Let’s say that “Big Data” uses “huge data sets, fast-moving analytics, complex and diverse data sources.” That’s how Bernard Marr characterizes the “Big Data” that we read about all the time.
But, Marr explains, “Little Data, what I call traditional performance metrics, are key to the success of any big-data project.” (See his Forbes contribution of June 23, 2016, entitled “Why ‘Big Data’ Means Nothing Without ‘Little Data.’”)
OK. That’s all well and good. We’ll let the high-brained mathematical geniuses who can conceive big data do their work. But what about you, Mr. or Ms. Financial Advisor?
You have a customer relationship management system (or CRM) of some sort. Perhaps you want to use that information to grow your business.
Are there some bits of Little Data sitting right in front of you that can give you some insights into shifts in your business activity and give you a bigger push toward a great fourth quarter?
What can we do with your Little Data?
In this article, I am going to show you how to combine some data in your CRM with data in your head. I will show you how to visualize it in an enormously powerful and free tool: Google Maps. (You will need to spend a little time learning how to use this tool; for a sample map and videos, see Bill Good Marketing.)
Business Source Analysis
One way to grow your business is to go get more of what you’ve got.
We can get fancy and call this “business source analysis.” But when you peek behind the curtain, you see that it is based on a common-sense principle: “Birds of a feather flock together.”
While the origin of this phrase goes back to the 1500s, its modern definition is: “People of the same sort or with the same tastes and interests will be found together.”
This principle is the foundation for my entire approach to list development.
In my first book, “Prospecting Your Way to Sales Success” (1986), I formulated it this way: “Your best prospect is someone who looks like someone who already buys your product or service. So, we’re looking for a list of people who resemble people who already buy your product or service.
“Obviously, I don’t mean resemble physically. I mean resemble demographically. (Demographics is the study of population characteristics such as gender, income, and occupation, especially as these characteristics may affect buying decisions.)”
Let’s do some more “Little Data” analysis.
Where Do Your Best Clients Live?
We will start by showing you how to see where your clients live.
You: Bill, this is ridiculous. I know where each of them lives.
Me: I have news for you. You may think you do, but there are pockets that you do not realize because you cannot visualize more than a few locations. If you have 400 clients, you would have to conceive of 80 locations. Sorry, friend. The human mind just does not work that way.
In this Little Data exercise, I’m going to suggest you export information on all your clients and your prospects and then import it into a Google Map. Let me reiterate: You need to see the examples on my webpage.
If your heart did a flutter over the idea of posting a map of your clients to Google Maps, I would not worry about it. When you import your lists, just import first names only. Or you could set up a column of ID numbers. No name would be displayed. (Unless you share your map, it can only be viewed by you. I am entirely happy with Google’s privacy controls.)
But before you import this information, let’s add a little bit of data to the Little Data you already have.
Let’s divide your clients into quintiles. We will use extremely scientific designations:
1 = The top 20%
2 = The next 20%.
You get the idea.
We are going to make separate imports into Google Maps. Each of your quintiles will be assigned a different colored pushpin.
Among other things, you will be able to see some little clients who live right next door to big clients. Now, what would that suggest? Might it suggest you don’t have all the assets?
To give you a little bit more to think about, let’s also import information about your prospects.
You: OK. Now what am I supposed to do?
Me: Just download the directions from my website. Create “My Map.” Play around with it a bit. Click on various layers and then unclick on others. Learn how to visualize different categories of your client database.
Let’s see what we can learn.
Turn off quintiles two, three and four. Do you see any of your little clients living next door, or nearly so, to your top-quintile (or number one) clients?
Let’s do another example. Unclick everyone but your top-quintile clients. You want more of them, right?
What if you hire a high school intern to look up each of your best clients and then get the name and address of all the people on that street? You could invite these individuals to seminars or other events. Wouldn’t you then have a list of “birds of a feather?”
Now turn on your list of prospects. As you look at your map, odds are some of your prospects will be very close to one of your clients. A quick call to a client could go like this: