Guest Post: contributed by Jennifer Hazen of What a Business!

Are you planning to use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application (software or web based) for your business?

If so, today’s tips and instructions will help you organize your forgotten leads and prospects and existing customer lists into Excel or .CSV type files, for importing into a CRM program.

Here are some easy instructions for creating .CSV (comma separated values) files:

  • To export Outlook contacts to CSV, see this video
  • To export Yahoo, Gmail and Windows Address Book to CSV
  • MAC address book users will need to convert Vcards to CSV
  • See “export connections” link near the bottom right side of your LinkedIn contacts “my connections” page and follow the instructions

For handwritten contacts:

  • Download this ready-made Customer Contact List with a column for making notes, from Microsoft Office. The template is blank, therefore data entry is required

Next, create a new folder and label it LEADS or CUSTOMERS & PROSPECTS

  • Collect and store the files in the folder, for easy access

By the way, an Excel spreadsheet with a list of up to 20 contacts might be all you need to use right now, instead of a CRM program. Just add task reminders in your calendar or smartphone to create a basic customer management system. 

Have a question or comment about today’s tips? Feel free to post it.

Next time: tips for choosing a CRM application