Can I just start by giving a full NERD ALERT and fully disclose my obsession with technology?
Let's talk tech.
I'm Generation X. Modern innovations of my youth had falsely guaranteed saving time and money and all sorts of other resources.. So when it failed to deliver, it's more than understandable why my fellow X and Baby Boomer friends roll their eyes everytime a new app, smart phone, tablet, or any other fancy gadget is introduced to the market.
Millennials actually got the technology we were promised, and it really does save time and money! The resulting culture clash and eyerolls when us older folks refuse to adapt, in their point of view, is probably justified, at least in some senses. For those of you who simply refuse to adapt to the constantly evolving climate we're all in, please consider a new perspective. As we all know in business, you either adapt.. or you die.
I use technology to simplify my life with two of my favorite tools, Google Forms & Zapier. Let's start with a brief introduction of both tools.
Google Forms allow you to ask any numbere of people any number of questions with a simple to create and beautiful interface. It also allows you to save that information to a spreadsheet.
Zapier integrates thousands of apps and programs and lets you create rules and properties (Zaps) to seamlessly connect them all on your own terms. Data entry can become a breeze when that one tool, can automatially update or input information onto all of your other programs.
My favorite trick, was to use the above for my internal office use to create new contacts.
The problem I was having with a new contact, be it a lead or a professional, was the near infinite number of platforms to enter the data into and the complication of each of those platforms.
I like simple. I like all my contacts to have one phone number, one email address, a timestamp of when I entered the contact in my system and the notes of who they are and how we met. I also don't like to duplicate my work.
In the past, I was having my staff input a contact into my Google address book and also my CRM programs and my follow up program. Of course, you can sync some of these systems up but that wasn't the only source of frustration.
Half my contacts in Google have home addresses, and the other 1/2 have business address, making a simple mailing project tedious. And while Google allows you to create custom fields, it is a pain to do that for each and every new entry and maintain consistency in a database.
So here's the recipe to simply your business life:
- Create a simple Google form for your new contacts. I have one for leads and another for professionals. The form only asks the questions I want to know about each contact to keep things simple and it time stamps them.
- Now create a rule in Zapier that everytime a form is submitted, that data will automatically be entered into the platforms you want.
- Save the form entry page on your smart phone as a button to make it easy to entry new contacts while you are out and about.
For our team, every new contact that is entered into the Google form, is added to my Google address book (with a timestamp and notes). The contact is also added to my BombBomb account and to a Trello board. This ensures they get added to my automated mailing lists and to my follow-up board on Trello, so nobody falls through the cracks. I've also set up Zapier to send an email to our team account once the whole process completes, so whomever is watching the inbox at that specific time knows to do the proper lead followup.
Once you learn the above recipes, you can cook up all sorts of time saving techniques specific to your individual business. We followed the recipe above for expense tracking, for new home questionnaires for buyers, for pre-listing questionnaires for home sellers, and the list goes on.
Sales is hard work, use technology to make the tedious easier so you can focus on what matters, being in front of the people building relationships.
We are all in this together!
~ Jana & the #JanaSellsHomes Team