I have never worked with a company that is happy to spend money. What happens is many intelligent people come together in conference rooms around the world, over what can sometimes take years, to think about how to spend money to improve the organization’s results. The thinking is, “The longer we analyze the decision, the more likely we will make the right decision.”
As in life, any decision we as leaders make is an educated guess, at best, regardless of how long it may take to make the decision. Who we marry; who we vote for; who we hire – vendor or employee; or what process we implement – it is all a gamble.
How can we know when a decision is either right or wrong?
Do you sit at your computer, late at night (or whenever) and ask the screen, “NOW WHAT?”
I understand and have done all three. Its frustrating, isn’t it?
To close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be with your business requires focus, on self development that you might not have had in the past. Understanding your strengths and challenges, and recognizing how to have balance between the two is a developed skill that comes with time, focus, being honest with yourself, and more. For those who figure this out – awesome! But for those who don’t, well, let’s just say that it takes a bit more time to get where/what you want.
For home based business owners in the network marketing and direct sales industry, the question – NOW WHAT? – is a common one. But is the answer common? The product and/or service being offered is great. The compensation plan is set and incredible. The company has a steady track record. The process for finding and following up with leads is in place. The marketing tools are already designed and provided. So what is left? Two words – personal development.
The internal dialog of the home based business owner can make or break their success. What you say to yourself – about you – becomes paramount. The level of confidence, being self-empowered, understanding internal strengths and weaknesses, and being laser focused on a goal or dream – are often part of the missing links in growing any business. 90% of the challenges for home based business owners are in the lack of personal development. What creates this lack or the need to ask, NOW WHAT? It is one thing – STUFF.
Below are seven steps for managing ALL of those business cards that you collect at networking events and/or from being out and about at various business functions. You may be able to increase your revenue by 1 – 2% over the next 8 months, by simply following up with the business cards you have laying around and stacked up around your office.
Categorize your business cards by industry
Sub-categorize them according to the products are services you offer
Decide what data you need to keep
Set up your database according to industry, products/services you offer, and the data you need to collect in order to market effectively
Create a script for email, snail mail, and/or phone – for each industry and each product/service
From the scripts – create templates for follow up email and letters
Send out your messages to each each of the databases
THEN, let those business cards go – recycle them. Literally shred them. Any info you want to keep and/or follow up on from the cards, simply put in to the database.
Don’t have time to create a database system of your own? No problem! Lucy M. Barela, a business colleague, suggested the following resource. This website is a good start for getting in the habit of collecting, inputting, and following up with your potential leads – immediately after you get them. Its getting in the habit that matters the most.
Lucy recommended www.zoho.com. This website will allow you to set up a database that will facilitate the execution of the seven steps above. Zoho’s introductory level is free.
Every time you attend a networking event and/or meet someone and collect their biz cards, immediately plug those cards in to your follow up system and then – let the cards go. By letting them go I mean shred and recycle the paper (smile). Remember – any and all info you want to keep regarding those cards, you can put in to your database. Why not save a tree, or two, or three (smile).
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