If you run a small business, you probably have several email accounts, phone numbers, and social media accounts. As your business grows, keeping tabs on your contacts – whether customers or suppliers – can be an uphill task when you do not have a solution to help you do that. There is always a high risk of losing some crucial business relationships when you are not tracking and organizing your contacts. If you have not started organizing your contact list organized, here are five tips to help you get started:
1. Put your Contacts in a Central Place
When you decide to organize your contacts, the first thing you need to do is to get all the contact details you have in a single place. Whether you have the contacts on an address book or a spreadsheet, ensure that you centralize the contacts – including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and social media details – so that you have everyone in a single place.
The best way to do this is to find a contact solution like SyncGal that allows you to sync contact details from various sources. If you have no way of applying technology in pulling all your contacts to a single place, you can do it manually by creating a paper address book or spreadsheet – which is a tedious and time-consuming process.
2. Place the Contacts in Categories
The contacts you have on your list will differ in various aspects. As such, it will be helpful to categorize them into groups based on the commonalities they have. For instance, in your business, you will have contacts that are customers, others are suppliers while others would-be partners or investors. You could establish these categories and place each contact where they fit best.
When categorizing your contacts, it is important that you consider aspects such as the importance and strength of the relationship you have with them. You also need to consider aspects such as their location, contact details, and companies they work for and the last time you communicated with them. Paying attention to these details will enable you to decide whether you want to retain them on your contact list or not.
3. Put Labels on your Contacts
Labeling your contacts enables you to navigate through your contact list with ease. For instance, it makes it easier for you to determine who you need to follow up. The best way to label your contacts is to use key terms that make it easy to search the contact list fast. There are several approaches you can use to label your contacts. The first approach is by business relationships. You can use business contact labels for people you need to follow up on. Even so, it is best that you only place only business contacts that you have strong connections with or those that you contact frequently in your business labels. You can also have an acquaintance label for contacts that don’t communicate with frequently.
4. Take Note of the Last Date of Contact
When organizing your business contact list, you need to consider the last time you communicated with your contacts. Maintaining a communication log can go a long way in helping you know when you should follow up with your contacts. It also enables you to know whether your business networking schedules are on track or they have been overtaken by time. Communicating with your contacts on a regular basis enables you to nurture business leads even build better relationships with your business contacts.
5. Secure your Contact Lists
When you get contact details from customers or other contacts that matter to your business, ensure that you keep them safe. This will ensure that they do not end up receiving numerous sales calls or spam emails from people they don’t know just because they gave you their contacts.
As a matter of business ethics, do not give contact details that have been entrusted to you by your customers, suppliers, partners, or investors to third parties unless they allow you to do that. Securing your contact lists could mean encrypting them with a contact solution or keeping them in a place where access is limited. Whichever way you choose to do it, respect your contacts by observing privacy to avoid losing them.
But even as you keep your contact list, you need to ensure that your business is able to communicate with its contacts effectively. The best way to do this is to share the contact list with your staff. Doing this will simplify workflows within the business and will give your business contacts pleasant experiences.
Don’t put your employees in a position where they have to ask for contacts any time they need to contact customers, suppliers, other staff, freelancers, and others. Instead, improve your communication efficiency by making it easier for your team to contact each other and contact your clients. The best way to do this is to give your employees access to the business’s updated contact list.