Here is one way to improve both your follow-up skills and the organization of your contacts. CATEGORIZE. That's right. If you categorize your contacts, it will make your follow-up easier as you can prioritize which categories you will follow-up with first and how you will plan your follow-up. It will also make finding your contacts easier.
As many of you know, I'm a big reader and while I was on vacation I did LOTS of reading. My new favourite book is From Business Cards to Business Relationships: Personal Branding and Profitable Networking Made Easy by Canadian Allison Graham (available on Kindle). This is a very straightforward, no nonsense, easy-to-follow and practical guide to networking (wish I had read it years ago)!
In her book, A. Graham recommends categorizing your contacts into 3-5 simple categories.
- general (family, friends, acquaintances)
- target market (niche, suspects, prospects)
- customers (past and present)
- connectors (people who will probably never be your customers but include mentors, etc.)
- random (cold call, not just your type, etc)
I love this idea as it simplifies your follow-up. Who would be your priority? Target market of course! Now that you have some simple categories, you can develop a specific action plan for each category so that you NEVER lose touch with anyone again. After all, the purpose of networking (or any marketing for that matter) is to develop & strengthen relationships so that over time, your prospects become clients!
If you would like more strategies to turn prospects into customers, be sure to opt into my website (here) and download my new FREE booklet "5 Proven Follow-Up Strategies to Turn Prospects into Customers". Happy Follow-Up!