How would you like to learn some easy tips about how to improve business relationships? Let me start with a story. Over the past six months, I've been really exploring how to prospect for new clients. One of the things I started doing in 2018 is create courses around LinkedIn. I went down that road myself. I bought Sales Navigator at $80 a month. I tried like crazy to use that to get new business. And I failed.

Then I started teaching courses on how to set up LinkedIn better, and I had a few people take it and they loved it. But it never caught on. One of the things I learned is that people are basically LinkedIn-2averse. And there's a reason for that.

First and foremost, there's not a lot to do on there. You can read articles and that's pretty much it. You know some people obviously on Facebook are playing games or joining groups or whatever it is. But the level of conversation on there is way lower. And the other thing that happens is something that I call connect and pitch. What happens with connect and pitch is somebody connects with you and then immediately, right after they connect, they sell you something. I just got one today for somebody who says, hey I've got business funding for you. A couple of weeks ago I got one from a guy who is recruiting for his MLM. I could go on and on, but let's get to the bottom line.

Sometimes you get these messages in your inbox saying, “Hey, you've got a new connection request on LinkedIn.” When you check it out, before you can even exit the program, the person is already pitching you what they want to sell you.

If you're one of those people that get a lot of that kind of contact, chances are you're not gonna be real anxious to log in and try that same thing yourself. Why? Because it doesn't work.

One Simple Email

Let me tell you something that I did. I've been working with a program called Nimble. It's a CRM. Now you probably know the term CRM, Customer Relationship Manager. You probably have a CRM. You may have something as basic as your address book, or something really intense like Sales Force, HubSpot or Infusionsoft, or something along that lines. There are tons of them. But the biggest problem with CRMs is that they're a lot like LinkedIn. Everybody's got 'em, but not many people use 'em. Why? Because they're not 100% sure what to with them, and often they just don't work.

But I figured out a little bit of a secret, and that's what I'm gonna talk about today. So the secret is this: At the end of the year, I went through my CRM in Nimble and basically pulled in everybody I did business with last year who I'd built a website for. I don't do a lot of them, but I had a handful. I put them into a list. And I tagged them. Then I created an email and said, “Hey, I know you haven't heard from me in a while, but there are a lot of changes in WordPress. There is WordPress 5.0 and Google Recaptcha 3.0, and they are causing havoc with a lot of websites. They're causing a lot of people to get a ton of spam. On top of that, some sites are crashing because the plugins or the server are too old, or whatever.”

So I said, “Hey, if you're having any of these problems, I've got a special for you. I will monitor your site and fix any of those problems for a fee. If you're interested, just email me back or call me or click this button.” The next morning I got up, and all of the sudden I saw that I had a whole bunch of money in my PayPal account because people didn't even bother calling. They just went and said, “Okay I'm ready.” So just by reconnecting with past clients, using that CRM and tagging them and sending them a targeted email, I was able to increase my sales before the end of the year.

Just Log In

Have you ever heard the term GIGO? It stands for garbage in, garbage out. One of the things I want you to do, and this is the first tip, is have a commitment. The commitment is to log in every day and do something. So here's the first step, alright? Take a look at either old data or new data. Old data could be something from your QuickBooks or something that you already have in there. Verify that some of the people that you are working with are still at the same company and still have the same phone number. You can look them up on LinkedIn, you can check your email, whatever it is.

Maybe you want to add some new people. So let's say maybe your concept is you add five new people and you update five old people. Or maybe you just update ten of your current contacts, whatever it is. So number one, log in daily.

Do Something Daily

The second thing is to do something daily. In other words, get in there and actively update just ten records. That's all you need to do. In ten days, in two weeks you have 100 records done. And it shouldn't take that long, maybe five, ten, fifteen minutes, worse case scenario. We'll talk in the future about what to do with them and some ideas on how to maximize it, but the bottom line is you've got to start from a baseline of good data. Garbage, in, garbage out, so get rid of the garbage.

Verify Your Data

The third tip is to verify the old ones. Just go in and look whatever data you can find. You can just get on the phone and say “Hi, it's Brian. I just wanted to double check a couple quick things. I don't want to bug ya. Number one, you're still at the company B, your email address is still this, and the address is this, you haven't moved.” Just get as much good data on people as you can. So in that 10 or 15 minutes, maybe you make one or two phone calls, just to connect that or send an email, whatever it takes.

Tag… You're It

Tip number four, and this is one of the most important ones you have to do, is to organize that data. As you start working with your old data, make sure that you're tagging them or categorizing them or whatever it is that your CRM allows you to do. In the case of the clients that I put in that I was able to sell something to, I went in and put in WordPress clients. Now, I have a whole bunch of other clients that I've done WordPress work for, but they're also tagged as people that are already buying my monitoring services. So I was able to go in and segment the audience saying I want to look at everybody I've done WordPress for, but who are not using me for WordPress monitoring services. That's how was able to segment and send those people an individual email. That's one of the cool things about Nimble; I can do a group email but it looks like an individual email coming from just my inbox as if I was using my desktop machine. So it made it super simple to communicate once I started organizing them.

Start out with the basics. How about: old clients, new clients, maybe even past clients, people that you haven't talked to in more than a year. Maybe it's prospects. Those are four categories you can easily add. Then maybe start adding in the types of product or services that you have for those people. Then you can start to build a database of good, useful information that you can segment targeted information to.

Clean Up Old Data

The final tip I want to give you is just do a data cleanup. That is, if you have multiple records for the same person, try to merge them. Programs like Nimble will let you find duplicate data and select both of them and merge them together into one.

Final Thoughts

Let me leave you with some final thoughts. First and foremost, get acting. Get some work done. Spend five to ten minutes a day getting your data cleaned up or added. Secondly, have a plan. Think about old clients, new clients, prospects. Think about what can you do to communicate with them, and we will cover that in more detail in future podcast episodes and blog posts. Log in every day, make a commitment to do something and start to build a plan on how you can better communicate to build better relationships to grow your business in the coming year.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?

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