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Have you ever dropped the ball on getting back to a prospect? Do you forget to follow up with someone that says they want to start in six months?

How do you remember to reach back out to people who have taken a break?

Fitness professionals have a line of genius. It involves designing programs, inspiring and motivating clients, making exercise safe, fun and exciting, and staying on top of the latest trends. It doesn’t usually involve marketing, finance, business development and sales. This isn’t something we’re typically taught in school unless we majored in the subject or took a particular class. It may not come naturally, and we may not be passionate about it.

As a Productivity Coach, I help businesses create their pipeline, so prospects aren’t lost, and clients aren’t forgotten, by making it simple, easy and inexpensive. You may think that because you have a small business, a tool isn’t needed to organize your database. As you start growing, there’s turnover, and you realize you are spending time in your inbox instead of doing what you love…working with people!

Enter the Client Relationship Management system or CRM. These tools allow you to categorize people on whether they are a prospect, client, former client, or referral partner. You can set up whatever categories you need and move them back and forth depending on where they fit at the time.

Just a few of the many things you can do with a CRM system:

  • Set reminders for that prospect who said they want to start on their 45th birthday. Put them in your Prospects category with a note on where you met them, their contact info and compose an email with a future send date 15 days before their birthday.
  • Turn that Prospect into a Client and keep track of birthday, anniversaries and special events, which packages they sign up for and the revenue attached to each customer.
  • Move them into a Holding or Former Client category when their package is complete and schedule a reminder email to touch base with them again in X months. Keep track of all of their referrals and if you gave them a gift.
  • Referral and Affiliate partners can have their own pipeline. You can keep track of how much revenue is gained from each one, connect them to the person they referred and schedule emails to remind them you exist and the value you offer to their friends and clients.

Three straightforward and inexpensive CRM systems that work across devices and are cloud-based include:

  • Streak – This free extension works great for the solopreneur or small business. You may upgrade for more robust needs. I create pipelines, put people into boxes, create as many categories as I want, schedule emails for the future or snooze them to come back into my inbox at a later date. You can track your emails and see if they have been opened. My favorite part of Streak is the snippets or templates I can create, so I’m not rewriting the same email or words within an email over and over again. Streak works with Gmail and your Google Calendar.
  • Insightly – Low cost at $12.00 per month, this is also an excellent project management tool. You can see social media profiles related to your contact’s email address, and it integrates with Box, Dropbox, Evernote, G+Suite, Outlook, Mailchimp, Quickbooks, Zapier and more.
  • Yesware – This CRM system has the ability to create automated email drip campaigns, helpful for those prospects that are on the fence about signing up. It allows you to dial their number straight from your email, tracks email and link open rates, and gives excellent reporting on your sales funnel. Yesware works with Gmail and Outlook.

Which one is the best? The one that you will use. Your business isn’t a hobby. Treat it like it deserves and start tracking your pipelines so you never have to say “Who was that?” ever again!