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Old May 24th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #1
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Managing Leads

Does anyone use a program or system for managing leads?

I'm having difficulty keeping track of the leads and I think I need to do a better job following up. Any recommendation for software or a system you use to keep up with leads?
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Old May 24th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #2
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Hi Mary, just a courtesy note to let you know that DVINFO does not allow cross posting of threads to eliminate confusion and clutter. This forum is the most appropriate for your question so I removed the identical copy from the wedding forum. Thanks for your understanding.

As to managing leads, there are many applications out there. I recall when I used to have my corporate job, that MS Outlook has a bit of contact management capabilities built in to it. My suggestion would be to do a web search on contact management applications, narrow down to choices that interest you, then seek actual user experiences with those choices from others here and elsewhere.

Regards,

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Old May 24th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Angelini View Post
Does anyone use a program or system for managing leads?

I'm having difficulty keeping track of the leads and I think I need to do a better job following up. Any recommendation for software or a system you use to keep up with leads?

Mary,

Once upon a time I went through a lot of contact managers. Over the months and years subsequent, they all fell by the wayside.

Partially, because they were mostly designed for the traditional corporate business manager type. There were a lot of fields like "spouse" or "work fax" that were perfectly appropriate for a business contacts database - but few for precisely what I needed. (Like marketing manager, or video production coordinator)

In essence, I felt that all of those tools reflected how someone else felt a contact manager should be designed.

So in the end, I what I did was find a solid, simple basic database program and bite the bullet and spend the time learning how to make my own. (I used the then 1.0 version Filemaker Pro - but there are plenty of choices on all platforms)

It was time consuming, and not always easy. But in the end, it paid HUGE dividends. Because in learning how to CREATE that one system of capturing, organizing, sifting, sorting, creating reports and group letters, etc, etc - gave me a toolset that I've used for more than 20 years for solving countless problems beyond the original managing of video production contacts.

I'm still using Production Estimates, Invoices, Quotes and other forms today, that I basically created back then - and I can revise the look, the feel, the cost lookup tables, the calculation fields, and so forth - whenever the spirit moves me.

So if it's mostly about doing it right away, then by all means look for an off the shelf solution. If you feel the time might be right to acquire a skill that can help you the rest of your life, you might consider the self-customizable personal database approach.

FWIW
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Old May 25th, 2008, 06:40 AM   #4
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Interesting that no one makes a program specifically for videographers/ photographers.

I smell capitalism.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mary Angelini View Post
Interesting that no one makes a program specifically for videographers/ photographers.

I smell capitalism.

Actually Mary,

There are a bunch of customized solutions that people have developed for using Filemaker for both photo and video folks.

try: http://developer.filemaker.com/solut...000000354&web=

Actually when I did a Google search for Filemaker and Video production, up popped a part of the Filemaker web site where none other than Walter Murch demo's the FMpro solutions he uses to organize his shoots.

Who knew.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #6
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Thanks Bill
$40 bucks is pretty cheap to organize my contact info.

do you know if filemaker can alarm you to call back a cust. or a reminder of some sort? Do you know if it syncs with the programs it works with?
aka: get info from ical, then add new entries in filemaker. Will it show up in ical too?
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Old May 27th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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Act!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Angelini View Post
Does anyone use a program or system for managing leads?

I'm having difficulty keeping track of the leads and I think I need to do a better job following up. Any recommendation for software or a system you use to keep up with leads?
I have used a software package called Act! for tracking customer leads and information. Far better than MS Outlook at trackign customer info, and interactions. For example, you attach notes to the customer's record saying thigns like "called back left message, need to follow up again in 1 week" etc. And Act will notify you when your followup flag is due. Very handy.

Buying direct form the company gives a high price tag, but there are OEM resellers (that are legit) that sell it for $50 or so. But if you other option is Outlook, a very poor substitute for the feature set, then you could buy Act at full retail (~$250) and use OpenOffice.org (free) and still have it cost less than buying MS Office with Outlook.
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