Below are seven steps for managing ALL of those business cards that you collect at networking events and/or from being out and about at various business functions. You may be able to increase your revenue by 1 – 2% over the next 8 months, by simply following up with the business cards you have laying around and stacked up around your office.
- Categorize your business cards by industry
- Sub-categorize them according to the products are services you offer
- Decide what data you need to keep
- Set up your database according to industry, products/services you offer, and the data you need to collect in order to market effectively
- Create a script for email, snail mail, and/or phone – for each industry and each product/service
- From the scripts – create templates for follow up email and letters
- Send out your messages to each each of the databases
THEN, let those business cards go – recycle them. Literally shred them. Any info you want to keep and/or follow up on from the cards, simply put in to the database.
Don’t have time to create a database system of your own? No problem! Lucy M. Barela, a business colleague, suggested the following resource. This website is a good start for getting in the habit of collecting, inputting, and following up with your potential leads – immediately after you get them. Its getting in the habit that matters the most.
Lucy recommended www.zoho.com. This website will allow you to set up a database that will facilitate the execution of the seven steps above. Zoho’s introductory level is free.
Every time you attend a networking event and/or meet someone and collect their biz cards, immediately plug those cards in to your follow up system and then – let the cards go. By letting them go I mean shred and recycle the paper (smile). Remember – any and all info you want to keep regarding those cards, you can put in to your database. Why not save a tree, or two, or three (smile).
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Until next time…
Darren L Johnson
Author and Organization Development Cosnultant