What are you doing with all those business cards? I know I watch my friends and when I ask them about their system I get all kinds of responses.
One will hand me a stack with a rubber band around them. Another will throw them in a pretty woven basket. Another just makes piles and piles and piles and piles on all the shelves in their office. What are YOU doing with all those business cards?
Here are some simple tips that have worked well for me and I share them with my coaching clients and from the platform with I speak on Networking Savvy.
1. Wear the right clothes – I wear a suit with one pocket full of my business cards and one empty for those I will collect. I keep a nice pen on me and everytime I get a card from someone, I write down the month and year in the top right hand corner.
2. I also write the organization where I met them. Maybe it's PHCC for the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce, or PSI for Professional Secretaries International. I've never been blacklisted by my autoresponder because if I get an email asking if I bought that person's name – I simply look up their card and remind them that they handed me their card at such and such event on May 2006.
3. I then write on the back of the card some part of the conversation that bound us with a commonality. Maybe they have a dog, or kids, or like carpentry. This way I have the opportunity to talk to them about their interest instead of my business the next time I call them to follow-up!
4. Now I'm back in the office. What do I do? I put them in my database – Highrise HQ or Act. I get asked isn't that allot of work? Yes but it is the best value of my time. Doing it myself I remember the names better when seeing their card over and over. WHEN I am out of town and can't do this or I'm on stage and the stack piles up – I give them to a teenager who is so happy to do data entry for me at night than flip hamburgers on their weekend!
5. Next I put them in my autoresponder. That way they immediately get a strategic tip they can use. This is NOT advertisement for myself – it's positioning myself as an Expert interested in helping THEM grow THEIR business. THey have to “opt in” if they want more tips and usually they do.
6. And finally I put them in a three ring binder that I have divided as to “clients”, “prospects”, “personal” and “networking”. I keep those cards I believe I will be doing business with this next year in my personal daytimer that goes with me everywhere. Those are the names I refer business out to also.
You must treat your business cards like gold – they are your MOST precious asset for you business. You personally took time out of your life to meet these people, shake their hand, converse with them and start a relationship. Don't toss that card and forget about it. I guarantee if you would maintain a relationship with your business card stack – you could easily double your income this year. Try it and then email me and let me know about your successes!
CSP Sheryl Nicholson is an International Speaker and Author and Implementation Coach that focuses on bringing real life tips and strategies to her audiences. She is often the Keynote Speaker at conference and also does private coaching. You can view more at http://www.sheryl.com