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So you have attended a networking event and left with your pockets full of business cards. Even if you cherish all your contacts, you know very well, some you might never get a chance to dialogue again. It happens, some contacts we gather are in unrelated fields of business. So what do we do with these contacts as smart networkers?
Majority of people cast the undesirable cards away, probably in a trash bin or a drawer, only to end up in a trash bin a few years later. They never realize the opportunity these cards present for their businesses in building a vibrant network. Well, it is the original intention when attending the event right? We might as well do it correctly.
Here are some of the things you should do immediately after collecting business cards:
Google Their Name
It’s probably the first thing you should do. Don’t judge a book by its cover. You will be amazed what the search engine can unravel about an average person. It could be their strong online presence or impressive track record. You never know until you google.
It is by doing so that you can separate the cards worth keeping and the ones not. But even so, don’t throw the card away just yet, carry on the next step:
A Linkedin Search
You must have heard of it. You know very well its networking capabilities. Linked provides users with the ability to keep in contact with professional acquaintances while also validating career paths.
LinkedIn is the second step in adding your contacts to your network. Write them a personalized message explaining when and where you met and add that you appreciate staying in touch. Remember, don’t just send a generic message because they might ignore or click-I don’t know this person.
Those are two steps already. Some will appear in both Google and LinkedIn, evaluate their value using your best judgment. But in some cases, you won’t find them on LinkedIn, which means you may never get a chance to network via the platform. What do we do with them?
Business cards come with email contacts right? Well, if you want to really link up, then you ought to email them immediately- at least 24 hours within meeting them. This does is set you apart from everybody else at the event.
A short, precise and sociable email, acknowledging them for meeting and talking to you will do. But even as you send the email, please ensure that you have all your contact information including your website link as your signature.
A caution however-don’t automatically add them to your email list. It happens, and people get pissed with constant newsletter they didn’t sign up for. Just reach out with a friendly hello and leave the conversation open to follow up talks. Don’t spam them.
Digitally Archive Them
Enter their information in your contact manager before finally putting any card in its resting place. A digital archive may not necessarily mean their contact information alone but also notes on where you met them and what you talked about.
Remember they are probably doing the same to your card. You don’t want them throwing it away without reaching you out. So be sure to make it well designed with all essential contacts and web links on it. Rush Hour Printing and Graphics can help you out creating the perfect business card. Trust RHPG in all your printing endeavors.
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