By now you’ve done it all. The garage has never been more organized. All of the spring cleaning that you have put off for the last 10 years has been done, not out of necessity, but because it is the only thing keeping you sane during this COVID-19 pandemic. Your home office is as pimped out as it can get, and everything is organized. Organizing your house is a great thing. It makes life so much easier to handle. Now that your house is clean and organized it is time to move on to phase 2. Cleaning up and organizing your contacts.
How many contacts do you have in your phone? Probably too many. Everyone’s contacts in their phone can be broken down into three categories. The first is regular. Someone you talk to with great frequency: coworkers, friends, family, those that are in that close inner circle but belong to distinct groups on their own. The second are the less frequent contacts. Maybe old high school friends that you catch up with once every year or so, but you know they will eventually text you saying, “what’s up”, and you can only say “who is this?” so many times without offending someone. Finally, the first name/nickname only folks. Those people who are saved into your phone as simply “Dave” or “Jenny” or “Bill” and you can’t remember for the life of you who that person is or why they made it into your phone in the first place. It’s time to spring clean your phone.
Organizing Your Contacts
The average person has 600 contacts in their phone, an absolute zoo. Within those 600 are those ever-important circles, categories of people who fit in the same group. Default contacts apps are not good at managing this wild array of people, and COVID provides a great opportunity to streamline everything in order to prepare for the upcoming reopening of society. When things take off you don’t want to be left behind. Organizing contacts into circles is the first step. Friends and family are an easy step, you know who they are and exactly where they fit. Coworkers and business contacts start to make things a little more difficult. If you are in a sales field, then you have hundreds of contacts that the minute the greenlight sounds you will need to be contacting right away. Excel sheets are not the answer. Lists of people with notes next to their name on a computer screen that will never be updated again is where contacts go to die.
It is time to delete, delete, delete! Get rid of contacts that have no business being in your circles and add those who need constant contact or are entering the sales cycle. Export your LinkedIn contacts directly into your phone for an easy way to manage your network and have a better level of connection with those close to you. When the time comes to start slinging deals, your clean and organized contacts will be the perfect way to use your time in the most effective way possible. Cleaning up contacts is the first step towards being prepared for everything opening up and life moving back towards normality. Deleting old contacts is not the only step towards preparing for the future with your contacts.
Maintaining and keeping notes is of vital importance when interacting with clients, friends, or anyone who you are striving to nurture a relationship with. These notes are the base of the entire relationship. They are important factoids and details that are required to demonstrate depth of understanding and establish importance. Using standard CRM’s can be difficult and require the utmost preparation before conversations, but not all conversations are premeditated. Easy access to important details could be the final step towards sealing the deal on a sales call and hunting down notes hidden deep in HubSpot, Salesforce, or another CRM can be difficult if all you have is 30 seconds. Keeping this process mobile is especially helpful for people with mobile jobs. Those who are constantly moving around and work from location to location such as Realtors are excellent at being able to maintain and keep track of important details of their clients, while using antiquated methods to do so.
The Value of Remembering
Note taking is not simple either. It can often be difficult to find and remember a specific factoid amid a large grouping of notes and so it is vital that organization remain at the forefront of whatever system is being used. Documents are a great example of this. Most search engines allow for a quick search by keyword in order to scour pages full of information for one key piece. Contacts need to be the same way. I like to ski. I often talk about skiing on sales calls or in conversations as a point of small talk. I recently had a call back with a salesperson regarding the software they had pitched me the week before. As this was during ski season it made perfect sense that she asked me “Have you been able to ski this week at all?” Instantly everything changed from a sales pitch to a conversation. I found myself much more inclined to listen and participate. At the end of we came to a mutual decision that the software was not a good fit and I then passed on three references of people I knew that could use the software, all because she remembered that I love to ski. That is the power of the factoid and remembering it.
Circles are tight, they are inclusive, but they are also specific. Often times there are circles within circles. There might be one large circle called “Prospects” and within that circle groups of people that are “cold”, “warm”, or “hot”. Those who are “cold” would receive very different interactions than those who are in the “hot” category but maintaining good notes on both prospects is incredibly important. Prospects and sales aren’t the only people who benefit from remembering and keeping track of things or details going on in their circles. They save lives in the personal family circles as well. For example, I have a great sister-in-law. She is awesome. I recently forgot her birthday, because I didn’t put it on my calendar anywhere. The day of I got a text from my brother reminding me that it was her birthday and to at least wish her a happy birthday when I came over for dinner that night (I had also forgotten we had dinner plans). I showed up with a bag of Reese’s, I vaguely remembered her talking about Reese’s, wrapped up and a funny card. When my sister-in-law opened up my gift there was an incredibly awkward silence. She’s deathly allergic to peanut butter. The conversation I had recalled was about how she had to go to the hospital when she was very young for eating a Reese’s. Worst birthday presents ever.
All that needs to be done is to take a few moments to jot down notes about a conversation. If I had written down under my contact for my sister-in-law “allergic to peanut butter” I wouldn’t have won, the award for biggest jerk on her birthday. Nurturing relationships requires effort, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be a matter of taking the time to organize your circles, clean up your contacts, and take down important information about the people that you interact with. Cleaning up your circles during COVID-19 is the perfect way to prepare yourself for the future. Get your contacts straight and be ready to dominate the social space.
A great tool that can help with organizing your contacts and remembering important details is Circles by ZooWho. It is designed to easily manage those circles and balance a CRM environment without the pain of finding a file hidden in your messy desktop (it’s time to clean that up too). Circles is the perfect solution for organizing clients/prospects who are currently in their respective pipeline journeys into organized circles of people so that you can know exactly who to reach out to at the right moment. Circles also provides the perfect way to take the small meaningful notes that matter for all follow-up conversations and calls.
Take the challenge of organizing your contacts on and strut into normal life again as your best, most-organized self