How Big Is Your Rolodex File?

This question loomed on the back of a book from best-selling author Harvey Mackay during the recent Mega Book Marketing University in Los Angeles. I was looking forward to Mackay’s talk during the sessions because of my long-term admiration for his writing and work. Each Monday I read his syndicated newspaper column in the business section of the Arizona Republic.

While Mackay told entertaining stories and used startling statistics in his talk (which was not recorded as a part of the CDs available after the session), one area stood out to me—his Mackay 66 customer profile (available on his website). This profile was included in our written material at the conference and involves four pages of 66 questions. For each new customer, Mackay trained his employees to collect this information, put it into a database and use it to strengthen their relationships. It’s little wonder the Mackay Envelope Company continues today as a huge success.

Each participant in the Mega Book Marketing University was given a copy of a little booklet called, The Harvey Mackay Rolodex Network Builder. As usual with a conference, I brought the booklet home. I wonder how many others in the room did the same but did they read the booklet? I did yesterday. Like the Mackay 66, this booklet talks about the value of collecting and using the information from each person you meet.

I’ve still got a number of contacts to follow-up from my time in Los Angeles. I’m committed to continuing a number of those relationships and building them. You never know which one or number of them will develop into something important for the days ahead. I suspect many people will return home and toss those business cards from a conference into a desk drawer or throw them away. Instead, I’d encourage you to see those cards as a resource and the start of something potentially important in your future writing life. It has certainly been the case for me and it might be for you.

2 Responses to “How Big Is Your Rolodex File?”

  1. Mike Dellosso Says:

    Great post, Terry. As I was reading over the Mackay 66 I was thinking, “This is great stuff for conversation starters!” Great stuff to keep in mind to get to know someone better and . . . who knows? Maybe something you find out will be that one thing that sparks a relationship and sets the gears in motion. Thanks for the link!

  2. Richard Mabry Says:

    Good info, but there’s an asterisk by all this–the date when you acquire the information. In the three years that I’ve been involved in Christian writing, I’ve collected lots of cards. In looking through them today, I’ve already discovered several editors who’ve changed publishing houses (and thus, addresses) and several others (including you) who have become agents. This isn’t to say that cards (or the electronic version thereof) aren’t important. It does underscore the need to keep information current.
    I know how busy you are now, and this makes me appreciate even more the time and effort you take to make regular postings about the writing life.
    See you at the Blue Ridge Conference.

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