Leveraging Technology

So many people spend a great deal of their time behind their desktop computers working to manipulate information. Whether this is accounting, marketing, website research or simply reading, their workday completely depends on technology. Technology that if leveraged correctly can make a big difference in how much work they complete and how easy it was to do. For example, a typical work day consists of many tasks that I must do in order to prospect out new customers. Simple tasks like responding to requests for information and follow ups that I have scheduled, invoicing and other tasks could potentially bog me down. I however have put into place a few processes that help me complete these tasks effortlessly. First thing I did was I sat down and came up with Outlook and Word templates for responding to clients and prospects. Taking each course I teach and all the services I provide I created information request sheets. Since I always add prospects to a prospecting group within my ACT database (this happens at first contact) I merge the contact information into a merge letter in either Word or Outlook and the information is sent effortlessly to as many contacts that I need to.

Over the years I have dug behind the scenes and learned to leverage the advanced features of Outlook and Word in order to automate much of the email responses I send. I use an ACT database as a data source and I have a solid and efficient process of recording information, scheduling activities, responding to information requests and recording the outcomes of my efforts. Using ACT to track the activities and outcomes shows me week to week how successful I am at my various marketing efforts. I can decide which campaigns are working and which ones need work. I can do month-to-month and year-to-year comparisons. This has shown me where my strengths are and where my weaknesses lie. I know where I should be concentrating my efforts and where not to. This type of business intelligence is priceless. Think of the missed opportunities you can capitalize on by redirecting you efforts into more profitable channels. Since doing this I have improved my customer response time and increased my revenues by more than 50%.

Using the software you have on your computer effectively will allow you to create your own systems. Have a goal in mind and work towards it. This is why many of my clients decided to upgrade their skills. They want to better leverage the software’s advanced features and get more work done effortlessly. The payoff is always worth the time spent. Even just a refresher course can sometimes be enough to remind of features or methods that you may have forgotten or never learned to begin with.

Until next time
Gus Chouli