If You Don’t Have a Contact List, You Don’t Have a Business

By December 11, 2011The basics, Uncategorized

If You Don’t Have a Contact List, You Don’t Have a Business. I read this a while back and keep thinking about it. We’re living in a digital age, and companies are now spending just 15% of their marketing budgets on traditional print advertising and marketing. It’s over. It’s too expensive, it’s wasteful and it’s out of date the minute it’s printed.

Digital is dynamic. It’s also free or cheap. One of my early clients was a therapist. In this economy (ITE), therapy can be a luxury that people simply can’t afford. When people’s hours are cut or they lose their jobs altogether, therapy takes a back seat to paying the mortgage. Her practice had been decimated, and for some of her remaining clients, she had drastically reduced her fee. After 20 years, her practice was on the ropes.

One of my recommendations was to start doing a newsletter to keep in touch with her clients so that when they got back on their feet, they would know that she was still out there and accepting clients. I asked her if she had contact information for her clients, and she assured me that she did. She reached in her desk drawer and pulled out a ratty, dog-eared address book with names penciled in, scratched out, etc. Not an email address to be found.

I asked her if she had an electronic contact management system, but knew the answer would be no. One more try: I asked her if she had a bunch of business cards that we could scan in to create a spreadsheet to import into a newsletter application. Not a card to be found. Final effort–I asked what networking events she went to where she could collect business cards. She didn’t go to any networking events.

She called me later to tell me that she couldn’t focus on marketing because she was still grieving her mother’s death nearly two years ago. She was not prepared to make the changes that would help her rejuvenate her business. Lesson learned: you can’t help people who won’t help themselves.

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