Building a better database

Many originators think their database should only consist of previous customers. But the broader your database is, the more good you’ll get out of it

Building a better database

Part II--I know my database should be larger, but I never seem to find the time to put it together. I even have previous customers from previous companies I am not keeping in touch with. I have been in the industry for over 10 years, but my database is just 350 contacts. I have closed more loans than that.

--Bill from Wisconsin

Last week we introduced several concepts regarding database/sphere growth and marketing. This week we will begin to delve deeper into these concepts. The first concept espouses that your database should not be just a database of your previous customers, it should be a compendium of your entire sphere. So many marketing companies equate a database with previous customers, and your customers are a very important part of your sphere. But they do not come close to comprising your entire sphere. What is the rest of the sphere comprised of? In addition to your previous customers, there are referral sources, previous prospects, present and previous co-workers, associations, vendors, friends, family, neighbors and more. Each sphere segment represents a unique opportunity to market, which I cover in my sphere marketing training.

Sounds like the sphere might get too unwieldy with thousands of contacts? The second concept instructs you not to cull people from your database. This does not mean that everyone in your database gets equal priority. You can't have lunch with 3,000 people. But you can send 3,000 people a value-added newsletter. Think of your sphere as a pyramid. The top has smaller numbers, but higher priorities. The key is focusing upon the more important contacts. For example, are your vendors helping build your business? If not, why are you purchasing goods and/or services from them? Next week we will cover the final two concepts.

--Dave Hershman

Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at [email protected].