Will a new client contact me today? Will they tomorrow?
As a business owner, salesperson, or marketer, you cannot afford to wait for business to come to you passively. You are likely doing everything you can think of (and afford) to attract new business while also doing your best to keep past customers happy.
What you may not realize is that you are sitting on a gold mine. There’s a treasure trove of past leads and customers that you must do everything possible to activate. Mining through your Contacts database is like panning for gold. Sure, it can be tedious, but the Gold Miners who actively search regularly find areas likely to be more prosperous.
Your Gold Mine
Your database is teeming with valuable data. It houses nuggets about your past and current customers, their preferences, purchase history, and interactions with your business. This data, when diligently mined, can lead to lucrative sales opportunities.
As you sift through the database, add data to every record you research so that you are more informed next time. Note the people you will contact now and set follow-ups for others later. As mentioned, this can be a tedious process, but the more the database knows, the easier this can become.
For your database to handle more than just contact info, you’ll want a way to keep notes, or a log of interactions, including scheduling future planned activity.
Don’t let data fool you. Gold miners who would swing their pick would sometimes see a spark. Unfortunately, many times it was not gold that was being hit, it was pyrite, also known as “fool’s gold”. The best miners could recognize both the gold, and the impurities and characteristics of pyrite.
For database records, lead scoring can help with this identification. Define a method for scoring that will assist you in determining likeliness to purchase based on the lead’s level of engagement or fit with your desired customer profile.
When going through the data, you may start to see trends in the needs that are expressed by those in your database. This discovery of common needs may guide you to create a new product or service. As marketing wizard Seth Godin says, “Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers.”
You have the data, it costs you nothing but your time to go through it. Discovery of new offerings cannot just pay for your time but also reap rewards for your organization for years to come.
The Mother Lode
Recognize and appreciate the value of your data. Don’t fall into the trap of only practicing data entry, you must also actively practice data analysis.
I encourage you to not set it and forget it. By getting to know your data, you will unearth leads from within and you will start to see trends. Those trends will help you refine your marketing strategy, including SEO and messaging, allowing you to market smarter and close more business.
Evaluate the data, clean the data, and utilize the data to customize messages so that you increase your chances of striking gold.
The Right Tools
Early miners would use a cooking pan with the handle removed to search for gold, this is the origin of the term “panning”. As the years passed, they developed better methods and better tools (although, yes, some were not so great for the environment). The developed tools of the trade made discovery more efficient and profitable.
Your mining tools also need to improve, and the more customized they are to your business and your workflow, the better. A customized solution built with tools like Claris FileMaker can help you prospect, mine, extract, and refine your data.
I hope this “there’s gold in those hills” message motivates you to start digging into your data, develop systems, and not miss out on the many opportunities that await you. Happy mining!
Russ Catanach is Marketing Director at Beezwax, as well as producer of several business and entertainment podcasts. He’s sharing his insights, especially from a business perspective, on being a longtime Claris FileMaker user and developer. Subscribe to Russ’s podcast, DIY for Business, for more advice like this.
And if you need help creating a custom database application, Beezwax can help design and develop your solutions for your business.