Your next meeting just cancelled, and now you have an hour to kill. Rather than wasting time in a coffee shop, you can use a custom Google Map to instantly find the closest client, networking partner, or prospect to visit.
Step 1: Prepare your list
If your company uses sales tracking software like Dynamics CRM or SalesForce, you can likely export this data directly into excel. Otherwise, just open up a new excel book and start adding what you’d like to have on your map. At a minimum, you will need to have a label for each column on the first row of your excel file and a column for the name and location of each place to be mapped.
Step 2. Create your map
Navigate to Google Maps, and click on the Search Box as if you are about to type something. Now, click “My Maps” and “Create” to access what we’ll be using. Note that you will need to have a Google Account and be logged in for this to work. You can create a Google Account for free via this link.
Step 3. Upload your list
Simply click the “Import” button, and select the file we created earlier.
Step 4: Tell Google how to read your data
This step will vary depending on what is in your excel file. First, Google needs to know which column to use as a location. In my sample file, I used one column in excel for the full address. If your file has separate columns for address, city, state, and zip, you can check multiple columns for Google to use.
Pick which column to use for the label of each location. This is usually a company or firm name. Don’t worry about the other columns, as these will be saved on the map as “descriptions” under each pin.
Google will prompt you to give your map a name. You can create as many maps as you’d like, so be sure to make the name very descriptive. I keep a separate map for prospects, clients, and networking partners.
Step 5: Using Your New Map
I highly recommend downloading Google’s “My Maps” app for Android. If you are on an iPhone or desktop computer, you can also access your map from your browser via the Google Maps website. Google will place a blue dot on the map to indicate your current location.
Do you have additional tips or tricks for making custom maps? If so, please leave a comment below.
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