I hope its obvious but, to be sure its understood, I try not to use this blog to shamelessly promote SalesNexus’ CRM services, which is my day job.
However, when the “godfather of modern networking”, Ivan Misner, lays the pitch up there, I just have to take a swing!
The concept is simple and can be followed using paper note cards. Just jot down the real business results that come from referrals so that you can refer back to them and know who referred you good business and who referred you dead weight.
So, if you sell telecom services and you network with a IT outsourcing sales person, you would have a card for your IT contact and write down the referral he/she gives you and then what results from each referral. You could also write down the things you do to “nurture” the IT contact as a referral source – referrals you give them, tips on good deals, etc.
Yes. Absolutely. If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a bent toward technical things. So, I’m hoping that the question going through your mind is “Why not use a database to track this stuff?”
Well, THAT is an EXCELLENT question!
Of course, if you put your contacts in a database and flag each of them as either sales prospects, referral sources, etc., then record which prospects came from which referral source and which prospects turned into good clients, you can produce a list of your most profitable referral sources with just a couple of clicks.
That’s all well and good but, where it gets real interesting is in being able to use that list to send special emails to or setting yourself reminders to call those contacts more frequently, etc.
These things are just scratching the surface of what most contact management or CRM systems can do.
What I find frustrating is that sales people don’t buy these system, management does. And management buys them for entirely different reasons and then neglects to show the sales team how they could benefit from the system, while management gets what they want too.
Its a very lucky business owner or sales executive that has one or more sales people on their team that just have a knack for figuring out how to leverage these systems for their own good. They sort it out and the rest of the team can learn from them.
Management gets a lot more out of CRM system if the sales team is using it because they want to, because it helps them sell more.
And it really is just as simple as Mr. Misner describes. As Bo Jackson said, “Just do it!”