There are three truths to your database: a powerful database produces leads; a powerful database managed by a powerful schedule produces a predictable flow of leads; and only with a predictable flow of leads can you expect a predictable flow of business. This means that the size of your database will impact the size of your bank account.
With this in mind, I have five ways to make your database work for you!
1. GET THE RIGHT CRM
A Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is a program designed to manage your database of client relationships. CRMs make customer information easy to handle and can help improve service and strengthen relationships. Mailings, emails, telemarketing, and customer service activities are much more straight-forward when you have instant access to the contact details of all your customers and prospects and information about all your dealings with them. Select a CRM that fits your budget and organizational structure.
What are some important features you should look for? Simplicity, ease of integration with existing tools, mobile access, and analytics.
2. DETERMINE HOW YOU’LL ORGANIZE YOUR DATABASE
In your CRM, create placeholders for the various categories or groups into which you’ll organize all of your contacts. Doing so allows you to send targeted, relevant communications to each of the audiences (based on demographic/interest) in your database.
Begin with the people you know and who know you—these are your Mets, or Sphere of Influence. This includes family, friends, neighbors, former coworkers, school mates, team mates, etc. This group is your source of new business, repeat business, and referrals. You can sort your Mets into even more detailed categories—such as by neighborhood, hobbies and interests, or life stages. The more targeted you classify your database, the more personal you can be with your communications.
Add Haven’t Mets—people who don’t know you… yet! You will connect with them to ask about helping with their real estate needs. This group is a source of new business and might be a demographic area you’re wanting to farm.
Add Referrals—Remember, you’ll be asking everyone from your Mets group for a name, or several names, of people they know who may be thinking of buying or selling in the near future. Referrals may be hot leads and are golden.
3. PUT ALL OF YOUR CONTACTS IN YOUR CRM
Add contacts from every source—phone, email, spreadsheets, business cards, sticky notes, receipts, you name it. Every person with whom you have any interaction should be in a database, not in a stack of sticky notes or business cards. You might want to time-block to do this. Then, purge duplicates and invalid contacts. Remember: garbage in/garbage out. Inaccurate or incomplete contact data will not make a positive impact on your marketing campaigns, and will waste your precious time and dollars. You want your database to be a well-maintained, efficient machine.
4. CREATE A SCHEDULE TO NURTURE YOUR DATABASE
Your database isn’t just a book of names, it’s a book of your relationships, which are alive and need nurturing. Like a garden, your database needs to be tended to, pruned, weeded, and fed. Make it a habit to interact with your database in a meaningful way every day. You want to make sure each touch includes something of value, even if it is just a link to an article. Meaningful interactions don’t have to cost anything!
Need a reason to reach out and “touch” a person in your database?
Are you missing any contact info for them (e.g., their mailing address)? Call and ask for it.
Do they have an upcoming anniversary date?
Has it been longer than 6 months since you’ve last been in touch with them? Put these in a high-priority group and work through the list in alphabetical order. Work on it every day, until you’ve contacted everyone.
News stories of interest to your audience
The goal is to stay in dialogue with your contacts regularly enough so that you are top of mind if and when they decide to buy or sell!
5. FEED IT EVERY DAY
While in Ignite, students are challenged to add 10 new contacts to their database every day and students in BOLD are tasked with adding an even higher number. Make it a habit to add every new contact immediately to your database and put them on a relevant touch campaign. You should also be asking for business and referrals from your existing database. This is the benefit of having a mobile CRM. Constantly lead generate to acquire good, healthy contacts.
Change your mindset to adding to your database every single day—not just when you meet someone. Create the habit. This is what takes you from E to P.