5 Essential GMail Tips for Business

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I struggle to find a better and more user-friendly email client than GMail.

I like its almost instant search capabilities and the ease with which you can link new domain email addresses. To make the most of GMail I recommend the following five fabulous (almost) free plug-ins:

1. Rapportive

Rapportive is an excellent email business tool that instantly provides you with the social media profiles of each person who sends you an email to your inbox. Their Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and all other profiles appear in your sidebar alongside their email so you can instantly click to follow and connect with them.

2. WiseStamp

Looking for an email signature that not only lists your need-to-know contact details but also your social media profiles and latest feed updates? – this could be just the plug-in you need.

3. Boomerang

This is a fantastic tool that allows you to write emails now and schedule them for when you want them to be sent. It is intuitive in how it links to your calendar. Also brilliant in how it allows you to throw away messages into archive that you don’t need to action now but hurls them back at a time of your asking.

4. Awayfind (free trial)

Ever found yourself rushing around from meeting to meeting with no time to check email…..? And then you get to your next meeting or call and find you’re the only one there – if only, you’d checked your emails you would have found the cancellation email sent 20 mins before!

This is where Awayfind steps in. It allows you to specify individuals who may send you an email (your boss (both work and home!) or participants in your forthcoming meeting) and any emails that come from them are pushed to you say as text messages so you’re more likely to be notice them.

5. KeyRocket

Time is money – and the time you spend fumbling around with your mouse to switch from function to function within GMail is quickly reduced using KeyRocket. This nifty piece of free software sits quietly until it spots something you could have done far faster using a keyboard shortcut and then makes the suggestion for future reference in a box in the corner of the screen. Very neat.

 What are your essential GMail hacks and tips?

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Developing new client relationships drip by drip

You must water your garden every single day.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on dealing with clients and customers in the here and now. You’re really busy – in fact you’re rushed off your feet – that’s great news, but if you miss one single day of reaching out to new prospects or renewing acquaintances with old clients then you are storing up trouble for the future – a garden that’s either parched or overgrown with weeds!

I was reminded of this the other day when a prospect that I have met with on several occasions (a company that falls within my definition of a ‘dream client’) sent me a LinkedIn invite – let me repeat “sent me” the invite. I realised that a few months had gone by and we had not been in touch. My contact may have been sending a polite reminder that we should get back in touch or more likely was busy forcing himself to tend to his own garden – either way, it was a shot across the bows and made me rethink when and how I had last been in touch with my prospects and clients.

If, like me, you are keen to ensure that you have a steady stream of clients and customers, you must discipline yourself to keep on investing in these relationships each and every day – even if you’re lucky enough to be rushed off your feet right now.

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