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This course is one of a series of five Dave Crenshaw courses based on his Invaluable teaching methodology for professional development.
- Understanding how networking enhances your career
- Getting out of your comfort zone
- Making recurring connections
- Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system
- Building relationships through social networking
Skill Level Intermediate
As I mentioned in the last video tracking the connections that you make will be an important part of building your network. When you have just a handful of people in your circle of friends it is easy to stay in contact with them regularly. However, as your network of professional connections grows you will find it challenging to remember all the people that you have met and stay in contact with them consistently. This is where relationship management software becomes so important. Now you may feel that this tool does not apply to you, if you are not in sales or in an executive position.
However, everyone can benefit from using a CRM regardless of position. In your mind, think of the C in CRM as connection. The purpose of this video is not to discuss how to use a CRM but instead to emphasize the importance of using a tool like this in maintaining your connections. CRM's can help you track how often you're connecting with people. What medium you are using to connect with them and even track the details of the conversations that you have had.
CRM's can also remind you when it is time to reach out to someone again and automate large tasks such as sending out broadcast e-mails or even thank you cards and text messages. Most established businesses have implemented some CRM tool if your company has already selected a tool, then I recommend that you use that system consistently. Invested some time in training to become familiar with the power that a CRM can bring to your relationships, if your company has not yet selected a CRM, you may wish to recommend that your company consider adopting a system.
And if your company has no system or it's not practical for you to use their program, then I suggest you make a small investment on your own to maintain your own contacts. Some e-mail programs have built-in tools for tracking conversations with the various contacts that you have, so it may not require any more investment than the time it takes for you to get familiar with these tools. I'd suggest you take a moment and write down an action for yourself one step that you will take to either use the CRM that your company already has or research programs on your own.
Doing so can make building connections dramatically easier and more effective for you in the long run.