Business psychology

Client database management: What are you holding on to?

- April 11, 2015 2 MIN READ

You know that 10 year old client database you have there? Is it time to do some client database management so you can spend less time and money marketing to disinterested people?

This week I’m not only moving house, I’m moving countries.

Which is why, as I type this, I’m sitting in my garage, surrounded by piles of things like old PC cables, unused exercise equipment, dozens of suits, ties … and $200 business shirts. In trying to figure out what to keep and what to throw, I find myself pondering the concept of ‘value’.

Family photos are incredibly valuable to me, but are worth nothing to anyone else. Ditto with family videos. Is it worth renting storage space for things that do not increase in value? That’s an emotional call, not a business one.

What about the $200 Italian shirts that are tailored to my exact size and tastes? They’re pretty valuable from a monetary point of view but I can’t sell them to anyone else, and I probably won’t be needing them where I am going. So is their real  value basically nil?

This got me thinking about the things we hold on to in business – a prime example being that old database or lists of past/potential clients.

If someone has not done business with you in the last 12-24 months, why would they do business with you now?

I mean it’s possible they might, but really, is it worth holding on to that old list for that 1-2% that might magically come back to you off the back of a random email to that list? Given you’ve probably changed significantly over the past year (new staff, new directions, new focus, new software, new ideas and knowledge) it’s highly unlikely those old contacts (people who’ve not worked with you in the last 18 months) are going to be on the same wavelength as you now.

So maybe it’s time to do some client database management and undertake a major rationalisation of your database.

If someone has not supported your business in the last 12 months, consider culling them or recommending they work with someone else. You will feel lighter, you’ll spend less on marketing to disinterested clients, and you’ll also feel better as you invest more of your time into dealing with your true “A & B” clients. These are the people who already love you and support you, and now you can reward them with more attention. The payoff to you will be both financial and emotional.

Cleaning out my wardrobe and cupboards was a bit tough, but I now look forward to new things and new experiences, which I am sure will be equally as treasured and valuable as the last ones were.

And yes, my old client records from the last 10 years in business? They’re gone.

I will be practicing what I preach from here on. I look forward to working more closely with the client who will be as loving and loyal to the new direction my business is taking as I will be to them.

When was the last time you did an audit of your client/marketing database?