Every professional in the world has a contact management problem.
After all, your network is one of your most important assets; it allows you to acquire new business, change jobs, or call in favors that can have big impacts for you and yours. But how you deal with those contacts is another story: with 1-2 phones, 3-4 email accounts, and a whole host of social media accounts, you can end up with your contacts spread all over the place.
That’s why we’ve compiled the top 5 pitfalls of contact management. Learning about (and avoiding) these can help keep your network healthy and growing, and insure that you always have great opportunities at your fingertips.
Pitfall 1: Not keeping all your contacts in one place
There’s a good chance that you communicate with some people on Facebook, email others on Gmail, and talk or text to a third group using your smartphone. It’s so easy to let your contacts fall where they may, and in reality you’re not going to mess with that. However, when crunch time comes, not knowing exactly where your contacts are (and having them easily organized) can lead to hours of frustration, or worse.
Pitfall 2: Not going digital
While definitely related to the first, not going digital extends beyond just centrally locating your contacts. The truth is that, whether you have an address book on your phone or in your desk, if it disappears, all of your contacts are gone. Relocating your contacts to a digital, web-based contact manager allows you the security of never losing your contacts and the convenience of being able to access your contacts on other devices, wherever you are.
Pitfall 3: Not managing duplicate contacts
Dupes are the bane of everyone’s existence. How often do you have three (or more) entries for a single person—an email address here, a work phone there? Even if the time spent sorting through them on a case-by-case basis isn’t catastrophic, it’s annoying. Try tackling all the dupes in your phone (the average smartphone native address book has 800 contacts) at once!
Pitfall 4: Not following up or maintaining relationships with your contacts
While not necessarily related to the physical (or digital) contact record, a huge, often-neglected part of contact management is actually maintaining relationships with your contacts. Once you’ve added a new contact, you should be following up with them via email, connecting with them on LinkedIn, and scheduling (in your calendar) times to touch base with them so that the trails don’t run cold. People you’ve met at various events aren’t likely to make the effort if you don’t.
Pitfall 5: Out of date contact information
Even if you are the most diligent, organized person with a modern contacts management app, your information is still going out of date all the time. In today’s dynamic business climate, people switch jobs and companies at an alarming rate – in fact leading data companies estimate that CRM data becomes incorrect at a rate of 3% per month. That means your database could be 100% useless in 3 years!
The truth is, all of these pitfalls are very avoidable. They take work, but they’re avoidable. Sure, at times, contact management becomes a little manual, a little tedious, but a little work now can save you loads of trouble in the future.
If you’re looking for the next step in contact management, give CircleBack a try for iOS or Android. With intelligent contact updates and de-duplication, the ability to bring together contacts from all your networks in one place, and the option to sync your address book to any device, CircleBack is the obvious choice for those who strive to be better connected.