Being Bruce -: Relationship Marketing Tip #6 - New Contact Strategy - Set, Implement, Run

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Relationship Marketing Tip #6 - New Contact Strategy - Set, Implement, Run

OK, so you've made a new contact, gotten their info, and actually PUT their info in one or more places (e-mail, phone, contact manager, etc.). That's all awesome! So now what are you going to do?

Some people make the assumption that if they can just get a big list, whether it's a stack of business cards, e-mail addresses, diretory listings, or even fully input contact data in a high-powered contact management program, that then their work is done. Wrong. You've got to follow up with people you meet or otherwise "acquire" and if you're going to build a healthy business (whether that means you aim for 20 clients or 20,000), success will come faster if you have a strategy for handling new contacts.

Now don't get me wrong, it's important to have a system or strategy for existing clients and contacts, for past clients, for referral sources, and for long-term relationships, but a strong start and follow up strategy for new contacts is super significant.

Your new contact strategy doesn't need to be complicated, but it's best if consistently implemented.

Here's a sample strategy:

You meet someone at a networking event, receive a referral or have e-mail or phone contact:


24 hours - acknowledge by e-mail or return phone call - just a "great to meet you" message
24-48 hours send a handwritten note or card
24-72 - decide on and communicate a time to talk or meet in person (if appropriate)
1-2 weeks - have a first meeting - it may be just to get to know each other better, to explain how your business or service works or your product line, or possibly to make a sales presentation
1 month - follow up with a call or a card or both

At that point it's time to enter your "new" contact into your long-term client relationship system.