When we onboard new clients, one of the questions we ask is if they have a CRM. Some don’t know what we are talking about (if this is you, please visit this blog). Most reply with an audible groan. Very few are excited to share their CRM with us because they are embarrassed about how bad it is.
Why? Because CRMs are often a massive undertaking. But, we’ve got some steps for you that will make it easy-peasy to get your CRM in order.
First things first.
If you don’t have a CRM or have not updated your CRM lately, start here:
- Identify the whereabouts of your contact information. This could be various places from your email contacts, address books, stacks of business cards from that networking event you went to in February 2020… NOTE: this should include everyone you know – referral sources, former colleagues, clients, prospective clients, other attorneys, vendors, alumni contacts, co-members on non-profit boards, folks who attended the webinar you spoke at last month, reporters who have interviewed you, friends, family, your dog walker… everyone.
- Put all of this information into one place. A spreadsheet is your best bet.
- Make columns for the following: prefix, first name, middle initial, last name, suffix, spouse/partner info, physical address, city, state, zip, work email, personal email, phone numbers.
Breaking it down.
Now, not everyone on your list wants every communication from you. For instance, your sorority sister across the country likely won’t care about a law change affecting your state. Also, the guy you represented in his will signing who owns a marketing company likely won’t care about the tax alert affecting airlines that you just put out.
Don’t create noise. You want people to know that the information you are sharing is important to THEM.
So, in your spreadsheet, there should be two more columns.
- Relationship. This is how you know this person. Referral source, client, attorney, prospective client, vendor, alumni, reporter, friend, family, etc. If you are hosting an event for clients, you want to be able to sort your list so you can send invites to only clients!
- Practice Area. If you practice in multiple areas, target your clients/prospects/referral sources with the areas that will affect them. For instance, HR professionals at a Fortune 500 company likely won’t care about IP law. Make sense?
How many contacts do you need?
We recommend 600-1200 contacts who know who you are and what you do. That is why we suggest starting with EVERYONE you know. It’s also why you should be adding everyone you meet.
What do you need to do next?
If you HAVE a CRM, you need to update it with this information.
If you do not have a CRM, you need to pick one to house this information.
Stay tuned for our next blog…