Is Business Card follow up, after attending networking meetings, something you always think you should ‘really get around to’?
Once people start to network, on a regular basis, within a very short period of time they will soon find themselves with a plethora of people’s business cards. Do you have a box of people’s business cards in the corner of your office which looks like this?
Now what is a person to do with copious amounts of small bits of card with people’s details on? Here are some questions for you:
- If you end-up with a pile of business cards laying around in your office or desk drawer, are these going to work for you there?
- What is a business card worth in your eyes? A penny?
If it is left in a pile in the corner of your office it is valueless. If left you might as well have not bothered attending the meeting in the first place, if you didn’t have any intentions of doing anything with the cards from the people you collected them from!
- How about considering each business card to be an actual human being?
- What’s a lifetime customer worth to you? More than a penny?
- What about the people that they know who they could refer you to?
It’s not how many business cards you collect. It’s the quality of the relationships you build with those human beings who gave you the cards. So don’t overlook the value of all the business cards you collect. Think of each one as a person and treat that card with respect and in a way that you would like to be treated.
When designing your business card
I would strongly recommend that you include a picture of yourself on the front of your business card. Ensure it is a clear professional image and one that has been taken relatively recently (so you match the picture!). Some people might shy away from this, but remember that when people are collecting numerous cards it really is helpful, when referring to the card later, for them to be able to recall who you are.
When you get a business card
Always write the name of the business meeting/event and date of the meeting on the reverse of each card, so that you can always refer back to this information when making future contact.
Record the information immediately
Either enter the information from each business card onto a cloud based CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), Excel Data Sheet or in your manual follow-up system. Once you have done this you will be able to use this information in all sorts of ways in the future to market your business.
Make Contact Straight Away
Why not send a greeting card or e-mail saying how much you enjoyed meeting the person and especially if it is someone you think would be of benefit to you and your business. You might like to suggest meeting them for a one-to-one to see how you could help each other’s businesses.
Making Contact at a Later Date
You might feel that it is such a long time since you collected the card that it really isn’t worth keeping or trying to contact these business contacts – WRONG. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!
Why note call them and say something along the following lines:
“Hi ………… This is ………….. We’ve met previously, because I have your business card here. We met at…………../Unfortunately I can’t recall which networking event where we met. I’m just confirming that this is still your number/e-mail/address? I’d really appreciate us re-connecting to see if there is anything I can do, through my connections, to help you with your business. [WAIT FOR THEIR RESPONSE & IF POSITIVE SAY) Great. Shall we meet sometime for a one-to-one (and suggest a time).
Alternatively, you might use something along these lines in an e-mail or text if you’re not too confident with the phone.
Remember, if you keep in touch personally and on a regular basis with people you meet business networking, this will reap huge dividends for your business by nurturing those relationships.
Are you looking at that pile of business cards in the corner of your office in a different light now? I hope you found these tips helpful and would love to hear your comments.
Until next time