Every time you meet someone it’s an opportunity to tell them about yourself and eventually hand over a business card. When you make the exchange (hopefully the other person has one too), what happens next? Do you have a Rolodex full of cards never used? Does it get buried under a bunch of other cards? Do you take one look at it and throw it away? I hope the answers to these questions are no.
The one thing you can do when you get a business card is take a quick look at it while you’re in the presence of the other person, acknowledging that there is at least some interest and then put it away. But the crucial thing to do within 24 hours (or as soon as possible if it’s not feasible in 24 hours) is to send an email to the person saying it was nice to meet you and let’s keep in touch. You have no idea how far that goes and it’s so important!
As a savvy businesswoman, I make it a point to do that with every business card I get because that can be another connection and can even turn into a great friend. I have had that happen several times before and that’s all it took! Sometimes I don’t get an email back from the person reciprocating the gesture, but at least I did my part and that makes me feel good. In the end it’s necessary to do that because endless opportunities could arise, whether it’s related to your job or something else.
I feel now I should have that tagline in all my emails, and retweet it daily. So PLEASE, make sure you followup on that business card. It’s a small step to possibly greater things!