Don’t stop collecting names! The success of any marketing program or sales campaign will depend on the quality of names you have in your database. Linkedin, Facebook, tradeshows, or free webinars, I don’t care where they come from; you need them.
When I meet someone, I want his or her card. Everyone I meet is either a prospect, or knows of one. Both are valid reasons to keep in touch. Occasionally I meet people who don’t have a card on them, or at least claim they don’t. A simple strategy helps remove this obstacle…make sure you have something of value to pass along. If I ask you for a card, it may just mean I plan to make a sales call on you later this week, or add you to a spam list. But if I have something of value to send you, I have created justification for my request. I find people are more than happy to Link or hand me a card, as long as they see some personal benefit.
Once back in the office, I will immediately follow up, sending them whatever was promised, but don’t stop there. Periodically send them information they can use to grow their business or address some personal need. People forget over time. In my own business, I have found that a quarterly mailing works well to keep people up to date, but not overwhelmed. Too much, and they will be asking to unsubscribe, but too little, and they will soon forget.
On occasion, I will find I have not been in touch with someone, only to find that they don’t remember who I am. When I finally get around to sending an update, they reply back in an irritated sort of way, wanting to know how they got on my mailing list. I can remind them, but at this point, it is too late.
If your content is good, over time they will grow to appreciate your perspectives. Then, when you include them in one of your events (online or in person), your chances of having them participate greatly increase.
© 2011, David Stelzl