Do You Need to Use a CRM..._
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So, do you need a CRM?
The answer is yes, but it's also no.
No, you do not strictly need a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), like Hubspot, or SalesForce, or Zoho.
But what you do need, is a central place where you list all your clients, former clients, and the opportunities that you're trying to convert into clients.
At its most basic, this can be a notebook, or a whiteboard with stickies on it.
A few steps up the technology ladder would be a spreadsheet, and beyond that, there's the many different software companies and their offerings.
But then the question is:
Which CRM (or database or any sort, paper or digital) is the best for you?
The answer is simple:
The one you actually use.
Because unless you use a CRM, in order to review your pipeline and take intelligent action on the opportunities in there, you'll find it very hard to keep your deals moving forward.
If you want your pipeline to work, and you want your leads to become clients, you'll need to actively, conscientiously, process the deals and take action on them, one by one, over and over again.
That's how you make sales happen.
Instead of what most people do, which is to just wait, and react to whatever your buyers may or may not do.
And this is where "CRM software" often becomes its own obstacle.
Most software is far too complex, too bloated, there's too many automations and integrations and funnels and what have you, and peopl
Depending on your type and size of company, it might be what you need - but for the majority of solo traders and small business-owners, it's overkill and the very software itself is the reason the software isn't getting used.
Some lose themselves trying to configure automations and funnels, others simply rarely log in to the app, and if for any reason your CRM isn't working for you: Ditch it and try a different solution.
Because what you need, is to keep and maintain a list of people, and the relationships you have with them.
And if a spreadsheet works best for you, because that's a format that you actually use? Then use a spreadsheet, and forget what some sales guru said on a podcast about how keeping your pipeline in a spreadsheet is like living in the middle ages.
Like the photographer Ansel Adams said: "The best camera is the one you have on you". And so it is with CRMs and stuff:
The best CRM is the one you'll actually use. Use a piece of paper if you must, just make sure you keep, and maintain, a list of the people in your world. Somewhere. Anywhere.
And then what?
Well, then you go and review those people daily, and ask yourself questions about them.
Because that's the whole crux of selling your work: questions are the lever that transforms a relationship, and that turns a person in your world into a buyer in your business.
Questions like you see in the illustration, or things like: "What needs to happen for this deal to move forward?", or What is their biggest aspiration?.
Doing that will help you identify things that you can do or say, in order to keep the conversation going and work towards the sale.
So, whatever your tool of choice for managing your customer relationships:
Pick a tool, make a list.
Review and ask questions, repeat daily.
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