Getting to Smile and Dial mode with Contact Management System

by | Jul 25, 2008

Getting to Smile and Dial mode with Contact Management System

Contact Management System – My wife is one of the least organized people I know.  That’s not a slam, its a fact.  She and I are polar opposites in countless ways and we’ve decided that’s, of course, what keeps our relationship sizzling!

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I’ve tried to encourage her to use various time management and organization techniques and systems in her Real Estate business over the years with almost zero success.  Its just not her style.  Its her style I love, not her organizational proficiency…

In these moments of gentle suggestions or outright brow beating, I’ve become educated as to why and how some people resist “getting organized”.

Its just not their style.  If you’re even mildly successful at what you do, then you don’t want to mess with a good thing.

If you’re in sales and you make hand written notes on business cards, napkins, scraps of paper and your hand, it may be working for you.

So when someone says you ought to get a contact database going, you see a bunch of keypunch work and a change in your methods.  Both inspire discomfort, fear, sweating, fidgeting and occasionally a “Hell No!”

When your friends, colleagues, boss or spouse encourage you to get your client list into some sort of database system, the benefits they extoll are usually things like scheduling call reminders so you don’t forget a follow up call or an appointment, keeping notes about key clients and even things like using the list for email blasts and direct mail campaigns.

In today’s totally connected world, these things are more valuable than ever.  You’re computer can’t help you connect with someone that’s not in your computer.

But here’s the nugget my lovely wife has taught me…

Your “style” of doing what you do is part of the very essence of you.  If you’re not the keypunch, organize it type, then your strengths probably have much more to do with your people skills.  People LIKE you.  That’s your biggest asset.  No way you would want to mess with that.  If you start killing yourself typing names into a computer, you might not be quite the happy, jovial, friendly person you are today.

But all this still comes back to a foundational truism of sales…  Greater success lies in maximizing the time you spend interacting with prospects and clients.  If your people skills are your strength, then its even “truer”.

Then there’s also the way success begets success.  Its true on a macro scale.  Close your first really big deal and somehow more big and bigger deals seem to start showing up.  Its also true on a day to day basis.  When you have a good promising call that gets your juices flowing, you’re going to be totally glowing on your next call.

So, all this is what I think makes using a contact management system so cool for EVERY sales person.  Instead of spending several minutes between each call shuffling through papers, cards and notes to figure out who to call or what you need for the call, anyone can get their call list into Outlook or any “real” contact management system and get into what I like to call “Smile and Dial” mode.

By having all the contact information (phone, title, email, etc.), and just maybe some notes or detail fields about each client, in your contact management system and your call reminders all queued up in a “Task List”, you don’t have to search for info before each call.

The result is you minimize the time between dials and between actual conversations.  This let’s you stay in “on mode”.  Its like when you’re at a party and every-one’s attention seems to be focused on you.  You turn on your charm naturally.

So you dial the phone and leave a message, then dial again and talk to a secretary who tells you when to call back, then dial again and get a prospect on the phone and have a constructive conversation, then leave a couple more messages within a minute or two, then get another prospect on the phone and you’re still buzzing from the first call.  And this builds and builds.

Plus the fact you’re knocking out your follow up calls in an hour or two where they currently take half the day and seem sort of like a distraction or hassle in themselves.  They’re not a hassle or distraction and shouldn’t feel that way.  They’re the most important part of your sales pipeline.

More calls means more business.  More enthusiasm and “on-ness” in those calls means a LOT more business.

OK, that’s enough.  My wife’s getting that look!

To see how to get into Smile and Dial mode, join us any Wednesday at 2pm EST here.