I originally posted an article about what to do with business cards in September 2010 and now I would like to revisit this with more insight:
Every time you meet someone it’s an opportunity to tell them about yourself and eventually hand over a business card. I just attended Lucky FABB and collected several of them. 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? Does it show up in a pocket of an item you wear a year later? I hope the answers to these questions are no. So what should you do?
1. Once you get a business card 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.
2. IMPORTANT!! Within 24 – 48 hours (or as soon as possible if it’s not feasible within that timeframe) 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!
3. Check out their website and what they do. They may or may not be of use to you, but possibly you can refer them to someone who might.
If you’re not into carrying business cards you can go digital and follow them on Twitter, befriend them on Facebook, or Like their fanpage.
Another new concept on the scene is contxts.com. It’s a mobile SMS business card, where you can send your info directly to the recipient via cell or they can text a pre-selected word to a contxt number and get your info. It’s quick, easy, paperless and free to join. It also serves as a backup when you run out of business cards! For example text DANIEL to 50500. What do you get back?
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.
So, when you get your next business card, PLEASE make sure you followup. It’s a small step to possibly greater things!
The Style Goddess