Okay. So I haven’t seen a rolodex in 15 years and you probably haven’t either. I don’t have one anymore and I don’t ever see them. They’re likely extinct.
But I did have one and when I used it effectively, it saved my ass.
In principle, I use a rolodex every day, albeit electronic.
I use my rolodex to tier my contacts. Every one I meet, work with, work for, network with and fellowship with. I know my rolodex. I keep notes of where I met the contact, what we have in common (ie: associations, church, cigar shop, school), family details, and more. The more detailed my rolodex, the more helpful it is when I access it.
Stay Connected and Check In
This is paramount to knowing your rolodex. I check in with folks that I don’t see often. My check in is usually prompted by an article about the person. I’ll send a congratulatory email, LinkedIn message or make a call. Just a quick check in to keep the relationship in tact.
I recently challenged my sales team to leverage their rolodexes and I got a bunch of blank stares. And some of these folks operated with a rolodex when they began their career 30 years ago!
I asked my team and their managers to identify their go to customers. More blank stares.
My go to customers fall into 2 categories.
Those who love me. And those who owe me.
Who loves me? Sure my friends and family love me but they don’t buy from me or my company. I’m in a 2 sided market that is very niche-niche. They’re aren’t my target audience. The customers whom I’ve scored wins for, hit home runs for, delivered more than expected and so on. That’s who loves me. That’s my target audience and that’s my hot lead.
Whom owes me? A lot of folks! And I don’t mean that arrogantly. I’ve helped a lot of folks look good in their company, in front of their clients, and in the arena that they serve. I’ve saved buyers a lot of money and I’ve made brands a ton of money. Folks who owe me are my hot leads.
While I use this tactic often, I rarely hit the same person twice before I have the opportunity to serve them again. I don’t want to abuse relationships, but rather build them.
I want to strengthen mutually beneficial working relationships. It’s an intentional, strategical component of my daily business and personal growth.
And it’s all anchored in my rolodex.
Do you know your rolodex?
Who are your go to customers?
How are you balancing the give/take with your clients, customers and contacts?