Business cards are small, weigh less than 1/4 of an ounce and are one of your most effective pieces of marketing literature you can invest in, provided it is used effectively. Your business card is the second most important thing to have in place when you show up. Your business card will help people remember who you are and what you do. They create your first impression, so be sure to design them with as much attention as you give to your personal image.
Necessary info for your business card includes your name, company name, title, phone, fax and cell numbers, e-mail and your Website address. Make sure your business card is explicit about what you do. If your company name does not accurately describe what you do, add additional information. Use the back of your card to post a detailed description of what you do. Many people will call the first phone number listed on your card, so prioritize your office number or your cell.
Don’t be “business card thruster guy (or girl),” ready to force-feed your card on anyone who will take it. Something that helps me get more mileage out of my business card is by being selective about who I offer my business card to. I don’t stand there with a handful of business cards. Unless I am really interested in them, I will usually withhold my business card unless they ask for it.
Be selective about whose card you take. Remember, networking is about developing close, personal and business relationships. How can you possibly build a relationship with a person when your objective is to get out there and be a business card collector? If I do not see a connection in how I might help the other person, I do not ask for their card. If they offer it, I will take it and put it in a special pocket for designated for throw-aways.
Remember to take notes on the back of the business cards of the people who you will follow up with to help you remember what was said. When you get back to the office, put all this information into your PDA or contact management software. If you tell someone you will call to follow up, keep your word. Follow up within 24 hours. Strike while the meeting is still fresh in their mind. Networkers have long memories when they are given false promises during casual conversation.
The experienced networker will often take notes about the conversation on the back of your card if they are interested in your product or service. I watch for that. When someone writes on the back of your card while you are talking to them, be sure to get their card and follow up with them because they could be very interested in you or your business.
Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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