Speaking with a new client this week, about how we handle certain information, made me think about efficiency in my daily routine. Now I know that I should have it nailed (and I do- or I wouldn’t be who I am!), but a lot of clients that I speak to are sadly lacking in this. Everyone’s logical paths are different, and I wanted to touch on some tips that might make your life a little easier, allowing you to squeeze every bit out of your day to day work….and ultimately get you to your goals that little bit faster. So bear with me, here are my top 3 tips for finding your stuff quickly.
- Filing, both emails and documents.
Do you systematically file your emails once they have been dealt with? Getting into a good habit of doing this will allow you to naturally look in one place when that person comes back to you in the future. All email clients allow you to create labels, folders and such like, and if you can set this up as you start to work with someone, trust me, it is going to make your life that little bit easier. You will simply then have a folder per client (or subfolders if you want to go down that route) and can search for the relevant info from there in.
The same applies to documents. Firstly here I don’t recommend saving documents on your computers hard drive anymore. Gone are those days! There are some fantastic cloud storage servers out there which mean that if your computer dies, you don’t lose your docs. How valuable is that for very little investment?! Have a look at Dropbox and Google or Box for options.
When setting up your filing system, think about the folder headings that might work for you. Here are some suggestions:
- Business Development
By creating a logical system where you know instinctively where a document might live, can save your very valuable time in the future.
Make the set up and filing system part of your processes. When I take a new client on, I have a template of tasks that need to be undertaken in order that those clients all go through the same journey. In our task management system we are able to copy those tasks over to the client project, and I know that as part of this set up, each client gets an email folder, a project set up, a folder in Dropbox, set up in our password management system and so on and so on. This eliminates the risk of us forgetting to do something, and also if we are on track. Again, the time saved by creating this process is absolutely crucial, as it allows us to manage multiple clients at the same time.
How do you record verbal conversations that you have with clients? No I’m not talking about recording them so you can play them back, I’m talking about the key notes from that discussion which allow you to move forward or refer back to in the future. If you have a CRM or task management system, this is a perfect place to do this. Make a note immediately after you have spoken, with tasks for what you have discussed. Get a date against new tasks (especially for follow ups) and you have immediately put yourself on a forward foot. If you have set the system up well in the first place, then you can leave it there. It will do all the hard work for you, and ensure that you don’t forget what needs to happen, or where you have come from. Have a look at Insightly, Hubspot, Capsule and Zoho if you haven’t yet got something in place.
All in all, what I’m saying to you here is, don’t waste your own time. Put a cost against it, and make every working minute count. If it isn’t your strength to set up systems and processes like I’ve mentioned above, then outsource it to someone who loves doing that. Make yourself accountable and think about how much time and money you can save by making some small changes.
If you’d like to chat about any of these, we’d love for you to get in touch!