable relationships, referrals and hopefully business partnerships. Here is a summary of the steps you can take:
- Invest in a CRM system with a business card scanning app to organize your contacts and automate interactions with them.
- Create communication templates customized for each connection point with someone. Start with a follow-up from your first meeting then create subsequent contact points to touch base and remind them of your business.
- Incorporate personalization and authenticity to avoid the form letter mentality.
- Provide value to your connections with consistent messages relevant to their business.
Managing a large network of connections can be overwhelming so use technology to simplify and streamline the task. Using automation and templates helps you capture those significant contacts and turn a drawer-full of business cards into a gold mine of opportunities that will put that vault to better use.
Do you want to free up your time to close more deals? Reach out to us!