Way back in the early 2000’s I was working as a Mortgage Broker in Sonoma County at my buddy’s mortgage company.
Now I am not the most organized person in the world, but I did have my own system of reminders for important dates, and memorization of details for important client information. I would use lots of paper, tape things to the walls, write on my white board, and I had a haphazard filing system that gave me a false sense of being well organized.
I was not using a CRM at the time and had no idea that in a few short years I would have my own CRM company.
Act! and Goldmine
I had tried to use the old stand-by CRM’s that were all software based back then: Act! And Goldmine. This was the time when you would load software on to your physical computer. There was no “cloud”, no Internet, and no Software as a Service (SaaS). I was getting pretty good at customizing Act! but I found I spent more time fiddling around with the software than really getting any benefit from it.
The Importance of CRM Reminders
A Simple CRM is the Solution
After hanging up the phone with my client, I would have logged our conversation into the CRM and set a reminder to start calling in May (a couple months before he said he was going to do the refinance).
Then I would have started sending him a monthly newsletter just to keep myself in his conscience. A newsletter is great for this purpose: once a month, my name is in front of the client, including all my contact information making it easy for the client to remember me and to reach out to me at the proper time.
CRM’s today go way beyond looking up contact information, adding notes and setting reminders. However, even the most basic CRM would have helped me retain this client.
Don’t be intimidated by all the things your CRM can do. Just make sure you are using it for the fundamental things you need in your small business marketing:
- Have a single place to put all of your client information.
- Use your online CRM software to look up client demographics
- Add notes when you talk to a client
- Use the todo system to set reminders of important events
If you commit to do just those 4 things you will be ahead of 90% of the small businesses trying to improve in the area of sales and marketing.