June 18, 2015

5 Five Minute Tips to Organize Contacts in Your Network

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You might have seen that Contactually recently launched a new Chrome extension for Gmail. While anyone using Contactually today can already start taking advantage of the features — like creating tasks or adding new contacts —here's a quick recap of tips to organize your contacts no matter what CRM you use.

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Does your disorganized contact list make you feel overwhelmed and disoriented? Don't know where to find a specific contact, or who that random email is in your contact book? Do you feel like those people at the beginning of infomercials who could really have their life improved with a simple change?

If this sounds like you and your contact list, then you need a new organization method to help manage your contacts.

Organizing your network makes following up with contacts a breeze! With a few changes to your contact list you can tell the best times to get in touch and what to discuss with them. Network organization keeps us on track with lead nurturing and to meeting networking plan goals. By following these quick tips you can get your network organized in no time:

1. Consolidate

Keeping your contact's information in one place makes sending emails to one person or more easier. Rather than going into different lists and email accounts, you can send a message from one master list with all of the information compiled together. Now when you go to contact John Smith, you have his email, phone number, and Twitter handle all in one place.

2. Label

Labels (or tags) help you navigate the type of people you want to follow up with. They are searchable terms used to quickly find contacts based on a term. According to Dan Schawbel, author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success, "Consider things like the strength of your relationship, how important the relationship is to you, the last time you connected with them, three things about them, what company they work for, their location, and their contact information" to organize your contacts.

Organizing your contacts by relationship shows the contacts who you need to follow up with for business reasons, or whom you have as a social contact. If you have a strong relationship with a business contact, then to keeping the relationship strong requires frequent contact. But if a contact is more of an acquaintance, then you might want to set your communication with them at a less frequent cycle or put them on a nurture program.

3. Take notes

Record what you discussed the last time you spoke with the contact. This way when you follow up with them you can mention relevant details from previous conversations.

Did you know your brain tends to remember more key facts when you take notes by hand? Evernote and OneNote have the capability in taking your paper notes and turning them into digital copies.

4. Record last contact date

Keeping a log of communication helps you know when to follow up with this person in the future, and allows you to know if you are on track with your networking schedule. Frequent communication helps you nurture leads and maintain strong relationships with your contacts.

5. Bucket (in Contactually) or organize/prioritize in any CRM

In Contactually you can put contacts into buckets to easily schedule how often you should get in touch with them. Buckets will automatically send you updates when you should reach out to your contacts. For quick bucketing decisions, Contactually's Bucket Game helps you make decisions on what buckets to put your contacts in.

Also remember to ALWAYS back up your contact list. Once your network is completely organized there is nothing worse than loosing all of your hard work and information. With a structured contact list, you will be on your way to lead nurturing and successful networking.