By accident, I got a chance to read some stories about one of the best-known ‘sales experts’ in the UK. He had published several books and provided a motivational training course for many blue-chip companies in a career spanning several decades.

If you’ve ever worked in the sales world for any time, you have almost certainly heard of him. Now in the ‘golden years of his career, he could sit back and let the opportunities come to him, couldn’t he?

Actually no.

It is heard that he never kept a database. So he had to hire and manage a sales team to set appointments for him at great expense. But I guess if he had cultivated a list over the years, he would have had prospective clients knocking on his door.

You might say “But my business is not the same!” Ok, so you’re a consultant – and you only work with 4-5 large clients each year. Surely you don’t need a list of 1,000, do you? Maybe not, but any list will give you huge leverage.

For instance, if you run a training course, you could offer ‘tips’ to attendees, which you can mail, or email when the training is over. Make sure to keep in touch because even though they may not have buying authority right now, some of those attendees will get promoted, some will move to other departments, and some of them will move to different companies or even different industries. They might come back to you at any time which you even do not expect.

Or you’re a massage therapist – and you can only see 20 clients a week, so you think you don’t need to have a huge list either. No therapist who has been in business for more than 3 years should ever have an empty appointment book. Just this week I heard the sad tale of an experienced therapist who had worked with over 1,000 clients.

The business had mainly come to her via word of mouth and referral. But later, for some reason, she had to stop working with clients for a couple of months and had lost memorandum. Now she was struggling to re-establish her clients all over again.

Well, you may give some advice “why not send a message to your past clients,” she replied, “I didn’t actually keep a list of addresses of my clients”. So she was basically starting from scratch all over again. Does this sound so obvious? But you would be surprised to see just how many people around us have seen made this fundamental marketing mistake.

Keep a list of all your clients, and if you come up to a lean period, you can simply send a message to them. It doesn’t have to be a hard sell, just a simple reminder that you’re still available, and perhaps a special offer or some news you would like to share with them about the industry.

I guarantee you will get a response from people who have been meaning to call you for weeks or months, but never got around to it – until you contacted them.

To be continued…