I had a conversation last week with a professional sales person that I thought I’d never have in 2015. We were talking about creating a marketing campaign to inform his date-base about the new business he just launched. I asked about the size of his database to which he said “what data-base?” During the next 5 minutes I came to find out that he had no info gathered on the people he had been selling to or calling on for the past 25 years.
To put this in perspective, I have 3,000 people in my database. I have the contact info of every customer/prospect since 1999. I knew when I started in radio advertising on March 13th 1999 that the key to my success was creating a strong customer list and maintaining it. I knew that without this I’d be recreating myself and starting from scratch everywhere I went. I guess I’m naive in thinking that others think the same way. It truly saddens me to think that sales people waste so much time due to their lack of planning for the future. I remember the days of our “1 Day Sales” when I was selling radio advertising. Our bosses would announce that in 1 week we were having a sale and on the morning of the sale they would give us the special that was only available on that day. I would watch as all the other sales people would scramble running all over town for 5 days to line up prospects for this sale. I’d create an email/fax and mass send it to my clients/prospects(with a personal touch of course). I’d then followup with them via phone calls that day and line up my hot prospects. I’d accomplish in 1 day what my colleagues did in 5. On the day of the sale I’d blast out the offer to my clients and by 10am I was the #1 rep in the office while the other reps pounded the phone 1 call at a time all day. EVERY YEAR I was the #1 rep in the “1 Day Sales”. Why? Because of my customer date-base I kept in ACT. Another bi-product of this effort was I never messed with my other sales activities. While the other sales people were spending 5 days preparing for the sale, I was spending 1, which meant I never skipped a beat on the other parts of our business.
Without a working database as a sales person, you are basically traveling across the country in a car with a broken gas gauge and no GPS. You may reach your destination, but it’s going to be a rough trip as compared to the alternative.
SO, in closing, if you’re someone who fits into this category START A LIST! I don’t care if you’re 25 or 65, if you don’t start building your own radio station today, then you are setting yourself up to fail tomorrow.