Computers … you either hate them or you love them. Client Relations Management (CRM) software is critical to effectively conducting seminars and converting prospects to customers. There are numerous systems available, from simple spreadsheets to exhaustive and expensive online solutions. Regardless of the system you choose, you need to make sure you’re able to track and differentiate between dead leads, good prospects and clients.

Relationships with potential clients begin with a public seminar. We ask everyone at our seminars to complete a guest registration form with name and contact information. A check box lets us know if a registrant has attended a seminar more than once, and there is a place for notes should we need it.

Once a person has been entered into the database, one of three things can happen to their entry. If a person attends a seminar but doesn’t schedule an appoint- ment, we typically leave them in the database as a future prospect. You may find it beneficial to initiate some form of “drip” marketing on these prospects. We send our prospects a quarterly newsletter. You might want to contact them more often or perhaps give them a phone call instead of simply mailing something to them. Your goal is to remind them that you’re a source of financial assistance should they find themselves in need of your services.

After the seminar (or sometimes at the seminar), we will determine that some of the people in the database are not a good match for our services. Those individuals are then moved into the “no prospects” database. Unless you remove these “dead” leads from your mailings, some of them will attend your seminars over and over and over again. That is a waste of your time and money. The purpose of your seminar is to make people aware of their financial needs and to let them know about the services you offer.

If a person meets with you and becomes a client, you will of course want to move them from your prospect list into your client database. The client database should obviously contain contact information, but it should also enable you to support and build upon your client relations. From developing mailing lists to helping you determine which locations have been the most and the least profitable, your client database should be a reliable source of information you turn to each and every day.

In next month’s article, we’ll take a look at how you can use your CRM to its fullest marketing potential.