I remember back in the late 90’s when everyone was amazed that I had my sales contacts so organized. I’m not sure what got me doing this, but I had every company and client in ACT ( a computer contact software). I had their spouse’s name, their birthday, the last time we talked, etc. I used this to help me stay organized, but also for one other REALLY important reason…CONTACT INFO.
Since the first day I got into sales I knew that I had to create my own following and if I was going to work my butt off I wanted to have a great account list 5, 10 or 15 years down the road. I knew that if I was going to cold call early in my career like I had to, that I wanted to be able to have some great relationships down the road. So I kept great records with all of my customers names and info.
Flash forward to 2012. One of the BIGGEST issues that drives me crazy is seeing professional sales people not use Facebook and LinkedIn correctly. It’s amazing how easy it is to create, upadate and connect with everyone on Social Media and Email. Social Media allows you to get a better look at your client’s life and for them to see another side of you.
BUT…it also holds the key to my question “What If You Left Your Current Job?” Are you prepared if you were to change careers? If next week you had to leave your current position and start over on your own or at a competitor, would you have a way to communicate this with your past customers? I’ve been in this situation before and I can tell you the transition was so smooth it was amazing. It was easy to get the word out, easy to prime my contacts for the upcoming change and most importantly, easy to start my new path.
Recently a guy that I know made this transition pretty well, and he was able to avoid few hitches due to his past use of Social Media. He recently left his job and started his own company. Not to cause any issues he did not solicit any of his former customers during his employment or after his departure. But, he was able to “inform” them without crossing any boundaries and in turn is starting his business off on the right foot. What do I mean by this? He was using Facebook to communicate with his clients, interacting daily with them and participating in their lives online. The relationships grew stronger and when he left his job he was able to update them very easily with posts on his personal Facebook page. Many sales people have non-completes or contracts that do not allow them to contact customers from their prior job. But, that rule doesn’t apply for them coming to you. So by using social media long before this change, he was able to transition really easily and it’s not surprising to me that many of his clients followed him to his new place of business.
That’s the beauty of it. Your friends and family are buying what you are selling, but are you TELLING them in a professional manner what you’re selling? In this example it was more than that. He didn’t want to cross a line by soliciting former clients. But since they were connected on Facebook and other social media sites, it was easy to keep them in the loop and at the end of the day start a new business with a great foundation.
So my question for you is…What would you do if you left your current job? Do you have the ability to pick up where you left off without having to call or see everyone you sold to in the past in person? Or could you do this with the click of a button?