Relationship building is a key component to business activity. One way to manage various kinds of relationships well is to elevate the practice of keeping good lists. Anyone in your sales department or donor relations office can vouch for this: managing lists can be a full-time job. You might have a list of current clients, hot prospects, cool prospects and those not to contact again. Keeping the lists straight and current is important.
In addition to prospect lists, you might have a variety of lists including a media, event invitees, freelancers and vendors. Once you’ve identified your contacts, organize them by the different categories. Depending on how often you use your media contacts, it’s a good idea to review the newspaper or publication to make certain your contact is current before sending something.
Designate someone in your office or department as the list keeper. When contacts are made, the list should be updated immediately, or information put in a file for a weekly update. If you have a list tracker software program, like ACT, even better. If not, putting your lists in an Excel spreadsheet is another option. Using the tabs to create separate sheets keeps everything in once place, and allows you to organize lists by subject.
List management isn’t always on top of the to-do list, but much like your own holiday list, it’s easier to update contacts on a regular basis than wait until you need to do a mailing or eblast.