The term relationship management doesn’t sound very exciting.
Having to “manage” relationships actually sounds like kind of a drag.
I mean, relationships should be natural, right?
Relationship Management 101
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned something funny about time: it just seems to go faster and faster.
Days fly by. Hours fly by.
As I write this, I’m existing in a “where has the day gone” kind of place.
And it seems that others around me experience a very similar phenomenon when it comes to time. CEOs never have enough time; Sales Managers never have enough time. And guess what? Salespeople don’t have enough time to sell either.
This means that somewhere along the way, relationships break down. It’s so easy to meet awesome people out networking, have a follow-up, then lose contact. Or to sign a new client, pass them on to the next department, then lose contact.
Whatever the case or situation—it happens. We’re all human. We’ve got a lot going on.
But don’t worry, this can be changed. There are a few things you can do to improve relationship management and make sure the people you want to stay close with don’t fall through the cracks.
Use Your CRM.
At first glance, this probably seems like a no-brainer. Use the CRM to track relationships. That’s not hard, right?
Well, we’ve discovered that this often easier said than done. Like I said, people are busy. What kind of busy CEO, VP, or salesperson has time to keep up with people and relationships?
I’ll tell you who: the good ones.
Yep, I said it. And it’s true. The best of the best keep up. They value their relationships and schedule tasks in their CRM to help them manage said relationships.
So, task one as we enter the New Year: get back into your CRM. Create a process. Put relationship management on the front burner and keep it simmering. Set tasks to reach out to suspects, prospects, customers, clients, advocates, and partners.
And for Pete’s sake, read Jeremy Pound’s book, Seven Habits of Scalable Sales Teams. It’s a two-subway-ride-read (about an hour and a half to two depending on how quickly you read). It’ll put you on the right path with your CRM and make relationship management easy.
Use Email Templates
We’ve been sharing quite a few email templates lately and our relationship management email templates really round out the process.
First, we started with email templates for cold calling. We then moved to templates for warm introductions. Next we transitioned to templates for selling and closing deals.
Now, it’s time to nurture those relationships that we built. And now that you’ve worked your way to relationship management, you’ve also worked your way up our Client Evolution Model.
Our model works in reverse and looks like this:
Relationship management is all about nurturing the top end of the Client Evolution Model.
To make this process seamless, we recommend using email templates. You’ll also want them to be easily accessible, so what better place to store them then in your Sales PlayBook!
To help you get started, here are five relationship management email templates:
1. It’s been a while – let’s reconnect.
2. Thinking of you/want to help.
3. Schedule a get together.
4. Congratulate on new job/house/baby.
5. Introduce to other referral partners.
Now it’s time to get out there and nurture those relationships. Before, during, and after the holiday season is a great time to reconnect with people. So, jump back into your CRM and create some tasks. Then use the above templates to get conversations started.