Last post we chatted about the importance of moving from a customer-focused mindset to that of friendship. Humans run companies and humans organize their lives around friendships, not around ‘customers’. You need to do the same.  And, once you’ve shifted  your mindset, you’ll inherently need to move from an awareness-based marketing model to one of permission.

In this post we continue the discussion on how to systematically build friendships for business.

Step Two: You need a way to keep track

In our daily lives we keep track of our friends. We keep their contact information in our cell phones. Their email addresses in Gmail. We follow their status updates on Facebook. We read their tweets.

Listening to and staying in contact with those respective circles is a good start.  But it’s not enough.

For businesses you need to not just keep track of your circles individually but you need a way to track your circles over the course of a relationships and across a number of different tools. Trying to do this in your head or on a napkin will be an impossible task.

A recommended way to keep track of your relationships is to use a friendship relationship management system (FRM…or CRM if you use the term customer). The system I’ve been using (and learning, thanks @harleyrivet!) lately is Batchbook.

For $15/month Batchbook offers the ability to label your contacts with arbitrary tags and manage lists based on those tags. Batchbook can also link with common social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter and Mailchimp allowing you to communicate and interact through the Batchbook interface which keeps a record of all of your communications/activity.

Once you get setup with your FRM you need to create lists of all of your existing contacts and important them into your new tracking system.

Start by with exporting the email addresses out of Facebook (tutorial on extracting email addresses from Facebook)  and tag all of those people your ‘core’. If you’re not on Facebook I would suggest making that happen.

Next, export your contacts from LinkedIn and import them into Batchbook and tag these folks your community. There may be some overlap with your ‘loose connections’ and ‘core’. You’ll need to manually review each entry and categorize appropriately.

Finally, import the contacts from your email program. This time you’ll need to go through each contact and label them ‘core’, ‘community’ or ‘loose connection’ appropriately.

The outcome from all of this is a solid database of your friendships segmented by engagement level.

The cliffhanger

Tune in next post to learn how to setup a way to build your list of loose connections.