Your business contacts...A treasure trove of potential, if only you could see through the clutter.
Benjamin Franklin once said;
"For every minute spent organizing an hour is earned"
In the world of business time is often equated with money so this presents a compelling case for tidying our networks. Managing contacts is key in business, and it's best done with the right tool and a clear plan. A well organized contact database can help businesses improve marketing efforts, enhance customer relationships, and increase sales. Here are some more benefits;
An organized contact list isn't just about tidiness; It reminds us of past colleagues, sparks ideas for collaboration, and nudges us to nurture ongoing relationships whether your connecting through social media, over the phone or work email.
The National Association of Professional Organizers reports that cluttered digital spaces can lead to procrastination. A clean contact list will streamline tasks like email campaigns or sales calls, leading to higher productivity.
Enhanced Memory and Recall
A study from the Journal of Neuroscience indicated that organized spaces can boost one's ability to focus and process information. In the context of a contact list, this means easier recall of important contacts and their details.
How to organize contacts in 7 steps
These 7 steps highlight the best way to organize business contacts so you can get the most out of them;
Chances are you have contacts all over the place. You have an email address and phone number for one person, a Twitter handle for another, a LinkedIn connection with another… the list goes on. If your team needs to switch between various platforms to access information, it slows down engagement.
The first step is to consolidate all contact information in one location. Whether you use a tool like Contactzilla, a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel, an old fashioned paper address book, or other powerful tools like Hubspot or BIGcontacts, make sure you centralize your contact data so you can find everyone in one place.
With Contactzilla, it's easy to import contact details from a variety of sources and even link contacts to other systems using your own custom fields.
Your contacts are all different so it makes sense to categorize them accordingly. Do you really need your next potential investor stored next to the cupcake business owner you occasionally use for staff birthday treats?
Dan Schawbel author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success believes that in order to organize your contacts, you need to have specific categories in mind.
Contactzilla has an intuitive feature for adding labels to your contacts] or you can simply keep notes for each person.
3. Keep notes
How many emails have you sent today? How many phone calls have you made or received? What did you spend 10 minutes discussing with your colleague earlier?
You probably have a lot of conversations every day, but do you actually remember them?
There’s plenty of ways to keep notes on your everyday communications. In Contactzilla, you can keep notes against your contacts that are stored in chronological order. You could keep a paper diary of conversations that you have each day or use Evernote's mobile app to take notes on the go.
“Your customer may provide cues that might be your gateway to providing a personal touch. If they indicate that their child is heading off to their first year of college, or they are taking a long awaited vacation, jot these things down on a calendar so you can ask how things went when you do a follow-up call.”
However, you choose to do it, keeping notes on your conversations is key to getting the most out of your contacts.
4. Merge social networks
Social networks are a great way to stay in touch with your business contacts, offering them support when they need it and asking for advice when you’re in need.
However, you can lose hours every day tracking your favourite people on social networks to see if you can help each other. That’s if you’re not using the right tools...
Try using a social network manager like Hootsuite to keep track of your social networks. Hootsuite even allows you to collaborate with your team on social profiles and access all of your social analytics in one place. You’ll save hours without having to worry about missing out on great opportunities.
5. The contact cleanup
Just as a garden thrives when weeded and pruned, a contact list flourishes without unnecessary or outdated information. These excess contacts can overshadow the valuable connections you really want to focus on. Whether you're managing your contacts through a Google account or another platform, regularly purging duplicate entries, deleting acquaintances you don't need, and updating changing details ensures that your contact list remains streamlined and efficient.
6. Be secure
When people give me their contact details, I keep them secure. Why? Because there’s nothing worse than giving out your phone number and email address and receiving a load of sales calls and spam from people you don’t know.
Don’t give out other peoples’ contact details to someone unless you know for a fact that it will be beneficial to both parties.
However you choose to manage your contacts, make sure they’re safe. That could mean using a secure, encrypted service like Contactzilla or locking your address book away in your filing cabinet at the end of the day. Either way, have respect for your contacts’ privacy, whether they are stored in iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, or any other different accounts. If you don’t, you will lose them.
7. Share your contacts
This might sound contradictory to “be secure” but sharing your contacts with your colleagues can really simplify your workflow and can even make your contacts feel special.
We created Contactzilla because we were getting frustrated having to ask around the office for contact details for clients, freelancers, suppliers and even other members of staff. By sharing our contacts across the company, it became a lot easier for the right people to get in touch with each other, without the hassle of interrupting someone every 10 minutes.
Make sure that everyone in your company has access to up to date contact details, especially for regular clients and customers.
Do you have a regular client who phones up every other day? Make them feel special by letting them know you have their number saved instead of making them repeat it every time they have to leave a message.
Enhancing team collaboration through organizing contacts
Organized contacts can bridge department gaps, streamline communication, and create a collaborative culture. As we found out in our office it massively reduced the need for interrupting colleagues. Here is our blog post on uniting your team through organizing your contacts.
The Value of Ongoing Updates:
Remember that organizing contacts isn't a one-time task; it's an ongoing journey. Regular check-ins and updates are the keys to success. This maintains the accuracy of your information and reflects the ever-changing landscape of business relationships.
*Looking Ahead - Streamlining with ContactZilla*
To simplify and enhance your contact management efforts, consider leveraging tools like ContactZilla or Google Contacts.
What is the best way to organize your contacts?
To organize your contacts efficiently, follow these steps:
- Centralize contacts in one location.
- Categorize based on relevance.
- Maintain detailed interaction notes.
- Merge contacts from social media networks for streamlined communication.
- Perform periodic cleanups.
- Ensure data security.
- Consider collaborative sharing for a streamlined workflow.
- Contact management systems like ContactZilla simplify this process.
Can I organize my contacts into groups?
Yes. This allows for more efficient communication and targeted outreach. With tools like ContactZilla, you can create custom groups based on criteria that make sense for your business e.g. industry, location, or even event attendees. This streamlines your efforts to deliver the right message to the right audience.
Can I organize Iphone contacts?
Yes. Iphone contact organization is effortless. Utilize the native Contacts app to create groups, simplifying management. Furthermore, third-party contact management tools like ContactZilla facilitate seamless syncing and organization across various devices and platforms ensuring easy access to contact's information.
Where is the best place to store contacts on Android?
The ideal location to store your contacts on your Android phone is by automatically saving them as Google contacts. Google contacts offer the advantage of being backed up and synchronized and can be accessed on any Android device that is signed-in.
How do I manage contacts across multiple devices?
Managing contacts across devices is achievable with these steps:
- Sync contacts: Ensure synchronization across devices - Contactzilla uses the CardDAV protocol which is native to iPhone and the apple contacts app and we also work well with Outlook and Android devices.
- Use a cloud-based solution: Consider using a cloud-based contact management tool like ContactZilla. These tools allow you to access and manage your contacts from any device with an internet connection, keeping them synchronized in real-time.
- Regularly back up contacts to prevent data loss.
Contactzilla is simple, secure contact management that blends into your existing workflow seamlessly. Share address books with your colleagues, collaborate on keeping contacts up to date, sync with your phone and never be without the right phone number or email address again. Find out more