‘The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%’ – Marketing Metrics.
Contact databases and why you need them:
Do you keep a record of your customers contact details? Or retain contact information received from potential customers/clients? Perhaps you go to business networking meetings regularly and find you have ended up with a large quantity of business cards?
As business owners, we meet potential clients every day and if we are able to obtain their details, we can utilise this information to keep in touch with them and promote our business. Even existing and past clients can be useful as a source to recommend you to people they know.
Compiling a database is not difficult, although it is much easier if you start one as soon as you begin to collect names and addresses, as you can then just add to your database as you go along. Of course, when you are running a business, this sort of task will usually be placed at the bottom of your ‘to do pile’ and this is understandable. I am often handed a carrier bag of business cards by clients who have felt daunted at the thought of creating a contact database. Once the database is set up though, the client is able to add to it as and when they have a few minutes to spare.
What is a database? A database is basically a list but one that is designed to offer an organised mechanism for storing, managing and retrieving information. In other words, you could use it to list clients according to their source, whether they are existing or past clients or prospects. You could even break the information down further, for example one of the databases I have set up for a client includes the dates of their clients wedding anniversaries and birthdays.
Uses for a database: The most common reason businesses create databases is to enable them to keep in touch with their customers/clients. For instance, if you have a special offer which you would like to promote, you could send details to all the people listed on your database, either by email or post. If the offer was for new clients only, then you could target these using the information entered on your database. The possibilities are really endless!
To get started, if you are not already doing so, ask your clients to provide you with their email or postal address so that you can keep in touch with them, most people will be happy to do this. Don’t forget those valuable business cards either. For beginners, Excel is a useful tool as it allows you to list and categorize information across several sheets within a document called a workbook. It will also allow you to sort the data.
Once you have created your database you should have all the relevant information at your fingertips to enable you to keep in touch with your clients/business contacts and don’t forget to add new contacts so that it is kept up to date
P.S. If you would like help with setting up a database please contact me at Ty Cae PA & Office Services