Years and years – that’s how long it takes to horde and squirrel away names, contact details and connections from all sorts of sources. The numbers keep growing and year on year we start to believe our data is worth something and very valuable – but is it? The information is collected from everywhere you go both physically and virtually, a random bundle of business cards here, a list of delegates there or an exported list from LinkedIn, whichever way you do it we all build lists.
Of course not forgetting the purchased mailing list through a data management company, where you specifically choose your data criteria and purchase the database priced per name, contact number and email address. The more specific you are here the more likely you are to get a match with your marketing material and message. However, there is of course no such thing as a perfect list, it’s a percentage and numbers game.
The big question is how up to date is your data? It is said that a business changes every three months, be that because of seasonal changes, personnel changes or strategic changes – which begs the question, how up to date is your data if you haven’t spoken to someone since harvesting their data 2-3 months ago let alone 2-3 years ago?
I was reminded of this recently by a LinkedIn trainer – one who really does practice what he preaches. I am a firm believer that on LinkedIn you do not accept random friend requests – if we have not met before, and you are not in my CRM then the chances are I will not say yes to your request. You are likely to get a response similar to this below.
Thank you for your request to connect here on LI – how can I be of help or assistance to you – or did you have some thoughts on how you could be of help to me? Do let me know
Thank you for the connection request here – how can I help you or better still how can we help each other? We have several mutual connections but alas you are not currently in my CRM.
Most importantly if there isn’t a personalised message then how does it make you feel? Special, wanted. Or just a random click?
The step further that I am starting to use which I was taught, do not become friends with anyone you cannot recommend or endorse! That’s punchy – clearly a one-off conversation does not create a relationship from where I can recommend someone, but clearly for my connections to be of any use to me or other people I need to feel comfortable that I can recommend or introduce this person to someone else that I know or am trying to get to know better.
LinkedIn is just one data source, whether you have mailing lists on MailChimp, outlook, 365 etc etc, how up to date is that list?
I know for a fact that many of you are on many newsletter mailing lists. Are you are still enjoying the emails my newsletter is, Sharing Knowledge, is designed to do exactly that share knowledge and staying in touch on the chance that in the future we will still remember each other when we need help, support or a connection? However, if that’s not the case then you should be unsubscribing? Life is too short to waste on things that don’t bring you joy or help.
Whether you have 500 or 5000 connections, names, email addresses, how many of them really know who you are? How many of them really care about you or believe your business or services can help them? Move away from the false vanity of volume and focus on the quality connections – how brave can you be? When waiting for the tide to change (literally) so we could swim the English Channel in August 2015 I had almost ten days where I couldn’t schedule client work but I needed to keep busy, 2500 names were removed from my database.
Finally, it’s time to have some fun. You may have a special folder in your email system where all your newsletters are added auto-magically or maybe a different email address you give out. Either way you will have all sorts that come in regularly and you either delete them straight away, put them in a different folder with a plan to read later or you actually are happy to receive them. For the next week unsubscribe from ten things everyday – literally 10 things – it only takes a few seconds and yes, I appreciate there are some companies who still make this task a small chore, do it and then stay on top of it going forward.