Working with a group of your contacts
AllClients Q & A with AllClients Founder Jeff Shamus
This is a great opportunity to ask any question you have about AllClients and maybe learn some tips, tricks and shortcuts.
Upcoming Webinars for February
New User Jump Start Training
Intended for brand new users – General topics covered
Tuesday 2/15 10AM PST
Tuesday 3/1 10AM PST
Intermediate User Training
Intended for users familiar with the system – General topics and specific modules covered
Thursday 2/10 10AM PST
Thursday 2/24 10AM PST
How To Join The Webinars
Just go to http://meeting.allclients.com/ a few minutes before the start of each session and be ready to call into the specified conference phone number.
OK, so you need to get organized and figure out a way to manage your contacts better. The sticky notes keep getting lost and you just found out that you lost another deal because you forgot to follow up with that prospective customer.
Should you use something that you already own, like Excel, or Word? What about Outlook – that’s a contact manager…isn’t it? And if you go search Google there are hundreds of contact managers out there. So where do you start?
You might be surprised to learn the absolute most important thing to look for in a Contact Manager. Forget pouring through and comparing feature lists, and forget shopping on price. The first place to start and the most important thing to look for when shopping for the best contact manager is
It’s gotta be easy FOR YOU.
Why? Because most contact managers are so confusing and clunky that the users never get to take advantage of all their great features and functions.
You should be able to get signed up, get your contacts imported over and be using the system within 1 hour. Remember, it’s not important that your friend, colleague or boss, says it is easy – it needs to make sense to YOU.
Q. Can an “easy to use” system have enough sophistication to get the job done?
A. Absolutely. In fact the “easy” systems are actually MORE sophisticated. It is easy to program a system that is confusing to the user – much more difficult to program a system that is effortless for the user.
Q. How can I tell if the system is “easy to use”? Every product out there says their product is “easy to use”.
A. Here are the secrets to finding “easy to use” software, and which software to stay away from:
- Secret #1: If the company selling the software offers Training or has a User’s Manual, this is your clue that the software is NOT easy enough for the average user to figure out on their own. Video Tutorials are the only “training” you should ever need if the system is easy truly to use.
- Secret #2: If the software uses big graphics or cartoon characters on the screen, this is a huge red flag that you are looking at a complex and cumbersome system. These companies will often use “big” and “fun” graphics to fool you into thinking their system is easy!
Your best bet to find the best contact manager is to dig in and do some homework. Find a system with a free trial, put in a couple contacts and go!
You should be able to get around the system without hurting your head. Things should be clear and obvious. They should have simple video tutorials for you to watch in case you get stuck. If you are not comfortable in about 10 minutes you never will be! Get out and move on to the next one!
How would your business improve if you were excellent at follow-up?
What if you followed up with all of your marketing leads on a regular basis? You sent periodic emails to your prospects with information, offers or just reminders that you are available and ready to do business when they are.
What if you kept track of all the emails that needed to be sent to all the leads, and sent them out at the right time and on the right days?
Not just keeping your hot leads hot, what if you also were able to stay in touch with all of you past customers. Periodic emails to your past customers would remind them of the great experience they had with you, remind them to do business with you again, and encourage them to refer their friends and family to you.
Most of us are terrible at follow-up and therefore regular follow-up doesn’t get done.
A Sequential Autoresponder is an automatic follow up tool that will put all of your business follow-up on Auto-Pilot. It is one of the most important tools to have in your small business.
It’s like having a machine where you can dump all of your leads into a funnel at the top of the machine. The machine will do magic things inside and then the machine will notify you when one of the leads inside wants to talk with you about doing business.
Now that’s powerful and will have a huge impact on your business.
A good Sequential Autoresponder will be easy to setup, easy to customize, and easy to see how it is working.
After all, if your “machine” is cumbersome, clunky, and hard to figure out, that’s the same as you doing it yourself – you will never take the time to learn it and it will never get done.
Here is how a good Sequential Autoresponder will work:
Someone will fill out a webform on your website asking for more information. When this happens the Autoresponder will automatically enter their contact information into your database, and then start them out on your Sequential Autoresponder campaign.
(You will also be able to add in leads from other sources besides your webforms and easily start them out on your email campaigns)
These new leads would get an email right away thanking them for filling out your form and sending them a special report or other information you promised them. Then 2 days later they would get another email from you asking if they had a chance to read the info. Then 1 week later another email, etc…
The content will be completely up to you and the time period between emails is your decision as well. No one knows your business better than you do and no one knows how to best communicate your offering better than you do.
Although a sequential autoresponder is a very important part of any small business, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to get one. You can pay more than $300/mo for a fully integrated Autoresponder system, but if you shop around, you can find excellent alternatives that will do the job for under $30/mo.
If you are looking for a CRM with some “extra pop”, you will undoubtedly run across both AllClients and Infusionsoft in your search. These products are currently the only products commercially available that do Marketing Automation, Small Business CRM, and Premium Email Service, all in a single, fully integrated package.
There are many similarities in the products, but some stark differences as well. Let’s explore how they stack up against each other.
Automated Follow-up: Both products will automatically follow up with your clients and prospects using autoresponders and automatic email campaigns. Edge: Tie
Send Targeted Emails: Both products use a permission based email system that will only send emails to contact who want to receive them. This ensures email deliverability. Edge: Tie
Managing Referrals: Infusionsoft has a great affiliate referral program that will calculate commissions to your affiliate marketers. The AllClients referral system is focused on “Client Referrals” and includes a Referral Tree to track your client referrals visually.Edge: Tie
eCommerse/Shopping Cart: Infusionsoft has a built in eCommerce system, AllClients does not. Edge: Infusionsoft
Capture Leads Online: Both products allow you to build webforms for the purpose of capturing leads online. The AllClients webform builder is much easier to use and gives you greater flexibility with the leads once they come into the system. Edge: AllClients
Manage Your Contacts: Both products offer a good CRM component with notes, todo’s calendars, and reports. Edge: Tie
Segment Your List: Taking your complete contact list and then filtering it, has to be easy and fast. Both products shine in this area, however AllClients screens are more logical and easy to follow. Edge: AllClients
Built-In Content and Templates: Infusionsoft includes excellent content in the form of emails, letters, etc… With AllClients you will have to write your own copy or buy it somewhere else. Edge: Infusionsoft
Training: Because Infusionsoft is a more complex, robust product, it requires extensive training for the average user. With AllClients, the average user will not need training, although video tutorials are provided. Edge: Tie
Ease of Use: Infusionsoft is a much bigger, and more sophisticated system than AllClients. Unfortunately with that level of complexity, comes confusion. With Infusionsoft, plan to dedicated several weeks to learn the system thoroughly. AllClients is considerably more intuitive and friendly. Within an hour, and with no training, you will be comfortable with the clear and uncluttered AllClients experience. Edge: AllClients
Price: Infusionsoft has pricing that ranges from $199 to $499 per month depending on the feature set and the number of users. AllClients is priced at $21.95/mo. Edge: AllClients
Both AllClients and Infusionsoft are excellent products and deliver on their promise of Marketing Automation. If monthly cost is an issue, than AllClients is the way to go. If you have a “large” small business (25+ employees), then Infusionsoft would be your best choice.
Infusionsoft is more robust and better for the sophisticated marketer, where AllClients provides just the basics, for the non-technical business owner.