Finding regular clients and keeping them happy at all times is the main goal of marketing. But how do you build a solid reliable contacts database? Do you actually have a proper system in place to follow-up with and manage your contacts or do you just wait for other to contact you? Unfortunately, 75% or more of our contact list remain uncontacted!
Here are some tips that you can follow to turn your contacts into viable business contracts:
1) Prepare effective marketing materials that you can use to present and promote yourself to others. This may include press release, bio, profile, business cards, etc. Whatever you choose to use, make it memorable to form strong lasting relationships.
2) Include any offer or benefit in terms of services that you can offer to add value and meet relevant or specific needs. This may be a free service, publication, check, training workshop, etc. Be available to answer questions, respond to comments and engage with others.
3) Establish and strengthen your online presence to let others know what you do, why they should choose you and how to contact you. Build your profile on social media, professional networks, directories, databases, etc.
4) Be presentable, professional and polite at all times. Remember that others will only remember you and will want to work with you for your personality and attitude. Be confident, courteous and personable.
5) Avoid cold calling. Instead, build a personal and professional relationship with others by interacting with others, meeting them, exchanging resources and information, etc. Remember that as human beings, we like to form relationships with those who they know and trust.
6) Do not rely on just the few contacts that you have. Build an effective database gradually and continue to expand your network. Know the type of contact that you would like to work with and source them accordingly.
7) Spend some time, resources and effort working on your business rather than just working in your business. Attend different events, contribute to projects, participate in activities, take initiative, etc.
8) Search potential contacts and research their needs. Make use of different directories, databases, search engines, referrals, social media, professional networks, etc. Figure out what their requirements and expectations are. Introduce and offer your services.
9) Get to know your contacts better. Understand their business, services, offerings, audience, online presence, publications, etc. Follow their posts, articles, blogs, etc and offer constructive comments, feedback and advice for further improvements.
10) Look for opportunities among current and existing contacts. This can lead to referrals and word-of-mouth, which are commonly a very effective marketing tool. Demonstrate the value of your work to others. Even the smallest of projects can showcase and promote some of your skills.
11) Relate relevant facts and findings to contacts to offer the right services to the right audience. Every pitch must be different, relevant and catered to the specific contact.
12) Follow-up regularly and send frequent updates to inform your contacts of new developments and remind them of your availability.
Remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of your contact that matters. It is best that you leave a networking event, business function or social gathering carrying only a couple of business cards of good contacts that you have made rather than leave with dozens of contacts who may not even remember your name!