‘The fortune’s in the follow-up.’ A hoary old business adage – which happens to be true.
So – how well do you follow-up your leads? How easily can you keep track of them? And how often (come on now, be honest) do you miss out because you forgot that last, vital call? Or – just as likely – because something came up that you couldn’t get out of?
OK – how would it be if you simply couldn’t forget to make that call? And if you could be sure it got made – even if you were otherwise engaged at the time? (Say, sipping martinis on the sundeck of a yacht in the Caribbean? Or, if it sounds more likely, up to your armpits in smelly stuff after a major plumbing malfunction? Your choice…)
Well, it’s possible. Yes, really. And the answer comes in two parts.
Part the first – managing your customers
An earlier blog looked at the value of a CRM (Customer Relations Management) system. And the advantages are very clear. Good systems can be linked in with your email and your accounts package – and even, as it happens, with the new generation of phone systems.
That means a) that you only enter client data once, in one place (as opposed to keying it in over and over again in different bits of software until boredom supervenes). And b) it means that all the information about your clients is stored together. (Which ensures that you can always find a record of what you’ve said in the past. Though you may regret promising to deliver that five-armed sprocket mount on Tuesday. Especially when you realise – on Monday – that the last one has just gone out of the door…)
Part the second – managing your time
As your business grows – and it will, if you make good use of your CRM – you will find time becomes an issue. You’ll be busy – quite possibly too busy. Not, perhaps, busy enough to take on extra staff – but quite possibly too busy to spare time for a break.
At which point it might make sense to get the help you need when – and only when – you actually need it.
And of course, you can. Because that’s where a virtual assistant can really do some good.
You’ll need one who understands your CRM system, of course – but you’ll be giving them a detailed record of all your customer interactions. Which makes it easy for them to take over – while you take that well-earned week on the beach.
And – oh yes – turn off the phone. (No, seriously. Turn off the phone. You might still just manage to save your marriage…)
As it happens, we understand (and use) pretty much all the CRM systems around at the moment. We’re also good listeners. And quick on the uptake.