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Does size matter? When it comes to prospect databases (a.k.a. “Rolodexes”) the answer is yes, and mostly no.
Time and again I see companies who have very large prospect/client databases (a.k.a. Rolodexes) but have very little “relationship strength” with each (or sometimes any) contact in the database. This makes the overall value of the database very low.
Firms (and their sales people) need to pay more attention to the quality of the relationships they have with each person in their “Rolodex” than merely to the number of people. Firms should “institutionalize” systems for staying-in-touch with their contacts on a regular basis (at least quarterly). From my experience you will nearly always build a trusted relationship with someone merely by consistently staying-in-touch over one to two years (of course, assuming you send them quality information).
So, when it comes to “Rolodexes” you need to “use it or lose it”…(And no, no picture on this post!)
Inspired by Fred Wilson’s post – VC Cliche of the Week: I often hear people say about someone, “they’ve got a big Rolodex”.