I think it’s safe to say that nearly everyone hates working on their database of clients and potentials. And that is exactly why you have to do it every single day.
It’s such an unpleasant task that if you stop, you’ll never start again. I’ve seen it time and time again — the minute you stop databasing, weeks turn into months and months turn into years, and you realize you haven’t grown your database at all.
My golden rule is ABD: Always Be Databasing. No matter how long you’ve been in business or how successful you are, to stay in the game you need to be putting new people into your database all the time. Here’s how:
- Put your clients into categories of A through E, with A being the most active and E the longest shots. Constantly work at moving those up, turning those Es into Cs and those Cs into As.
- Be proactive and create a ritual of committing to X minutes a day to databasing. Even if it’s only five minutes a day, make that entry on your calendar: 8:00 to 8:05, I’m going to find one name, I’m going to call one client, I’m going to ask for one introduction or one referral. You need to be out there asking your clients for introductions so you can keep building your database.
- Be sure you have the right names, titles and contact information for each entry. Always be taking notes when you talk to clients and prospects, and add what you’ve learned to your database right away.
- Prune your database every 30 days. It’s hard to actually remove people from your list, but it’s just as important as adding names. Understand where you want to spend your time so your key clients are right at the top of your list.
- You need an evergreen list of those who are not your key clients, people who you are not calling on a consistent basis, so you can keep your name in front of them with tailored email campaigns.
- Have a great CRM (customer relationship management) tool. There are many out there. I personally like Salesforce. It can take a while to learn, but once you do, it’s really efficient. I know some people who love com to quickly ramp up their pipeline.
Giving your database the time and attention it deserves allows you to prospect every single day. And that is thinking big!