7 Networking Challenges that Can Be Solved Using a Contact Management App
Whether you’re a networking maven or the word alone gets your heart pounding in a not-so-good way, all professionals benefit immensely from building relationships with other people. There will always be aspects of networking that tech can’t replace, but a contact management app can solve some of your biggest networking challenges so you can focus less on the boring details (emails and phone numbers) and more on what really matters: creating and strengthening bonds with important contacts.
Here’s our list of some common networking challenges that can be solved or mitigated with the help of a contact management app.
Fear of Reaching Out
Okay, your contact management app isn’t your therapist — but having contact information organized can help you prepare before a networking event. Instead of wondering how to make an introduction to an acquaintance or how to break the ice with someone you don’t know very well, check your contact management app for ideas. Your app helps you track and store information on your clients, so you can easily access key background information. Maybe you went to the same college, have a shared hobby, or work in similar roles in your industry. Whatever the case, your contact management app can save you time and stress at networking events.
Even the most organized people can’t keep everything straight all the time. And even if they could, that’s a lot of brainpower devoted to remembering every detail about interactions with colleagues.
A contact management app gives you a centralized database where you can store and organize information about your contacts and easily access it whenever you need to. Automatically record where and how you met them, what you talked about, and their basic contact information — email, phone number, address, company name, role, and more. You can sort and filter information however you like and export or analyze that information to better meet your goals.
Over time, you’re likely to accumulate contacts across different platforms, such as email, social media, and physical business cards. While you can take the time to manually update your address book with each of these details, wouldn’t it be nice if you could automate that process? A contact management app can help!
By linking your contact management app with all of the channels where you network with others (for instance, LinkedIn, Facebook, an email list, or your website), you can funnel contact information from all of these platforms and consolidate it. A good contact management platform will automatically eliminate duplicate contacts and populate information fields with only the most recent, accurate information. That’s certainly easier than manually hunting down email addresses and adding them to your digital address book!
Networking involves engaging with contacts from various backgrounds, industries, and interests. It can be challenging to segment and categorize contacts manually for targeted communication, especially if your role requires you to network en masse (we’re looking at you, sales pros, and entrepreneurs).
A contact management app empowers you to tag, label, or categorize contacts based on criteria such as industry, location, or interests, enabling you to create segmented lists for more personalized interactions. It’s a great way to send relevant, timely messages to a large group of people with similar interests, and it gives you back extra time to focus on those game-changing one-to-one conversations.
Capturing and Organizing “Real Life” Data
Though there’s a lot of networking happening online these days (and why not? It’s easy and efficient and available at your fingertips 24/7), there will always be something uniquely powerful about in-person interactions. Odds are, if you meet a new contact in the real world, you’re not going to take the time to exchange all of your contact information in that single interaction. You might, however, share business cards or — at a minimum — a phone number.
What happens to that data? A business card may get lost in your car, and a phone number may disappear from your phone’s contact list. With a contact management app, you can scan business cards and digitally save information on the spot. The same goes for any other info you capture in real life: a contact management app can automatically sync names, phone numbers, and other info so you can walk away from an interaction knowing you’ll be able to follow up.
Contact Communication Tracking
Keeping track of past interactions and conversations with each contact is essential for maintaining meaningful relationships. However, relying solely on memory or scattered notes can lead to missed opportunities or inconsistent communication. You’ve probably encountered this before: an old contact reaches out by email in a fresh thread, and you know you’ve spoken with them before but can’t find any trace of your original conversation. Was it a LinkedIn DM? Did you see them at a conference? The guesswork can be frustrating and can result in lost opportunities.
A contact management app allows you to log and track communication history, including emails, calls, meetings, and notes, ensuring you have a comprehensive record of your interactions with each contact.
The general consensus, based on different studies, is that it takes an average of eight follow-ups with a single contact to make a sale. While the number of touchpoints may be different for job hunters or those with other goals, it’s safe to say that following up is crucial in any networking setting.
Timely contact is especially important in many cases. If you’ve just met someone at a professional conference, it’s wise to check in while energy levels are still high and you’re fresh on their mind. This isn’t tough to do if you have one or two people to reach out to — but it does become increasingly complicated if you’re following up with a handful, or more, of fresh faces.
Thankfully, you can use a contact management app to do the grunt work for you. Set reminders to follow up with key contacts in the near future (or at specific intervals in time) to make sure you don’t miss an opportunity.
Looking for a contact management app that can help you solve these common networking challenges? Sign up for a free Contacts+ account today!