Question:

How can I keep client information readily available?

Contact Data

Contact data is very important to everyone, not just the business professional. Keeping current information allows us to find necessary contacts at a moment notice. We all need a system to keep this data easily accessible.

COMPUTER DATABASE: You can track your contacts by placing the information in a database. All computers come with basic programs you may use for this purpose, or you can purchase your preferred software for this purpose. It is important the data stays current. Review the data on a regular basis, update by inputting new contacts, changing or adding as appropriate to current contacts, and delete the contact when no longer required. Make sure you back up your data to prevent loss.

HANDHELD DEVISE: If you are using a handheld you most likely input the information promptly upon receipt, this includes updates and changes. However, you should still put yourself on a weekly or monthly schedule that allows you to review the current contacts and make any adjustments or eliminations necessary. It's crucial with a handheld that you back up your information on a consistent basis (daily for heavy use, weekly for lighter use); this allows you to replace the information if the handheld is lost or stolen.

ROLODEX: Many of us still have a good old fashioned rolodex on our desk! These too require regular maintenance. Make sure that the business cards you simply stuck in the rolodex are filed appropriately for easy access when you need it. If you don't like cards from floating around loose: a) transfer by hand to a rolodex card, or b) simply staple the business card to the rolodex card. If you are opting to affix the card make sure to staple it on above the groove marks, this will allow easy flow in the rolodex.

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Sheri Ann Richerson