What do you do with business cards? Part 3

by Matt Bird on February 25, 2014 · 0 comments

What do you do with business cards_As I browsed around the shops in my local village I found myself lingering in the antiques shop admiring a rather beaten up and character filled twin pedestal desk. The desk now sits at the centre of my office upon which sits the latest computer, video camera and microphone.

I can imagine that a gentleman of another generation once sat at the desk flicking through a Rolodex which catalogued hundreds of business cards. Nowadays the only business cards my desk sees are those destined for the recycling bin sat underneath it.

When you have been to a business networking event, what do you do with the business cards you collect? As mentioned I would recommend you throw away (or should I say recycle) business cards but not before you have done three things:

Put them on your system

Some people recoil at the thought of having a ‘system’ for relationships, however I believe relationships are too important to leave to chance. You may still operate a Rolodex or use CRM software, however which system doesn’t matter as much as having a system. If you work electronically there are now free Apps which convert a photo of the business card into a data entry. Whenever I add someone new to my database I always add a note about who introduced me or where I met them in order to make it easier to find them again.

Send a note

It is helpful to set a target about how soon you will be in contact with someone after having met them, perhaps 24-48 hours. It can be as simple as an email saying it was good to meet, recollecting something from your conversation and expressing your desire to keep in contact. This provides them with a reminder of who you are and plants your contact details in their inbox for when they want to reach out to you.

Find a meaningful excuse

I advocate you find a meaningful excuse for staying in contact with people. One approach is to send articles which would be of interest, for example a very thoughtful friend regularly sends me articles about business relationships. It is a fantastic way of keeping in contact and costs nothing other than thoughtfulness and time. An approach I use is to invite people to events that I am hosting, organising or attending which I think would interest them.

Having invested time, money and emotional energy in meeting new people it would be a waste if you did not reach out to keep in contact with them.

ACTION: Do you need to develop a relationship system, set a target about how soon you reach out to people and what meaningful excuses can you find?

This is the third in a three part series ‘Making the Most of Business Cards’.  To find out more visit www.relationology.co.uk.

Matt Bird
Matt Bird, The Relationologist
Described as Malcolm Galdwell’s connector, Matt helps people and organisations build the relationships they need to achieve greater success. He is the Creator of Relationology about the art and science of relationships and how they drive business success. He is a keynote speaker, leadership consultant and prolific blogger. To find out more visit www.relationology.co.uk.

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