Business cards are a vital part of any business networking. You should always have a business card handy – I always have some in my purse. If you are like me, you will ask for a business card if you are interested in someone’s business and want to be able to keep in touch.
A couple of weeks back I saw a band at a local hostelry. They were great and, as I have a big birthday looming I thought they would be ideal for the evening’s entertainment. Unfortunately they didn’t have a business card available, so they may well have lost a potential client.
Over the years you will no doubt have accumulated many business cards, probably in a drawer or a box. One day you might need a plumber or a solicitor. You vaguely remember meeting one once and start to search through your card box. It can take an age. You might wish you had stored them differently.
Here is my advice on storing and using business cards in a way that is useful
- make a note on the card when you met them – e.g Made in York networking Nov 14
- make a note as to what they do if not already obvious – if they are a potential client mark “lead” on the card.
- Send an email to the person you spoke to, saying it was nice to meet them and inviting some sort of follow up, for instance asking them to sign up to your e-newsletter; inviting them to have a chat about how you could work together in the future
- Record the details electronically – a spreadsheet is fine, although I would personally suggest using a contact management system that gives you more options.
- Think about how you would search for them e.g where you met; their business sector; lead, supplier etc and record that electronically too.
- Add your new business cards regularly – e.g after each networking event.
By using business cards in this way, you can target potential new business, you can market to the people you meet and you can search for potential suppliers.
If you have a drawer/box full of business cards sitting there getting dusty, send them over to me to upload to your system. I charge £20 per 50 cards to add all the information (including your notes) onto a spreadsheet or contact management system.