Tools to Make Your Business Connections Work For You

Think of each business contacts as a potential new business lead and equip yourself with the right tools and attitude.

Last week we looked at your social media efforts and your ROI in the article Infographic: Are your Social Media Efforts Increasing your Revenues?  This week we are taking a look at your business contacts and as the title states how to best make them work for you.

Business Tools to the Rescue

It is important to organize your business contacts’ information efficiently. However, not many individuals have a consistent system of doing so. Studies reveal that many entrepreneurs these days experience difficulties in organizing their business contacts and fail to follow-up on outstanding contracts. Business always relies on good connections, but it can be difficult to extract contacts consistently from Gmail, Linkedin, Facebook, and other social media platforms. In the digital age, this is the best time to adopt a more efficient system to keep things in order. Here are several recommendations you can consider as an alternative to traditional business cards.

Get a Second Business Phone Number with an App

Lets’ start with giving them your phone number, your business number that is, without incurring the expense of running a second line. OpenPhone is an app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. OpenPhone lets you add a second phone number on top of your existing mobile device along with powerful features to put you in charge. After downloading the app, you can get a second phone number for $9.99 per month. It can be a local or a toll-free number in the U.S. or Canada. The app can also port an existing phone number and get rid of your second physical phone.

Save Information on a Mobile-Based App

If you want to avoid having a big stack of cards on your office table, then a mobile-based application is one of the best solutions available. With applications such as CardToContact, you can save information more efficiently from printed sources. Whenever you receive a contact’s business card, capture it from your mobile/tablet camera and the app will automatically upload it to your digital contact list.

Consolidate Your Social Media Contacts onto a Single Platform

There are many systems that effectively organizes your business contacts from social media. Here are a few that RPRNmag has tried and liked:

FullContact previously called RainMaker, is a web service that automatically collects your Gmail Contacts. It features a unified contact manager, so you can import contacts from other lists/apps, too.

Contacts+ This free app features a beautifully rendered interface, an integrated dialer, easy access to SMS and calls, smart contact organization (by frequency of call, alphabetically, or last called), photo sync with Google+ (or Facebook), dialer search (as shown in the Verizon-branded HTC M8), rich profiles, duplicate contact merging, filters, and much more.

Contacts Ultra is another Android app offer features not found in the Gmail Contacts app. It unifies contacts from all accounts and you can still add contacts to specific accounts.

These can easily combine all social media-based business contacts on a single platform and also maintain your message history so you can follow up with contacts with the appropriate information.

Use a Pocket-Friendly Card Scanner

For many business owners, arranging contact information manually can be tiring. Zoho Corporation offers Card Scanner, a clever application that provides many convenient features. It can extract all relevant details from your business card collection and update the details to Zoho’s CRM (customer relationship management) dashboard in the form of leads or contacts. Users only need to click a photograph of their desired business card and the app will gather the necessary information. It can save information in multiple languages, including Spanish, German, and French.

Stay Fully Connected with a Contact Management Tool

There may be cases where you simply have a large load of business contacts to handle, and you need a single storage platform to keep things in order.  Full Contact Address is again great at that task. This app can organize all important information from contacts that reside over different platforms, such as Google Contacts and other social media accounts. It can combine duplicate contacts into one space, which can help reduce difficulties when searching for the right names in your database. We also like HubSpot. With HubSpot you can sort deals won and lost, appointments scheduled, contracts sent over, and track performance against quotas you set in one simple view and it’s free to use.

An important part of closing a business deal is managing and organizing your contacts’ information efficiently. With the software and technology at your disposal today, there are numerous ways to make the task of compiling contact information easier. If you invest in one of the options mentioned here, it can make a world of difference in following up with your contacts.


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