It’s almost April of 2019 and I want to give you a big thank you for seeing the need to completely overhaul my contact database.
Before you began your journey into cleaning up my contacts, I was a mess. I would set my sights on a portion of my rotation, plan what my topics were going to be, and strategize my time. I was going to kill it.
But then I’d get to my first contact and realize there were three of them with the same name – all with different numbers and addresses. Did this person work at a bank that had multiple locations? My notes were no help, since it seems I’d mostly forgotten to make notes at all.
So I’d call the first number. It’s disconnected. Okay…at least one third of the mystery is solved.
Then I’d call the second number. It was a financial advisor, but one I’d never heard of. I’d fumble through the conversation with the advisor’s assistant and ask about the guy I was trying to call, only to find out he had moved offices 18 months ago. Holy smokes…was that how long it had been since I’d called this group of people? I’d feebly ask if I could meet this new advisor during my next visit, but I’d already made a pretty bad impression on the assistant and I would be given an equally feeble excuse as to why he couldn’t meet.
Fine. The third number must be it, so I’d dial the phone and be greeted by a friendly administrator. I’d introduce myself and she’d say she’d always had good experiences with my company, so she’d put me through to my prospect. I’d get a little excited to finally get someone on the phone when a booming voice would invariably say, “So…you decided to surface, huh?”
That inadvertent 18-month came back to bite me. I didn’t mean to be such an irregular visitor…I honestly had no idea it had been that long! Hadn’t I just been there in…um…well…never mind.
I found that kind of scenario happening over and over again. I’d lie to myself and say, “I’ll remember that she only meets with wholesalers on Wednesdays,” or “I am sure I won’t forget that he is allergic to seafood and remember to not suggest sushi for lunch,” but inevitably, I’d forget and stick my foot in my mouth.
I partnered with Executive Scheduling Associates in October with the hopes of getting this data mess under control. I was sold on their service when they told me that their schedulers are specially trained to update data as they make calls.
Using the custom databases they build for every client, my scheduler eliminated duplicate contacts (including the three mentioned above that I never did update in my own database), noted channels (and if there are multiple locations), verified addresses, added new advisors as they were hired and made sure it was clear when I met last with each person.
My contacts were grouped into geographic zones with sub-zones that are used to keep my drive times to 30 minutes or less. I spend so much less time fighting traffic and more time with my clients.
The best part about it is that my scheduler does all of this as she’s calling through my lists. I didn’t have to wait weeks or months for someone to clean up my data. They took what I had and simply organized it and made it better.
My calendar has never been fuller and I’ve never been more productive.
So my hat’s off to you, you wise and handsome 2018 wholesaler. Thank you for seeing a need and deciding to take care of the problem by using the best service available.
With big hugs and mad props,
Your 2019 Self
What's your biggest data roadblock? Tell us in the comments below.