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How to Manage Leads

The backbone of any business is the customers.  Without customers, you do not have a business.  While you may have customers that contact you and you do not have the time to work with them or do not have the skills required at that moment, there is no reason you should lose them.  They should be put into a contact file for the future.

Let’s say you are talking to Jane and she is interested in hiring you to do something for her business.  But right now, you are overwhelmed and do not even know when you are going to sleep.  You ask Jane if you could contact her in two weeks as you would love to help her out but you are not able to take on anything right now.  Hopefully she says yes.

Now, you could just write Jane’s information down on a sticky note and hope that you do not lose it in the next two weeks, but there is a better method out there.

The supplies you need:
–          Paper
–          Pen
–          Binder
–          Hole Punch
–          Optional:  Dividers, Paper clips, Stapler

You want to start by creating a lead sheet which you can either do on your computer or on paper.  On this, you want to make a list of the relevant information you want to capture – name, phone number, email address and other contact information.

Next, you want to have a spot where you record business relevant information, such as how they found you, the type of work they are looking for, the rate you quoted and anything else relevant.  You will want to have a spot where you can write down the dates of when you talked and what was discussed.

You need an area for notes for things to remember about the conversation but do not fit in the above categories.  For instance, in the notes you may want to write that this possible client has just started this business, their goal is to be making $2,000 a month within a year and that the project will be ongoing.

But do not forget to make other, more personal notes.  For instance, when you are talking to Jane, she mentions that she just got engaged and that the wedding is in January.  When you talk to her again in two weeks, you can ask her how the wedding planning is going.  People are always impressed when you remember something personal about them.
When you are finished with the call, hole punch the page and put it in the binder.  You may choose to put the pages in order by any method, but it is likely best to file by follow up date.  If they no longer require your services, move them to the back of the binder, but do not toss.    You never know when they may end up contacting you again or you may want to contact them six months or a year down the road, or when you have the skills they were looking for.

The biggest thing to making this work – remembering to make the phone call!  You can write all these details down, but if you do not make that call, it will not work.  Set a reminder on your phone, in your day planner, wherever you will see it in two weeks time and that will make you pick up your phone and dial.

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Sharon has been writing online content since January 2010 for a variety of clients and content mills.  She enjoys writing on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship, crafts (specifically crochet) and finance.  If you want a writer who can be given some information and left on her own to complete it on time and to specifications, Sharon is the person you want.  To see her various online portfolios, visit her site at http://wahsharon.blogspot.com/ for more information.