A common misperception by those who network for business is the value of the business cards which we exchange. Often times, one leaves an event with a fistful of cards, but only two or three good prospects in the bunch.
As a host of business networking events and a frequent attendee at other events, the most common question I get asked is, “Dean, what should I do with all these business cards?”
The value from each card doesn’t come from hanging on to every brightly colored, cleverly designed piece of card stock, wrapping them tightly in rubber bands, and squirreling them away in a desk drawer. The value for us comes from having ready access to the data on the card.
Whether you use a simple mail application like Mac Mail, Google Contacts or MS Outlook, a broadcast email program such as Mail Chimp or Constant Contact or a full blown CRM solution such as ACT or Goldmine, you have to prime that pump with effective, accurate data.
Something I find that’s lost in all the desire to use social media effectively is that you need to have people with whom to connect. Your mailing list is the best starting place for this. But having a list that’s segmented is the key. You want to add the right people to the right platform in order to achieve the right effect.
Over the next several weeks, I will be offering you some strategies to cull the data from the cards and make that a powerful business tool to make you more money.