The SLO Personal Contact Manager, or just PCM to its friends, is a fantastic online database where small business owners can organise and reach out to everyone they know. But it has a few secret features BNI members love ...
Many BNI groups are still running on Zoom and others are face-to-face, but allow laptops in the room during their member's 60-seconds presentations. PCM has a 'look for sheet' built-in which means that if you have a section of contacts for all of your chapter's members, you can use the built-in look for sheet rather than a printed one. You'll then have a record of who they are looking for available whenever you need it.
This idea came about when I attended a regional visitor inviting workshop and heard from a guy who spent hours on Google looking for potential businesses. He would get a list of the seats his chapter needed to fill, then look on Google for local businesses. He'd then transcribe the details of the businesses he found into a spreadsheet and manually create an email and send it to each of them. He'd also send a second email a week later.
He stressed that it probably took him 4 hours a week in total and he was doing it because, like us all, he loved his BNI chapter and wanted to make a real difference. Besides, getting visitors helped his traffic lights, so why wouldn't he do it?
"Well" I thought, "That's a great use of technology, but 4 hours a week? Seriously?" I loved that he was using Google to search for local businesses, but the way he was going about it was very pedestrian.
So, I resolved to discover a far quicker way to do what he was doing and I'm pleased to say that I found a way. In the NEW section of PCM Advanced, all you need do is enter a profession and an area (well, actually, up to 10 areas), tell it you only want new contacts if you can find an email address and hit search.
A few minutes later, you're potentially going to see a whole bunch of new records in the NEW section matching what you search for. You'll get the company name, telephone number, email address and social connections. What I do then is move them off to my BNI Targets folder, select a custom email and click, click, click ... I have a whole bunch of new email messages in Outlook. I just drop in my usual email sig (with an extra GDPR statement) and send them all.
I'll then add a note to all of them (again, can be done in one go) describing the email I just sent and move them to my BNI E1 section ready for another reminder email a few days later and a final one a week later.
You could send them a custom SMS message if you'd like (should the search have returned a mobile number) or if you're great on the phone, just give them a call. The whole visitor prospecting process is completely up to you.
Any seasoned business owner will tell you that prospecting really is a numbers game, and when it comes to searching for visitors to come along to your next BNI chapter meeting, the odds are exactly the same. But PCM Advanced makes the whole process really easy and is a no brainer for any BNI member looking to up their visitor inviting statistics.
The built-in look for sheet is available in all editions of PCM and the prospecting tool is available in PCM Advanced. However, you can get a fully-featured 7-day free trial right now to test out PCM and see which of the features you like best.
All we need is your email address and you can get started within a few seconds.