Back to Basics

Back to Basics

I just got back from a vacation, and I am rusty! After eight days of no professional activity, I am making simple mistakes and kicking myself for doing so. Ugh! As a seasoned professional, it is clear I need to get back to basics.

Scenario 1:

I was going through some notes on my desk and found a contact I needed to call. For the life of me, I could not remember who gave me that contact, but I assumed it was a referral and I had simply failed to record the source. First, I went to the company’s website to see who they are and what they do. I found my prospect’s name, number and email on the website. Cha-ching! I picked up the phone, then put it back down again, because I decided I’d better check out LinkedIn. I looked up my prospect to learn where he went to school and what his professional experience entailed. Now I was ready to pick up the phone and make the call.

After about a three-minute conversation, I realized that this person was not a prospect, but rather an existing customer! (One with whom I’ve never dealt.) I quickly switched into owner mode and asked how things were going with TopLine Results. Was he getting the service he needed? Was he satisfied? Before the conversation was over, we had scheduled an appointment for the following business day, so we could have a longer conversation about his current platform and whether he should consider upgrading. Whew! I recovered from that one, but realized my BIG mistake.

Lesson 1: I should ALWAYS check my CRM before I pick up the phone!!! Back to basics.

Scenario 2:

I was meeting a prospect and potential referral partner for coffee. I was running from another meeting and had five minutes in the Starbucks parking lot to pull up his website on my phone. I wanted to make sure I knew exactly what his company does and what synergies we might explore. I had sent him an email the day before to confirm our appointment. As soon as I walked into the coffee shop, we immediately recognized each other. We had previously met at a business awards gala, and agreed to have coffee, which is exactly what we were doing.

In a moment of professional terror, I realized I could not remember this guy’s name! I was so embarrassed, but I had to apologetically ask. (And we all know the power of hearing our names spoken!) Fortunately, the conversation continued, and we agreed that we should enter into a referral agreement. Whew! I recovered from that one, too.

Lesson 2: Even if in a rush, I should ALWAYS review the name of a prospect before a meeting and should WRITE it down in an obvious place, so I can quickly refer to it should I forget. Back to basics!

Yes, we all make mistakes – especially when we are a bit rusty! When we get back to basics – like checking our CRM – we will avoid many of them. You better believe I have learned my lessons and won’t be repeating those mistakes.

With hundreds of CRM implementations, TopLine Results has made a mistake or two, but we have always learned from them. We like to help our clients avoid mistakes wherever possible, as well as eliminate unnecessary steps and streamline processes. TopLine Results is there to help you get back to basics. Contact us at or 1-800-880-1960 for a free consultation to explore how we can help.

About the Author
Melanie R. Varin specializes in business process consulting for organizations across many industries. With more than 30 years of business expertise, Melanie focuses on providing clients with winning strategies for improving their sales, marketing and overall business processes from assessment to implementation.

Melanie’s certifications include: Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Silver Certified Microsoft partner and Registered Salesforce partner.


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