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How the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?

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Ned MillerHow the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?
by on Sep 27, 2013 at 1:45:37 am

Eeeesh! A couple of times a year I look at my shelves by my edit system, there's 28 assorted hard drives not including the Raid. I need hard drive space and I prowl for clients that I haven't heard from in a year or so. I send them a nice email asking if they'd like to send me a drive and their Fed Ex number or is it OK if I delete their files. This way I free up 3-5 TB of space a couple of times a year. If I don't hear from them I will send a couple more emails, then call.

Well...I don't know if it's the sign of the times, or a generational thing, but it seems that people don't stick around much anymore, especially in the PR and marketing sector which is my bread and butter. I received so many responses that they're no longer there! I make a lot of my revenue off annually returning clients to Chicago, like the Swallows of Capistrano, these clients return for their annual shindig and always call me. So it's disconcerting when I find out 1) They aren't there anymore, 2) I don't have a relationship with the new person in charge of hiring for video or even know who they are, 3) I don't know exactly where my client went unless they list it on their LinkedIn page, and for some reason some don't!

I have taken to texting their cell phone with success. But text responses tend to be brief.

Anyone on our forum have some sort of technique to track this? Do you tickle them (as the sales people say) every few months? Who has the time for that? The older folks tended to stay at a company forever, maybe they had to because they had mortgages, college tuition for their kids, etc. But younger clients seem to move on after several years. Or is it just my client base seems to have a very high turnover? Or is it the PR/Marketing grind that makes them move on quickly?

Interested in your experience and ideas.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Tom SeftonRe: How the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?
by on Sep 27, 2013 at 10:32:50 am

Swallows? It's the salmon of capistrano.....


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Steve KownackiRe: How the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?
by on Sep 27, 2013 at 1:15:48 pm

Yep Ned, the days of people staying at a job more than 5 years is long gone and it's a TON of work to be "top of mind" to you clients especially when they move on. I don't want this to come out wrong, but if anyone is "hoping" that their clients come back time after time, year after year, that is foolish. Unless you constantly reach out to them (and not always in a sales role) there was never a deep relationship and they were a 1-time customer. Yes, tickling them is imperative if you want to retain them for the long haul, including when they change jobs.

The social stuff is OK (at least my competition knows what I'm up to), but personal emails, phone calls & handwritten thank you cards are critical these days even with regular clients that call me every few months. I have to give them a reason to NOT call anyone else.

There's plenty of discussion on here about CRM (customer relationship manager, I use Salesforce.com) software and they can make you life simpler (not easy) by generating all those reminders for you; but alas, any system is only as good as the data you put in, so it can get time consuming.

Steve





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Ned MillerRe: How the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?
by on Sep 27, 2013 at 2:01:15 pm

I have two kids in their late twenties. Seems that it is easier to quit and get a new job for more pay then to expect a raise at one's current employer. Perhaps that's the reason for the high turnover?

In the good old betacam days I had a custom label made and on the spine of the tapes it said in red: Ned Miller -Chicago Based Videographer and my phone number. That acted as a reminder so if someone said, "Who was the DP we used in Chicago a couple of years ago?" I was top of mind. Also with a blah, common last name like Miller you have to remind people.

Over the years I had strong loyalty from the older crowd who knew how much could go wrong with video production, especially with live events, filming the CEO, challenging venues, etc. But let's face it, video is now seen as a commodity, so I think the new people (younger ones) just say, "Get a video guy in Chicago for next week, and keep it under $X".

I am on Mac and ever since ACT stopped making a Mac version I have not found a CRM I liked. Also, as a shooter I am out and about most of the time so keeping track of client migration isn't easy. One technique I know I need to follow is just look at the past two years and figure out who has conferences, trade shows, festivals, etc. that need video within the next couple of months. Then call, if my client is "gone" then I can start re-establishing myself. I posted this because when trying to clear the hard drives I discovered an inordinate amount of clients in their late twenties/early thirties as "gone". Been doing this a long time and have never seen such turnover unless it was a bloodbath at the start of a nasty recession. So in sum, I think this is the new way to get a raise: Leave your current employer for greener pastures. Hopefully where they land they will still need video.

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Mark SuszkoRe: How the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?
by on Sep 27, 2013 at 2:15:11 pm

I think it's all been said, I'll just add my opinion that this high job mobility or churn is the new paradigm everywhere for the Millennials, but high turn-over has always been a feature of the advertising and marketing/PR game. We're now seeing more of that paradigm in Corporate as well.

The smart ones keep a well-marked digital trail as they hop from job to job, as part of their networking. The less-orgaized ones kind of just abandon everything to do with the old job and move on, or, their replacements coming in have no understanding of, or regard for, any "history" that came before, so they approach the job as a blank sheet of paper upon which to create their own distinction. That's sad, that there is much less "institutional memory" surviving these days. What it means to sole proprietors is that you not only have to keep courting individuals for accounts, but the organizations as well. CRM software isn't enough by itself; you need to add shoe leather.


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walter biscardiRe: How the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?
by on Oct 15, 2013 at 12:36:13 pm

[Ned Miller] "Well...I don't know if it's the sign of the times, or a generational thing, but it seems that people don't stick around much anymore, especially in the PR and marketing sector which is my bread and butter."

If these people are your bread and butter you need to do a better job staying in touch with them.

Dropping an email at least once a month to say hello is a good idea. Especially if you have a common interest like sports where you can use a game or an event or even a good dinner to say "Hey, was watching the game last night, did you see that play so and so made? That was awesome! Hope you're doing well!" Or, "I know you love so and so cuisine, have you checked out XYZ on 5th street? Incredible!"

Something as simple as that keeps you on the radar and when the person moves along, they might drop you an email and take your contact info along. Short of hiring a Marketing Director, which I finally did this year, you need to take it upon yourself to stay in touch. Especially if these are your bread and butter......



[Ned Miller] "[Ned Miller] "Well...I don't know if it's the sign of the times, or a generational thing, but it seems that people don't stick around much anymore, especially in the PR and marketing sector which is my bread and butter."

If these people are your bread and butter you need to do a better job staying in touch with them.

Dropping an email at least once a month to say hello is a good idea. Especially if you have a common interest like sports where you can use a game or an event or even a good dinner to say "Hey, was watching the game last night, did you see that play so and so made? That was awesome! Hope you're doing well!" Or, "I know you love so and so cuisine, have you checked out XYZ on 5th street? Incredible!"

Something as simple as that keeps you on the radar and when the person moves along, they might drop you an email and take your contact info along. Short of hiring a Marketing Director, which I finally did this year, you need to take it upon yourself to stay in touch. Especially if these are your bread and butter......
"


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Ned MillerRe: How the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?
by on Oct 15, 2013 at 12:59:23 pm

Good ideas Walter. I need to keep in touch better, never been much of a shmoozer though. I see my Marketing Director every morning when I shave- in the mirror.

Best,

Ned

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com
www,bizvideo.com


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Steve KownackiRe: How the H**L do we keep track of where the clients moved to and who the new person is?
by on Nov 5, 2013 at 12:47:43 am

Here's another angle on keeping in touch... not only is it important to keep track of where clients migrate, but your CRM can make you a hero to the new replacement.

7. Jeffrey Gitomer, Author of “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling”
Use your CRM to retain customers. If your main contact leaves, and a new, unknown person takes over, your account is in jeopardy -- especially if the new employee doesn't know about your value to his company. Well, if your Salesforce account notes are detailed (who and when you connected, what happened, what was the client reaction), you can print your past history and present this information to the new person as evidence of how you conducted your relationship. This will help the new employee see the impact you have had. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: Record all interactions AND all outcomes. Keep your Salesforce account up to the minute. It could be worth a customer.

Taken from this article on Salesforce http://blogs.salesforce.com/company/2013/10/62-sales-tips-and-sales-quotes-...

Steve





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